University of Texas at Austin


Combining Ingredients for Student Success - Profile Mita Patel

By Hurley Qi

Published March 11, 2024

Mita Patel

Amidst the bustling activities and research being carried out at the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, Mita Patel, serving as the Human Resources Coordinator, plays an integral part of almost every student’s life here. 

Having earned her degree in Business Administration from San Francisco State University, Mita first started her professional career in the business sector. “For nearly 15 years of my life, I was an entrepreneur primarily in restaurants, ” she recounted. 

Even during this period, Mita felt a calling and interest in education, especially her children’s education. She would often volunteer at her kid's school activities, participate in various organizations, and even began a startup initiative with the robotics team at one of her son’s middle schools. “During that time, I have always been passionate about education. So when I wasn’t running my businesses, I would try to take opportunities to be involved in my children’s schooling as much as possible,” Mita affirmed. 

Her passion for education eventually led her to her current position as Human Resource Coordinator, which she began in September 2020. Faced with the intricate challenges and complexities of navigating the COVID landscape at the start of the fall semester, Mita quickly found herself immersed in her new position helping to ensure a successful transition for incoming graduate students and student workers in the early months of the pandemic.

Due to the inherent interdisciplinary nature of the Institute, Mita frequently navigates different policies from no fewer than 17 departments at UT— a formidable task for anyone to undertake.

“I absolutely love what I do. The most rewarding part of my job is the connections made with all the students,” she said. “I never want my students to be stressed out.” In acknowledgement of her accomplisments, Mita received the 2023 Exemplary 140 Service Award for her work. The award is a university-wide initiative recognizing 140 UT staff members who demonstrate outstanding service or performance.

The most rewarding part of my job is the connections made with all the students - I never want my students to be stressed out.

— Mita Patel

During her personal time, Mita’s primary hobby is cooking. She finds cooking not only a therapeutic way to alleviate stress, but also rewarding and enjoyable. Exploring cuisines from different cultures, she delights in unraveling the intricate flavors and cooking techniques behind the dish she enjoys.

“I am not only a foodie, I like to try different cultured food. It has created my family into foodies,” Mita shared. 

In addition to her culinary adventures, she also would love to explore more artistic creativity in her free time. She has begun several art projects, and hopes to pursue them. 

A vital part of the Oden Institute, Mita’s journey, transitioning from a entrepreneur to human resource coordinator, reflects her adaptability and determination. Combining her experience with her passion for education, Mita represents the spirit of collaboration and enthusiasm at the heart of the Oden Institute.