Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Zain Ali, New College

Monday, November 15, 2021

Zain Ali, Assistant Clinical Professor

As an assistant clinical professor at New College, Zain Ali is new to academia, but that's all the "new" that applies. He brings three decades worth of cross-industry experience by serving over 70 clients in more than 10 countries as a consultant or employee, including leadership or executive roles in engineering, operations, sales and technology. And he's always learning. Zain is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from UNT to add to his engineering degrees. A world traveler who lists his favorite countries to visit by specific characteristics, Zain helped launch a new BS program at the Frisco campus and a "Beacon of Light" program in the Dallas community. He loves to play golf, but these days, academia often has other plans. Get to know Zain Ali.



What is your favorite aspect about your job?
Interacting with the students, watching them grow and hopefully making a difference in their learning journey.

What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?
I think the benefits that we have are excellent. If we were to talk about an activity, I think it would be great to have one or more activities that allows all the UNT World (Corp, Denton, Dallas, HSC) to connect and collaborate. I am new to academia and feel like that academia could benefit from cross-college/campus collaboration. 

What is your proudest work moment?
Teaming up with Hope Garcia & Peggy Shadduck to launch the BS Project Design & Analysis Problem Based Learning (PBL) cohort program at the Frisco campus. 

What is your proudest non-work moment?
We started a "Beacon of Light" program from infancy at Masjid Al-Islam where we feed homeless and less fortunate people in downtown Dallas by partnering with several organizations such as North Texas Food Bank, etc. Working in that team has been the proudest accomplishment that I have been part of in my life. .

What is a fact about you that may surprise your work colleagues?
I was playing golf three days a week before joining UNT and now I average golf once in three weeks.

Book: "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favorite books since I have been able to apply the learnings by watching for different patterns to come together to launch something memorable, or also have observed unrelated events bring something down.
Place to visit: A few to pick from, so it's hard to nail down one. My top three are: Greece for history; Morocco for people; and Saudi Arabia for religious sites.
Charitable cause: My favorite charitable cause is education. I believe that education can make a difference in changing lives and generations. I am a first-generation college degree holder in 1989 and a second one in family planned for summer 2022 (after my daughter receives her Ph.D. in May 2022).