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UT professors chosen for presidential transition teams
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President-elect Joe Biden released 500 names that will be part of his transition teams this week, including two University of Texas professors.


Norma Cantú, professor of law and education, will serve on the Department of Education transition team, whereas Mary Wakefield, professor of nursing, will serve on the Department of Health and Human Services transition team.

The president's transition team is responsible for laying the groundwork and preparing the new administration for office. Transition teams normally consist of industry leaders, healthcare professionals and experts.

The two UT professors weren't the only professors from Texas shortlisted—Texas Tech University law professor Vickie Sutton was also circulating but she has yet to receive or accept an official notice.

As for the professors officially chosen to serve on Biden's teams, this is not their first rodeo.

Cantú graduated from Harvard Law School when she was 22 and served as Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights in Bill Clinton's presidential cabinet for all eight years of his presidency. Cantú will take a temporary leave of absence at UT for the position.

Wakefield, a registered nurse, is a UT alumna and has a Ph.D in nursing. In 2019, Wakefield was honored with The American Academy of Nursing's "Living Legend" award, which is reserved for individuals who have spearheaded "extraordinary contributions" to the nursing profession.

Because transition teams can begin working anytime after election results are released, Biden has already started rolling out policies to implement. Some policies include plans to institute a national mask mandate, reversal of President Donald Trump's immigration policies and rejoining the Paris Climate Accords.

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What's new in Austin food & drink this week:

  • Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
  • Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
  • Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
  • Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
  • Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
  • Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
  • The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
  • Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
  • P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.