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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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