Paula Cox

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Paula Cox '93 -- Finishing Touches

A veteran of Apple, this busy alumna packed up her crayons and took them to Dell where she has the power to do more.

By Donna Parker


Paula CoxIn her role as lead surface designer for Dell computers in Austin, Paula Cox, who received a degree in communication from Trinity in 1993, ensures that colors, materials and finishes for all Dell products reflect the company brand. It's a position she's held for six years and requires continual analysis of consumer trends, design trends across different industries, and then synthesizing that field research into the final Dell product.

"Well, this all takes a consensus so I can tell you there are a lot of PowerPoint presentations involved!" laughs Paula.

"The best part of my job is that it's like playing with a crayon box every day. It's going back to being a kid and choosing colors. I get to work on all of our products and see the fruit of our efforts. We just launched a series of XPS notebooks that I worked on. They're anodized aluminum with silicone paint on the palm rest-cold and soft and playing off the differences."

Paula, who worked with the industrial design group in the hallowed halls of Apple in Cupertino, Calif., moved back to Texas to be closer to family in Houston although she adds, "Austin is the perfect distance!"

"My other passion is travel," says Paula. In the winter, I always snowboard in Colorado but my fiancé and I also take one big trip each year. We base that on a bucket list of places we want to see, like Easter Island, Machu Picchu, and Thailand."

They've also seen quite a bit of Latin America. Paula speaks enough Spanish to get around.

Her dedication to hard work combined with a sense of fun and adventure were evident during her Trinity days where she worked and played hard.

"I really enjoyed the people there. They were intelligent, motivated, and loved to have fun! San Antonio had a festival every weekend and of course, we hung out at Tycoon Flats and Bombay's."

In class, she says Professor Sammye Johnson, department of communication, was a great role model.

"She basically pushed people to do real-world-level public relations work so it wasn't such a shock when we got out. Our final project was creating an entire PR plan for a fictitious company and it was exactly what I encountered when I graduated from college."

"The liberal arts focus of Trinity was so critical. I learned a little bit about a lot of things which has really helped in what I do. My work has an element of art and design but incorporates science, engineering, marketing, and the manufacturing process."

"In addition to Dell, settling into Austin has been great. We bought our dream house, centrally located and near downtown, and we just finished landscaping."

"I still don't feel 40-something-I still think of myself as 20 but going out on my own after Trinity has given me the confidence to know I can accomplish anything."

You may contact Paula at

Story posted:  January 2013
After reading this story if you feel strongly about any Trinity alumni who the Alumni Office should profile in future AlumNET issues, please submit your suggestions. We are looking for suggestions in these four categories: 1) recent grads, 2) grads who innovate, 3) grads in business, and 4) grads who serve the world. Feel free to nominate yourself as well  if you fall in these categories.