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Student Profiles

Click on a student’s name or picture to learn more about their experiences with the Bridging Disciplines Program in the School of Undergraduate Studies. To view student success stories from other UGS programs, visit the student success page.

Aaron Bernal Lee
Major: Economics, Mathematics
Graduation Year: Spring 2015

Rising senior Aaron Bernal Lee, a student in the Global Studies BDP, interned at the Texas State Capitol in the Office of the Governor. Through his BDP coursework Aaron has studied international trade from an interdisciplinary perspective; this internship allowed him to apply his classroom knowledge of international trade in a real-world setting.

“My internship at the Texas State Capitol has made me realize that in the future I want to be part of something greater than myself with the goal of doing good for society, just as I felt I was doing while working at the Office of the Governor.”
Adam Benden
Major: Social Work
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2016

Adam Benden, a social work major pursuing a BDP certificate in Social Inequality, Health & Policy, drew upon his experience as a yoga instructor and his interests in class, gender, and race theory to design a unique research project in partnership with the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. Through this project, Adam taught yoga classes to people experiencing homelessness and measured the benefits his students reported. Adam is now further inspired to work for greater social equality and justice, and he is re-envisioning his own yoga practice to make it more accessible to people of all backgrounds.

“This project has incredibly strengthened my desire to continue working around issues of social inequality and social justice.”
Albert Palacios
Major: Architecture and Anthropology
BDP Certificate: Media, Culture & Identities

Albert completed the Media, Culture & Identities BDP (formerly known as the Cultural Studies BDP) and conducted research on Southwest Native American culture and architecture during the Spanish rule.

Alexandra Gary
Major: Nursing Honors
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2016

Nursing student Alexandra Gary spent a summer in Botswana interning in health clinics and learning about Botswana’s healthcare system as part of her BDP certificate in Social Inequality, Health & Policy with a concentration in Public Health.

“My Connecting Experience abroad has driven my desire to work in another country one day. I believe international experience is worthwhile for anyone, regardless of their degree.”
Alexandria Macias
Major: Health Promotion
BDP Certificate: Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship
Graduation Year: Spring 2014

Alexandria looked all over campus for a major that fit her interests and goals. After two semesters in UGS, she declared her major in health promotion and is now a certified personal trainer. Alex is also completing a Bridging Disciplines Program certificate in Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship.

"There will be time to choose a major. If there are too many options for you, look into concentrations, certificates, or research opportunities—these can keep you graduating in four years and add an extra kick to your degree plan."
Alyssa Chavez
Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders
BDP Certificate: Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits
Graduation Year: Summer 2015

Alyssa Chavez, a Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits BDP student, built a research project around an interest in philanthropy and concepts from her communication sciences and disorders major. Mentored by her role model Dr. Mary Anne Nericcio, an expert in bilingual speech pathology, Alyssa examined speech therapy services at the UT Speech and Hearing Center. She now feels better prepared to make a difference in her community.

“My Connecting Experience has reaffirmed my interest in working in the nonprofit sector in the speech language therapy field.”
Ana Hernández
Major: Latin American Studies, History
BDP Certificate: Human Rights & Social Justice
Graduation Year: Spring 2015

Ana Hernández, a student in the Human Rights & Social Justice BDP, spent her summer in Nicaragua interviewing locals and conducting archival research to develop a better understanding of land rights for the indigenous peoples of Nicaragua.

“I hope to become a professor of Latin American history, and this Connecting Experience has helped me find a focus for my academic studies.”
Ana Laura Rivera
Major: Government, Spanish
BDP Certificate: Human Rights & Social Justice
Graduation Year: Spring 2014

Human Rights & Social Justice student Ana Laura worked on three initiatives for the Texas After Violence Project during her internship. Because of her interest in studying children and human rights, she conducted archival research and transcribed interviews that focused on bilingual education, violence in schools, and access for undocumented students.

"I discovered the importance of making children’s voices heard so they can have an opportunity to obtain an education."
Andre Galuban
Major: Jazz Performance
Graduation Year: Spring 2016

Global Studies BDP student and jazz performance major Andre Galuban stepped outside of his academic comfort zone to research Algerian military power. With encouragement from his mentor, Dr. Zoltan Barany, Andre analyzed this topic through multiple lenses. The experience inspired Andre to consider graduate work in foreign affairs or foreign policy, with the ultimate goal of impacting global issues.

“This experience showed me the importance of studying a topic through different disciplines, such as politics, international relations, government, economics, and public relations, to name a few.”
Anjali Khatri
Major: International Relations and Global Studies
BDP Certificate: Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies
Graduation Year: Spring 2018

Anjali Khatri, a student in the Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies BDP, spent her summer interning at the Center for Refugee Services in San Antonio. As an intern, Anjali worked with refugees as they transitioned to life in a new country. She also had the opportunity to collaborate with refugee and non-refugee teens to create a documentary film exploring the human experience.

“My work at the center has even inspired me to consider a career within the United Nations Human Rights Council.”

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