Bridging Disciplines Programs

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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.

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.”
photo of Anna Catherine Alvis
Major: Political Communication; Plan II Honors
BDP Certificate: Public Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

Public Policy BDP student Anna Catherine Alvis interned with The Center for Equity and Adequacy in Public School Finance, Inc, better known as the Equity Center, where she gained experience in many areas of public school finance.

“I learned so much by simply being present in the Equity Center office – the people I worked alongside were absolutely incredible and they took the time every day to teach me something new.”
Ashley Rivera
Major: Sociology
BDP Certificate: Media, Culture & Identities
Graduation Year: Fall 2015

Ashley Rivera, who completed her BDP certificate in Media, Culture & Identities in fall 2015, spent the summer of 2015 on the coast of Nicaragua where she conducted ethnographic research on the Garifuna people. Her research explored the unique culture and identity of a black indigenous population within the broader Mestizo population of Nicaragua.

“Through this Connecting Experience I learned about these peoples’ histories, lives, and experiences as well as how to conduct research.”
Blair Robbins
Major: Plan II
BDP Certificate: Human Rights & Social Justice
Graduation Year: Spring 2015

Human Rights & Social Justice BDP student Blair Robbins researched volunteer tourism programs as part of her undergraduate thesis. Applying a postcolonial lens while maintaining historical insights, she analyzed the participation of mostly American, British, and Australian college-aged students in “ethical” short-term trips to developing countries. This experience prepared Blair for her summer internship at a local nonprofit, where she examines Texas police forces’ use of military surplus equipment.

“I have learned to speak about a timely and contentious topic in a way that people can relate to and understand. I have also learned more about how larger political and historical contexts inform popular perceptions and small-scale interpersonal interactions, leading to subtle perpetuations of power and oppression.”
blake kappel headshot
Major: International Relations & Global Studies
BDP Certificate: Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

Blake Kappel, completing a BDP in Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies spent summer 2016 in Beijing as an intern with Starfish Project, a social enterprise working to empower exploited and trafficked women in Asia.

"The insight I gained into specific issues surrounding the work provided me with a more nuanced understanding of the world of women's empowerment."
Bridget Bofinger
Major: Communication Studies
BDP Certificate: Ethics & Leadership
Graduation Year: Spring 2016

Bridget Bofinger, a communication studies major pursuing a BDP certificate in Ethics & Leadership in Business, served as an internal communications intern at Texas Instruments the summer before her senior year. This experience allowed her to take ownership on significant projects, and taught her about a field of work that was previously unknown to her. As a result of this internship, Bridget is now focusing her job search on internal communications positions.

“The most rewarding aspect of my internship was the ability to own a project and see it from start to finish.”
Cameron Clark
Major: Sociology
BDP Certificate: Human Rights & Social Justice
Graduation Year: Spring 2015

Cameron Clark, a Human Rights & Social Justice BDP student, conducted research on the complex and timely topic of police interaction with communities of color. He used the tools and methodologies of sociology to analyze ethnographic data on this subject. A Rapoport Service Scholar, Cameron will graduate in May 2015 with a major in sociology. He plans to pursue a career working to achieve social justice through the legal profession.

“I believe this research project has prepared me to apply sociological principles to the legal profession, which will be crucial in tackling the many challenging legal questions we face today.”
Camila Olmedo-Mendez
Major: Economics
BDP Certificate: Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits
Graduation Year: Spring 2016

Economics major Camila Olmedo-Mendez, a student in the Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits BDP, spent her summer interning at the Yunus Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh. While there she studied and analyzed social business models and gained firsthand experience with social businesses on site visits. She also had the opportunity to meet Professor Yunus, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his innovative efforts to end poverty through microfinance. This experience has affirmed Camila’s desire to pursue a career in sustainable development, and given her confidence in her potential as a social entrepreneur.

“Being submerged in the social business hub, and having the opportunity to meet and interview Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, has made me realize I do have an entrepreneurial spirit and potential.”
Caroline Starling headshot
Major: Biology Honors
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

Caroline Starling, a Social Inequality, Health & Policy BDP student, connected her interests in medicine and public health as an intern with the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas (WHFPT). As a Research and Evaluation Intern, she assisted with data analysis related to Title X funding and agencies’ financial sustainability.

"The Connecting Experience helped me to see the importance of public health research to improving population health outcomes and provided a chance for me to practice skills I had developed in my UT courses."
Casey Locey
Major: Social Work, Psychology
BDP Certificate: Children & Society
Graduation Year: Spring 2014

Children & Society BDP student Casey Locey interned with SafePlace, a non-profit organization that helps survivors of interpersonal violence and sexual assault.

"This internship showed me ways to support children and taught me intervention perspectives based on developmental psychology and strengths-based social work models."

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