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.

Jacob Blas
Major: Double major in Mexican American & Latina/o Studies and Rhetoric & Writing
BDP Certificate: Human Rights & Social Justice
Graduation Year: Spring 2021

Jacob Blas is pursuing a BDP certificate in Human Rights & Social Justice. This summer, he worked with the Rapoport Center and researchers from Harvard University and Northeastern University, on a research project entitled “The Persistence of Inequality: ‘Essential’ Work and COVID-19” where they looked at the ways the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities among Latinx construction workers in Austin. They also looked at legal and political drivers that have made COVID-19 especially destructive to Latinx and other Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities.

"It is powerful knowing that the work we did this summer will be used to inform, shape, and enhance scholarship and policy in the future."
Maurizio Marcotulli
Major: Civil Engineering
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Spring 2022

Maurizio Marcotulli, a civil engineering major pursuing a BDP certificate in Environment & Sustainability, completed an independent research project where he looked at the applicability of small modular reactors in Latin America. His goal was to see whether there were systemic reasons that small modular reactors could compete on more even grounds with the current popular hydroelectric energy in the region.

"The most rewarding aspect of this experience was how humbling it was. In many ways, I considered myself well informed about most energy sources, as it is a passion of mine, but when I was fully immersed into the world of nuclear energy, I realized that I was naive and out of my element. There were many things considered common knowledge that I had to learn as a foundation to even begin my research, but once I finally got going it was all the more rewarding."
Destiny Gonzales
Major: Science-based psychology
BDP Certificate: Design Strategies
Graduation Year: Spring 2021

Destiny Gonzales, a Psychology major pursuing a BDP Certificate in Design Strategies, worked at ZTech as a UI/UX designer and user researcher. She conducted research on user behavior and identified how the organization could accurately and creatively address user needs.

"I was initially focused on integrating design into my psychology background and becoming more of a generalist in design without any specialization. After this Connecting Experience, I have gained confidence as a UI/UX designer and user researcher, and would like to pursue opportunities that incorporate psychology in my design work."
Keyanna Maxwell headshot
Major: Health and Society
BDP Certificate: Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship
Graduation Year: Spring 2020

Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship student Keyanna Maxwell conducted market research to better understand startup needs and failures, looking specifically at startups in creative arenas. She explored the intersections between these types of businesses as she prepared to create a business plan for a makers studio focused on baking, cooking classes, sewing, and other creative endeavors.

"The most rewarding aspect of my Connecting Experience was talking with people who have a variety of backgrounds and experiences who were able to share different ways of starting a business.”
veronica remmert headshot
Major: Biology
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

Veronica Remmert, completing a BDP in Social Inequality, Health & Policy with an emphasis in Public Health, conducted research focused on the health needs of four communities in rural Puebla, Mexico and created an inventory of health resources in each community. As a winner of the President’s Award for Global Learning, her research will be used to inform a comprehensive needs assessment for each community, which will be implemented this summer.

“This Connecting Experience made me consider how I want to integrate public health and social determinants of health into my future career. Through this experience, I know that I want to continue to work in the public health field”
Isheta Kumar headshot
Major: Chemistry and Economics
BDP Certificate: Public Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2020

Isheta Kumar, majoring in Chemistry and Economics and completing a BDP certificate in Public Policy, interned with Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), an organization dedicated to funding promising scientific innovations. While at ATI, Isheta had the opportunity to research the public benefit funds used by over 30 states to provide funding for renewable energy research. Texas is one of the few states without such a fund, so she used her research to craft a proposal for Texas to create a public benefit fund.

“By immersing myself in an environment where I learned something new about the industry every day, I learned how science, business, and policy intersect in an ever-changing field.”
kaity dallas headshot
Major: Psychology
BDP Certificate: Children & Society
Graduation Year: Spring 2018

Kaity Dallas, pursuing a BDP certificate in Children & Society, spent the spring semester as an intern with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Austin, where she worked children and youth programs conducting community outreach, compiling data, and attending meetings and events with community stakeholders. Through this internship, Kaity had the opportunity to play an integral role in NAMI’s Ending the Silence program.

“This internship helped me feel empowered that I have chosen the perfect field for me.”
Anna Rose Isbell headshot
Major: Corporate Communication Studies
BDP Certificate: Ethics & Leadership
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

Anna Rose Isbell, a Corporate Communication major completing a BDP certificate in Ethics & Leadership in Law, Politics & Government, served as a Media Ethics Citizen Scholar through the Moody College of Communication’s Media Ethics Initiative in spring 2018. She researched and wrote case studies related to media ethics and law, politics, and government as well as assisted with the public relations and advertising efforts of the Media Ethics Initiative.

“I really enjoyed getting to focus on topics related to my specific BDP, and connecting these topics to other disciplines that I didn't realize could be so easily intertwined. I learned so much about how different topics collide, especially with how involved the media is in the political and technological world.”
valeria montemayor headshot
Major: Studio Art
BDP Certificate: Digital Arts & Media
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

Valeria Montemayor, Digital Arts & Media student and Studio Art major, created an animated comic named Skull-Kidz!, which gave her the chance to combine animation and comic books in a unique way that allowed her to expand her skills as a digital artist. She also had the opportunity to engage with an online audience, write her own scripts, and build her “portfolio“https://valeriamontemayor.carbonmade.com/.

"I've realized now that there's no need to box myself in one category."
sriram palepu headshot
Major: Business and Biology
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Spring 2020

Sriram Palepu, majoring in both Business and Biology and completing the Environment & Sustainability BDP certificate, conducted research in India on the effects of mercury content on the fishing industry of the Godavari River. He focused on whether or not a correlation existed between fish mercury content and neurodegenerative diseases in the area of Andhra Pradesh, India.

The most rewarding aspect of this experience has been finding patterns and explanations for the data that I collected, because it means I can get closer to finding a solution.

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