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.

Joanne Koola
Major: Architecture
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

Joanne Koola is a third-year architecture major pursuing a BDP in Environment & Sustainability. This summer she interned with Austin-based HOLOS Collaborative, a think tank and sustainability management practice. Through this internship Joanne integrated her study of architecture with a focus on sustainable design inspired by the natural world.

“I now have a better understanding of what sustainability in architecture is and the different ways to achieve it in my future career.”
Jordan Metoyer
Major: Economics & Urban Studies
BDP Certificate: Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits
Graduation Year: Spring 2014

Jordan Metoyer is a senior economics and urban studies double major. She is pursuing two BDP certificates, one in Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits and the other in Social Inequality, Health & Policy. Jordan is a Rapoport Scholar, a Truman Scholar, and a Bill Archer Fellow. This summer, Jordan interned with Public Advocates, Inc., a non-profit law firm and advocacy organization based in San Francisco, CA.

“Each day presented a new opportunity to connect my projects to my experience in community activism, academic foundation in urban theory, professional curiosity in non-profit public interest advocacy, and personal interest in sustainable community development.”
joshua gharis headshot
Major: Human Ecology
BDP Certificate: Digital Arts & Media
Graduation Year: Fall 2017

A Human Ecology major completing a BDP in Digital Arts & Media, Joshua Gharis created a series of 3D printable outfits, a collection of digital outfits and textiles able to be physically printed with a 3D printer. He designed and digitally sculpted the clothing pieces, then modeled the 3D elements with software and combined it into a rendered video displaying the different designs.

"I definitely know now that I want my future to include art and creativity [...] I know that artneeds to have a place in my life."
josue teniente headshot
Major: History; Sociology
BDP Certificate: Human Rights & Social Justice
Graduation Year: Fall 2018

Human Rights & Social Justice BDP student Josue Teniente completed an internship with the Equal Justice Center where he helped share information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and assisted clients in preparing DACA applications.

"My Connecting Experience gave me first-hand knowledge about this field and sharpened my skills in order to participate in it. After my experience with the Equal Justice Center, my desire to pursue Human Rights and Social Justice is even stronger than when I started."
Julia Chernis
Major: Biochemistry
BDP Certificate: Digital Arts & Media
Graduation Year: Spring 2016

Digital Arts & Media BDP student Julia Chernis created an animation affirming the safety of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. A biochemistry major, she sought to counter the misperceptions of family members and friends with non-science backgrounds, who thought the medical procedure harmful. The experience has encouraged Julia to consider a career designing educational tools for medical students, in addition to practicing medicine.

“Working on this project has reminded me how much I enjoy creating new media and it has influenced me to seek out ways to incorporate digital art into my future medical career goals.”
Julianna Maxwell
Major: Communication Studies - Corporate Communications
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Spring 2018

Corporate Communications major and Environment & Sustainability BDP student Julianna Maxwell completed an internship with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), promoting and administering the Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program. She was able to put her communication background to use in a professional setting and considered ways to advocate for sustainability while meeting corporate needs.

“This internship has helped me see that there are many ways to advocate for practices that meet environmental needs while also meeting business requirements.”
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.”
Karina Zemel
Major: Linguistics
BDP Certificate: Public Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

Karina Zemel, Public Policy BDP student, was an intern with Humanities Texas, a non-profit, educational organization that works to promote the humanities across the state.

“Examining the ways the humanities have been interpreted throughout the histories of Humanities Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) showed me the importance of the surrounding historical and political context in the work carried out today.”
Kat Trujillo
Major: Public Relations
BDP Certificate: Digital Arts & Media
Graduation Year: Fall 2016

Kat Trujillo, a Digital Arts & Media BDP student pursuing a degree in public relations, landed a dream internship in concert marketing with Austin-based C3 Presents. Kat, a musician herself who is passionate about pursuing a career in the music industry, spent the spring semester learning the tools of the trade and working with some of her favorite artists to promote their shows via social media. Through this experience she discovered new strengths and refined the focus of her future career plans.

“I loved going to my internship every day because when I was working I felt like I was part of the music industry…. I’m really glad I had the opportunity to shine as a concert marketing intern and learn that there are many opportunities for me in this industry.”
Katie Kindle
Major: Biology
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

Katie Kindle, a Biology major focused on the Public Health strand of the Social Inequality, Health & Policy BDP certificate, conducted research on predicting and preventing the Zika virus, under the supervision of Dr. Sahotra Sarkar. She learned about the function of research in the creation of preventative measures for maintaining and improving public health.

“I experienced what a day in the life of a disease epidemiologist might be like, and that was very rewarding and eye opening. This Connecting Experience enhanced my understanding of how huge the field of public health is.”