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.

Lloyd Farley headshot
Major: Anthropology & Middle Eastern Studies
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Spring 2018

Lloyd Farley, completing a BDP in Environment & Sustainability, spent his summer in Marrakech, Morocco as an intern for the High Atlas Foundation, focusing on sustainable, local agriculture and community-led development.

“The most rewarding aspect of my Connecting Experience was being able to learn about the importance of participatory development, which allows for the people most invested in a project – the community – to be in the driver seat.”
Major: Biology
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Fall 2016

Sunny Sandhu, pursuing a BDP in Social Inequality, Health & Policy, interned with University Health Services as the Sustainability Coordinator, developing and implementing a new sustainable waste model.

“This Connecting Experience showed me that social determinants of health, such as the environment in which a patient lives, impact health just as much as medicine.”
Madison Benvegnu
Major: Marketing
BDP Certificate: Media, Culture & Identities
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

Marketing major and Media, Culture & Identities student Madison Benvegnu analyzed representations of villains in animated Disney films, which led her to an exploration of the presentations of overarching themes of right and wrong and the need for villains in a story.

“It was rewarding to take complete ownership of a project from start to finish and see how it evolved over time through trial and error.”
kirk, madison
Major: Social Work
BDP Certificate: Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies BDP student and Social Work major Madison Kirk worked as an intern for Lifeworks, where she learned strategies for mediating interpersonal conflict and practiced advocating for clients in order to promote self-sufficiency.

“Learning how to meet people where they are in the change process has been invaluable to me. Seeing people take steps to improve their relationships and foster healthy and open habits has been incredible.”
Maheen Shakil headshot
Major: Honors in Advanced Human Development
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

Maheen Shakil, who is pursuing a BDP in Social Inequality, Health & Policy, spent the summer of 2017 in New York at the NYU Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies, where she assisted in HIV research. This experience opened her eyes to interacting with research participants—not just data—and reignited her passion for research work.

“The most rewarding aspect of this research experience was getting to interact with participants and build a connection with them. […] Overall, just knowing that I am a small piece of a much greater picture was a really good feeling.”
Major Ellis
Major: Economics
BDP Certificate: Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship
Graduation Year: Spring 2016

Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship BDP student Major Ellis interned at Austin technology startup accelerator and co-working space Capital Factory, where he worked to identify local early-stage companies. After graduation, Major plans to launch his own entrepreneurial endeavor. He now feels connected to key players in the Austin startup scene and better equipped to deliver solid pitches to potential investors.

“The connections I made and the people I met were the most rewarding aspects of my internship. I met a diverse range of entrepreneurs and made connections that will give me lasting opportunities and relationships.”
Mallory Miller Headshot
Major: Anthropology
BDP Certificate: Museum Studies
Graduation Year: Spring 2018

Museum Studies BDP student Mallory Miller interned at The Alamo historic site where she transcribed and translated correspondence between Mexican military officials. She learned about many aspects of preserving and managing historic sites and collections.

“The most rewarding aspect of my Connecting Experience so far has been the opportunity to experience the behind-the-scenes workings of a historical site.”
Maria Iuliano Headshot
Major: Marine Science
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Spring 2020

As an intern with Oceans Research in Mossel Bay, South Africa, Maria Iuliano assisted with a number of research projects, including a study of White Sharks. Maria, a Marine Science major completing a BDP in Environment & Sustainability, collected and organized data identifying individual sharks for a population study.

“Knowing that I was contributing to a better understanding of a data deficient species was enriching. I was able to not only assist in the procedures but also understand the rationale for these research activities.”
Maria Roque
Major: Journalism
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2015

Social Inequality, Health & Policy BDP student Maria Roque gained hands-on experience with her BDP topic through her internship with the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Maria contributed to LIVESTRONG’s mission to address the unmet needs of cancer survivors, and she refined her ideas about her future career goals.

“The most rewarding aspects of my work at LIVESTRONG were the opportunities I had to see how my work affected real people.”
Martina Belozerco
Major: Biology
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Fall 2015

Social Inequality, Health & Policy BDP student Martina Belozerco researched the inclusion of African-American stereotypes in public service announcements about HIV. Her project built on experience as an outreach specialist working with people and communities impacted by the virus. Martina aspires to continue developing as a patient advocate and now feels more aware of obstacles she might face in that role.

“I know now that I cannot effectively serve marginalized populations if I am unwilling to acknowledge the existence of messaging that deters those highest at-risk from seeking medical help.”