Discovery Scholars Program

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Meet Our Staff

DSP staff member Phaedra WhitePhaedra White Abbott
Director
phaedra@austin.utexas.edu

Phaedra has been employed at The University of Texas at Austin since 2001 and has been with the School of Undergraduate Studies since its inception. She received her bachelor of music education degree from Louisiana State University and a master of education degree in college student personnel from Loyola University Chicago. She has spent her entire professional career working with college and post-graduate students and loves assisting students in getting the maximum out of their educational experience. Phaedra was raised in Tallahassee, Florida, and loves to travel and experience different cultures.


DSP staff member Lily DoñesLily Doñes
Graduate Assistant
liliana.dones@austin.utexas.edu

Lily is a college life coach with the Discovery Scholars Program. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2013 and has a B.A. in both psychology and theatre and dance. Before joining the Discovery Scholars Program, she served as a college advisor for the Advise TX College Advising Corps. In her role as a college advisor, Lily provided resources to a diverse population of high school students and guided them through the college application process.


DSP staff member Scott GaryScott Gary
College Life Coach
scott.gary@austin.utexas.edu

Scott is a college life coach with the Discovery Scholars Program. He has a professional background built upon advising college students with a relationship-driven approach. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in business administration in 2013. Before joining the Discovery Scholars Program, he served as an AmeriCorp member with the Austin-based non-profit College Forward, where he worked with students at Texas State University as a college completion coach.


DSP staff member Olyvia MoriartyOlyvia Moriarty
College Life Coach
olyvia.moriarty@austin.utexas.edu

Olyvia is a college life coach with the Discovery Scholars Program. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2015 with a B.A. In Spanish, literature, and culture studies. She has a background working with students throughout her college career and working as an admin since she graduated. Before becoming a college life coach, she served as the administrative associate for the DSP office.


DSP staff member Emily SchroederEmily Schroeder
Program Coordinator
emily.schroeder@austin.utexas.edu

Emily joined the Discovery Scholars Program as a program coordinator in December 2012. She earned her M.Ed. in student personnel in higher education from the University of Florida in April 2011, and holds a B.S. in human resource development from Texas A&M University. She has a broad range of experience in higher education, including peer mentoring, orientation, housing and residential life, and health and promotion services. In her free time, Emily enjoys country western dancing and a delicious Tex Mex meal.


DSP staff member Neil TannerNeil Tanner
Student Development Specialist
neilatanner@austin.utexas.edu

Currently serving as a student development specialist in the Discovery Scholars Program, Neil received his BBA in management from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013. In 2015, he completed his M.Ed. in cultural studies at UT, after which he spent a year working in the Los Angeles tech field. He eventually returned to Austin to serve as a program coordinator for UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Neil’s pedagogy encourages students to become holistic in their studies, balancing academic and leadership opportunities with more social pursuits.