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Julia Guernsey and Ann Johns teach “New World/Old World Encounters: Visualizing Power and Glory.” The course explores the art, architecture, and visual culture of the Old and New Worlds during the Renaissance in Europe and at the height of the Aztec Empire in the Americas. Guernsey is a Precolumbianist who specializes in the art and archaeology of Mesoamerica. Johns, who teaches a long-standing Signature Course on the Vatican and its history, is a specialist in late medieval and Renaissance Italy.
Since 2010, the School of Undergraduate Studies’ Summer Exploration Grant has given UGS students the opportunity to explore their research interests during their summer breaks. Grants can be requested in any amount up to $2,000, and have helped UGS students travel, conduct research in a lab, take unpaid internships, and more. Learn about the 2018 recipients and consider applying for the 2019 Summer Exploration Grant.
This fall, the School of Undergraduate Studies kicked off a new partnership to prepare and support Signature Course teaching assistants (TAs). Through a collaboration with the Faculty Innovation Center (FIC) and the Graduate School, new TAs were able to enroll in a semester-long professional development seminar that will appear on their transcripts as “GRS 097: Fundamentals for Teaching Assistants.” In the course, TAs learn strategies for leading effective discussions and lab sections.
“Being a teaching assistant (TA) has been the highlight of my time at UT. I really enjoy working with my students as we synthesize information from the class lectures and their own learned experiences. When I initially accepted the position I wasn’t fully aware of the responsibility of facilitating discussion groups. It was a little daunting, but it has become my favorite component of the TA position.
Navigating the Forty Acres can be overwhelming. It’s easy for first-year students to feel lost in a sea of resources, especially students without majors. Through participation in Undergraduate Studies (UGS) Council, however, undeclared students are discovering they’re not alone.
Family Weekend, hosted by Texas Parents, welcomed Longhorn families to the Forty Acres to give them a glimpse of what their School of Undergraduate Studies students experience during their first semester at UT.
Since spring 2016, the Public Speaking Center (PSC) has been serving as a valuable resource for UT students seeking to develop and hone their public presentation and speaking skills. Survey data indicates that 98% of students who visit the center would recommend it to their peers, and faculty members partnering with the PSC report that students who use the center earn a full letter grade higher than the class average.
The Sanger Learning Center (SLC) has received a $50,000 gift from the Kelso Foundation of San Antonio to support free tutoring. The gift follows a $25,000 donation from the Coates Foundation in spring 2018 when the SLC was first able to remove fees for one-on-one tutoring. Student demand has surged: last semester, appointments were up 36% over the previous spring. In the first four weeks of this semester, appointments were up 54% over the first four weeks of fall 2017.
This fall, 545 students declared majors after transferring out of the School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS). UGS hosted Transfer Celebration to commend and connect with these students as they start the next step of their journey in colleges and schools across UT Austin.
The twelfth annual University Lecture Series brought first-year students from the Class of 2022 to Bass Concert Hall for two nights of lectures from some of the top faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin. Signature Course students are required to attend one of the lectures, each designed to create a campus-wide conversation. This year’s lectures, Keep Calm and Grow Your Mind, and Turning Points, addressed the importance of education and leadership.

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