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Terrian Spurs, a senior communication and leadership student, started at UT Austin in the School of Undergraduate Studies. Before graduating next spring, she reflects on her time as a first-gen Longhorn.
Former Undergraduate Studies student Aleigha Jalomo is currently pursuing an advertising degree. Before she graduates next spring, Aleigha shares her experience as a first-gen student on the Forty Acres.
Ryan Hightower, a former Undergraduate Studies student, is a sophomore studying economics and human dimensions of organization (HDO). She is a first-generation Longhorn with plenty of advice to share about finding your way on the Forty Acres.
Every year, the School of Undergraduate Studies commissions artwork for its annual Reading Round-Up program. This year’s art was created by Jon Flaming. How did you get started as an artist? Is this a talent you’ve been developing your whole life, or did you find art later on?
Vanessa Garcia, an academic advising coordinator in the Vick Center for Strategic Advising, has received recognition as the 2021 Student Success Champion. Vanessa works with undeclared students in the School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS) and declared students in other schools and colleges at the university who are looking to explore all of their academic options. Student Success Initiatives created the competitive award to honor a faculty or staff member who goes above and beyond every day on behalf of students.
Mandy Vachon, a senior Transfer-Year Interest Group (TrIG) mentor, is a finalist for the 2021 President’s Student Employee of the Year Award. Vachon is a TrIG mentor, a member of the Non-Traditional Students Advisory Board, and an officer and former president of the New Wave Longhorns student organization for non-traditional students. Establishing a strong community for non-traditional and transfer students at UT has always been important to her.
One of the semester’s larger projects for Undergraduate Studies Council (UGSC), the official student organization for the School of Undergraduate Studies, involved passing legislation through the Senate of College Councils. As students adapted to online learning, UGSC found that many students valued the flexibility of virtual appointments and resources.
As part of Research Week 2021, the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) hosted the annual Longhorn Research Poster Session as an online event April 14-15. Students presented more than 130 research posters on interdisciplinary topics ranging from government to medicine to molecular biology. The top presenters were selected for $2,000, $1,000, and $500 awards. Judges also selected a $500 poster design award winner and UT undergraduates voted for a $1,000 audience choice award.

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