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UGS Students Spend the Summer Exploring Majors

The Summer Exploration Grant will enable three Undergraduate Studies students to learn more about academic interests and career options.

Great White Shark Conservation

Lauren Kelliher is passionate about math. After meeting with career counselors, her goals became clear: Kelliher will combine her passion for math with her desire to research conservation efforts and educate the public. This summer she will research an environmental cause she cares deeply about, great white shark conservation in South Africa. Kelliher will track sharks, gather data, and work with an analysis team to spread awareness about the great white shark population.

“In South Africa, I will see the opportunities that await as I pursue mathematics and research,” Kelliher wrote in her application essay. “This experience could validate math as my career.”

Shadowing Doctors in Portugal

This year Lauren Haley began volunteering at Dell Children’s Medical Center. She always dreamed of becoming a doctor and her time at the medical center reaffirmed her passion. This summer, Haley will broaden her experience in medicine when she travels to Lisbon, Portugal to work alongside doctors in the field.

“Getting this hands-on experience will open my eyes to what it really means to be a doctor,” Haley wrote in her application essay. “If I am confident in my career path, I will be motivated to work even harder when I come back to UT this fall.”

Practicing Spanish in Spain

Andrea Gandaria was raised in Chihuahua, Mexico. Since moving to Texas at age 15, she misses her native language and culture. Through career exploration, Gandaria found a way to combine her dream career, advertising, with her Spanish-speaking origins. Gandaria hopes to pursue marketing targeted at Spanish-speaking clients. To practice her Spanish and study its origins, this summer Gandaria will travel to Santander, Spain.

“Being bilingual is a great skill that I want to take advantage of,” Gandaria wrote in her application essay. “As an advertising professional, you need to constantly interact with people from all over the world.”

About the Summer Exploration Grant

The School of Undergraduate Studies offers competitive grants to students seeking funds to promote academic and career exploration. Past Summer Exploration Grant recipients have taught English in Peru, provided medical and dental services in Honduras, learned about agricultural engineering in northern Africa, and observed speech-language pathologists in Texas.

Grant applicants must be enrolled in UGS and submit a current résumé, personal statement describing the goals of their summer experience, proposed budget, and a letter of recommendation from a professor or TA. Grants can be requested in any amount up to $2,000. Learn more about the grant and application process.