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Undergraduate Studies Welcomes Class of 2024, Virtually

The School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS) celebrated the kick off of the fall semester with three events.

Leadership Summit

More than 40 first-year students attended the 2020 Undergraduate Studies Leadership Summit. During the four-day virtual retreat, UGS students learned about leadership styles, made new friends, and received advice from upperclassmen on how to ease the transition to college.

Students also interacted with UT leaders like UGS Dean Brent Iverson, Dr. John Daly from the Department of Communication Studies, and Dr. Tiffany Lewis and Thaïs Bass-Moore from the Fearless Leadership Institute. Speakers discussed the essential nature of good communication skills and demonstrated how they apply their unique skills and personality traits to lead effectively.

Students also heard from a panel of former UGS students who shared what they wished they had known during their first year of college. The retreat concluded with a social hosted by UGS Council at which students learned more about the organization and other student leadership roles on campus.

Reading Round-Up

While the eighteenth annual Reading Round-Up may have looked a little different this year, UT Austin’s largest book club continued its tradition of bringing first-year students and faculty together over their shared love of great books. This year’s Reading Round-Up allowed our newest Longhorns to travel to far off places and explore new ideas without ever leaving their seats.

Professor Jessica Toste's Reading Round-Up Session

Over the summer, the Class of 2024 selected a book to read from a diverse list curated by distinguished professors. On the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 25, students and faculty gathered online over Zoom to discuss their books, giving students their first glimpse of the college experience before classes began the next day.

“I have always admired the Reading Round-Up and am so happy to have gotten to participate,” said Professor Charlotte Canning, Department of Theatre and Dance. “My students were energetic, prepared, and so so so smart! We had a wonderful, wide-ranging conversation and they had so many great things to say. They all said how much they loved starting their college careers this way.”

Gone to UGS

Incoming UGS students attended the annual Gone to Undergraduate Studies celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 25. Although students couldn’t gather in person and enjoy the traditional barbecue dinner, they were able to experience the annual tradition as a live, virtual event. Dean Iverson kicked things off and welcomed everyone, and then students socialized with their peers. Academic advisors and representatives from various UGS programs met with students in small groups and answered questions.

“I thought these events were super welcoming, supportive, and enjoyable. As Dean Iverson put it, this signified the start of a journey where we can choose our own path,” said Andres Suniaga, an incoming UGS freshman from Houston. “I’d encourage all future first-year students to participate because it was a good opportunity to grow and be greater.”

UGS Council Zoom Gone to UGS Screenshot
UGS Council speaks at Gone to UGS 2020