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“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 served 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.
Research has played a significant role in the lives of Kim and Scott Martin and they’ve decided to give back with a donation to the Office of Undergraduate Research. Their passion for academic research was sparked by personal experience—the diagnosis of their son, Scott, with Type B Hemophilia. “We saw real outcomes in what researchers were doing all across the country,” Kim said.
Dr. Astrid Runggaldier works with the Bridging Disciplines Programs (BDP) as a member of the faculty panel for the Museum Studies certificate and has served as a faculty mentor for BDP students. Dr. Runggaldier is the Assistant Director for the Mesoamerica Center, manages UT’s Art and Art History Collection of Pre-Columbian artifacts and ethnographic textiles from the Americas, and teaches undergraduate classes in the Department of Art and Art History.
Fifteen years after the first cohort of students began pursuing their certificates, alumni of the Bridging Disciplines Programs (BDP) are volunteering their time and wisdom as mentors for a new generation of BDP students. After a successful pilot in spring 2017 with eight students and five alumni mentors, the BDP Alumni Mentor Program expanded for fall 2017 to include over 85 alumni from across the United States and abroad were matched with 95 students for the full academic year.

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