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Meet UGS Students

valeria montemayor headshot
Major: Studio Art
BDP Certificate: Digital Arts & Media
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

Valeria Montemayor, Digital Arts & Media student and Studio Art major, created an animated comic named Skull-Kidz!, which gave her the chance to combine animation and comic books in a unique way that allowed her to expand her skills as a digital artist. She also had the opportunity to engage with an online audience, write her own scripts, and build her “portfolio“https://valeriamontemayor.carbonmade.com/.

"I've realized now that there's no need to box myself in one category."
sriram palepu headshot
Major: Business and Biology
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Spring 2020

Sriram Palepu, majoring in both Business and Biology and completing the Environment & Sustainability BDP certificate, conducted research in India on the effects of mercury content on the fishing industry of the Godavari River. He focused on whether or not a correlation existed between fish mercury content and neurodegenerative diseases in the area of Andhra Pradesh, India.

The most rewarding aspect of this experience has been finding patterns and explanations for the data that I collected, because it means I can get closer to finding a solution.
kelsey moreland headshot
Major: Genetics & Genomics
BDP Certificate: Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits
Graduation Year: Spring 2020

Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits student Kelsey Moreland completed a research project exploring Kaqchikel language politics and the impact of aid in Kaqchikel communities. Her research was conducted in Tecpan, Guatemala where she worked with Wuqu’ Kawoq Maya Health Alliance, a NGO that focuses on the healthcare and well-being of native communities. This research experience provided Kelsey with the opportunity to better understand how language, health, culture, and social justice can influence a community

"It was through this experience that I gained the confidence in my own voice that I needed in order to move forward with the drive to effect change and understanding."
Brittney Vanderwoude headshot
Major: Biochemistry
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

Completing a BDP in Social Inequality, Health & Policy and majoring in Biochemistry, Brittney van der Woude completed an internship with Circle of Health International in Austin, where she served as an executive assistant to the founder of the organization. She helped to organize and plan the “In Her Shoes” campaign, in addition to other tasks. This experience allowed Brittney to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of pregnant women living in crisis zones.

"My desire to help people has only strengthened through this experience, and I now have a clearer idea that I want to do that as a physician."
andrew duna headshot
Major: Computer Science
BDP Certificate: Digital Arts & Media
Graduation Year: Spring 2018

Digital Arts & Media student Andrew Duna’s Creative Project exposed him to the disciplines of visual design, music, and technology. The project, called Tweets to Beats, contains an algorithm that scans a Twitter user’s tweets and uses the data to compose songs. He also had the opportunity to develop coding and web development skills, as the project was housed on a web platform.

"It was so rewarding to see how seemingly unrelated coursework could be intertwined in such a complementary and natural way."
jennifer agwagom headshot
Major: Biochemistry
BDP Certificate: Children & Society
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

Jennifer Agwagom, completing a BDP in Children & Society and majoring in Biochemistry, conducted independent research exploring the effects that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have on the birth outcome of an infant from a mother with a high ACE score. This allowed her to
examine potential generational trends and highlight the need for early intervention and prevention in children’s health.

"I realized that I have a very strong interest in public health in relation to social work and health disparities. [...] I now know that I want to start a clinic that will focus on early intervention in children."
joshua gharis headshot
Major: Human Ecology
BDP Certificate: Digital Arts & Media
Graduation Year: Fall 2017

A Human Ecology major completing a BDP in Digital Arts & Media, Joshua Gharis created a series of 3D printable outfits, a collection of digital outfits and textiles able to be physically printed with a 3D printer. He designed and digitally sculpted the clothing pieces, then modeled the 3D elements with software and combined it into a rendered video displaying the different designs.

"I definitely know now that I want my future to include art and creativity [...] I know that artneeds to have a place in my life."
alyssa miller headshot
Major: Art History
BDP Certificate: Museum Studies
Graduation Year: Spring 2018

Museum Studies student Alyssa Miller, an Art History major, interned at Art From the Streets, an organization that offers homeless people a space to create and sell art. The experience allowed her an opportunity to see how philanthropy and art intersect. She was exposed to issues related to planning gallery shows, fundraising, marketing, and non-profit administration. She was also able to learn about the difficulties and issues associated with planning and curating exhibitions in a gallery.

“It was extremely rewarding to interact with the artists and see them receive so much return on their effort.”
Photo of Natasha
Major: Mathematics
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

As a tutor, Natasha helps students adjust to college level coursework and reach their academic goals in math and science.

"The most rewarding part of tutoring students at the Sanger Center is helping them acquire the critical thinking skills and study habits to become more independent learners."
Photo of Vik Shirvaikar
Major: Math and Economics
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

As a PLUS peer coordinator, Vik works with facilitators and professors to promote academic success.

"Guiding students to figure out questions or concepts is nice, but the most rewarding part is seeing how they evolve as problem-solvers over the course of a semester."