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Meet UGS Students

Blair Rhodes
Major: Psychology
BDP Certificate: Children & Society
Graduation Year: Fall 201

I work for Integral Care as an Intake Counselor. I conduct bio-psycho-social assessments with clients seeking community mental health services.

Location: Austin, TX

“BDP helped shape my collaboration skills by exposing me to multiple perspectives outside of my own school of thought, which is vital to social work practice.”
Nida Virani
Major: Psychology
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Fall 2013

I am earning an MD at Texas A&M College of Medicine

Location: Temple, TX

“The courses I took for BDP allowed me to see the complexities of social and health inequities. I realized that simply wanting to make a change isn't enough; you have to understand the context of the issues you want to address.”
tonia wu
Major: Public Health
BDP Certificate: Ethics & Leadership
Graduation Year: Spring 2018

Tonia Wu, a Public Health major pursuing the Ethics & Leadership in Health Care BDP, served as a health policy intern at the Alliance for Health Reform, a non-partisan organization in Washington, D.C. focused on analyzing the policy implications of health care reform law at the federal and state level.

“This has challenged me to educate and improve my ability to work in health policy, which is more than what I could have gained solely from academics.”
Zoe Labos
Major: Communication Sciences & Disorders
BDP Certificate: Children & Society
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

An internship at The Contemporary Austin offered Children & Society BDP student Zoe Labos an opportunity to learn creative ways of engaging children and families with the arts, a concept she hopes to take with her in her future career as a Speech Language Pathologist.

“Through my Connecting Experience I realized that I enjoy developing content for children's programming that encourages creativity and self-expression.”
Thomas Hair
Major: Public Relations
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

Thomas Hair, majoring in Public Relations, completed his Environment & Sustainability BDP with an internship at Colorado River Alliance, where he worked with the organization’s communications and social media as well as led environmental education sessions for middle schoolers in Austin ISD.

“It is nice to make a difference promoting issues I care about like water conservation and education.”
Stephanie Cree
Major: Advertising
BDP Certificate: Digital Arts & Media
Graduation Year: Summer 2017

Stephanie Cree developed animated book covers for her Digital Arts & Media Creative Project, The World Inside . In redesigning the covers of some of her favorite books, Stephanie integrated her skills in animation and website construction with her passion for literature.

“My Connecting Experience has inspired me to branch out more. I think that digital art and media open the doors to many opportunities in other areas of study.”
Madison Benvegnu
Major: Marketing
BDP Certificate: Media, Culture & Identities
Graduation Year: Spring 2017

Marketing major and Media, Culture & Identities student Madison Benvegnu analyzed representations of villains in animated Disney films, which led her to an exploration of the presentations of overarching themes of right and wrong and the need for villains in a story.

“It was rewarding to take complete ownership of a project from start to finish and see how it evolved over time through trial and error.”
Julianna Maxwell
Major: Communication Studies - Corporate Communications
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Spring 2018

Corporate Communications major and Environment & Sustainability BDP student Julianna Maxwell completed an internship with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), promoting and administering the Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program. She was able to put her communication background to use in a professional setting and considered ways to advocate for sustainability while meeting corporate needs.

“This internship has helped me see that there are many ways to advocate for practices that meet environmental needs while also meeting business requirements.”
Elisa Friedmann
Major: Biochemistry & Plan II
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Fall 2017

Elisa Friedmann, completing the Environment & Sustainability BDP, developed a interactive web application to present and compare water samples collected by the Longhorn Stream Team with those from high-profile data sources, such as the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality. She also compared data received from lab testing to that collected on-site, to determine the reliability of citizen science testing implements.

“My connection to the Beach Labs has given me field and laboratory experience that has been invaluable during my time at UT Austin.”
Brooke Johnson
Major: Studio Art & Art History
BDP Certificate: Museum Studies
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

In her internship with Bale Creek Allen Gallery, Brooke Johnson, completing a BDP in Museum Studies as well as majors in Studio Art and Art History, deepened her understanding of the roles of curator and artist. In addition to coordinating art shows, social media and PR for the gallery, Brooke also developed an independent project reflecting on the artist-as-curator in museum spaces.

"The most rewarding aspect of my Connecting Experience was how well my coursework this semester has tied into my BDP experiences. I took an anthropology course that really helped shape the way I view curating and museum management."

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