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Student Profiles

Click on a student’s name or picture to learn more about their experiences with the Bridging Disciplines Program in the School of Undergraduate Studies. To view student success stories from other UGS programs, visit the student success page.

Major: Finance
BDP Certificate: Smart Cities
Graduation Year: Spring 2023

Smart Cities BDP student Grant Shaffer interned with JLL Technologies where he was able to gain experience in real estate technology.

"This experience confirmed that I'd like to work at the forefront of technology and urban development."
Major: Economics
BDP Certificate: Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits
Graduation Year: Spring 2023

Through a research assistantship in cooperation with the non-profit Project Schoolhouse, Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits BDP student Cecilia Guerra aided in the development of a monitored rainwater collections and filtration system for a Nicaraguan community.

"Working with people from different majors, and being surrounded by different disciplines, is really fulfilling."
Major: Business Honors
BDP Certificate: Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits
Graduation Year: Spring 2022

Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits BDP student Ceinna Little was able to explore non-profits and their role in affordable housing through an independent research project.

"The most rewarding aspect of my Connecting Experience was being able to produce a piece of research that I could showcase and display my skills to graduate schools and future employers."
Major: Biology
BDP Certificate: Digital Arts & Media
Graduation Year: Spring 2022

For her Creative Project, Hannah Barnes wanted to combine the skills she had gained as a Biology major and Digital Arts & Media student. In combining the arts with sciences, she was able to create a partially animated and navigable poster that defined common laboratory procedures under an overarching project known as the Purple Protein Project.

"I gained a sense of fulfillment in being able to convey scientific concepts to my friends, parents, and grandparents in a way that was both educational and fun."
Jacob Blas
Major: Double major in Mexican American & Latina/o Studies and Rhetoric & Writing
BDP Certificate: Human Rights & Social Justice
Graduation Year: Spring 2021

Jacob Blas is pursuing a BDP certificate in Human Rights & Social Justice. This summer, he worked with the Rapoport Center and researchers from Harvard University and Northeastern University, on a research project entitled “The Persistence of Inequality: ‘Essential’ Work and COVID-19” where they looked at the ways the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities among Latinx construction workers in Austin. They also looked at legal and political drivers that have made COVID-19 especially destructive to Latinx and other Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities.

"It is powerful knowing that the work we did this summer will be used to inform, shape, and enhance scholarship and policy in the future."
Maurizio Marcotulli
Major: Civil Engineering
BDP Certificate: Environment & Sustainability
Graduation Year: Spring 2022

Maurizio Marcotulli, a civil engineering major pursuing a BDP certificate in Environment & Sustainability, completed an independent research project where he looked at the applicability of small modular reactors in Latin America. His goal was to see whether there were systemic reasons that small modular reactors could compete on more even grounds with the current popular hydroelectric energy in the region.

"The most rewarding aspect of this experience was how humbling it was. In many ways, I considered myself well informed about most energy sources, as it is a passion of mine, but when I was fully immersed into the world of nuclear energy, I realized that I was naive and out of my element. There were many things considered common knowledge that I had to learn as a foundation to even begin my research, but once I finally got going it was all the more rewarding."
Destiny Gonzales
Major: Science-based psychology
BDP Certificate: Design Strategies
Graduation Year: Spring 2021

Destiny Gonzales, a Psychology major pursuing a BDP Certificate in Design Strategies, worked at ZTech as a UI/UX designer and user researcher. She conducted research on user behavior and identified how the organization could accurately and creatively address user needs.

"I was initially focused on integrating design into my psychology background and becoming more of a generalist in design without any specialization. After this Connecting Experience, I have gained confidence as a UI/UX designer and user researcher, and would like to pursue opportunities that incorporate psychology in my design work."
Keyanna Maxwell headshot
Major: Health and Society
BDP Certificate: Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship
Graduation Year: Spring 2020

Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship student Keyanna Maxwell conducted market research to better understand startup needs and failures, looking specifically at startups in creative arenas. She explored the intersections between these types of businesses as she prepared to create a business plan for a makers studio focused on baking, cooking classes, sewing, and other creative endeavors.

"The most rewarding aspect of my Connecting Experience was talking with people who have a variety of backgrounds and experiences who were able to share different ways of starting a business.”
veronica remmert headshot
Major: Biology
BDP Certificate: Social Inequality, Health & Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2019

Veronica Remmert, completing a BDP in Social Inequality, Health & Policy with an emphasis in Public Health, conducted research focused on the health needs of four communities in rural Puebla, Mexico and created an inventory of health resources in each community. As a winner of the President’s Award for Global Learning, her research will be used to inform a comprehensive needs assessment for each community, which will be implemented this summer.

“This Connecting Experience made me consider how I want to integrate public health and social determinants of health into my future career. Through this experience, I know that I want to continue to work in the public health field”
Isheta Kumar headshot
Major: Chemistry and Economics
BDP Certificate: Public Policy
Graduation Year: Spring 2020

Isheta Kumar, majoring in Chemistry and Economics and completing a BDP certificate in Public Policy, interned with Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), an organization dedicated to funding promising scientific innovations. While at ATI, Isheta had the opportunity to research the public benefit funds used by over 30 states to provide funding for renewable energy research. Texas is one of the few states without such a fund, so she used her research to craft a proposal for Texas to create a public benefit fund.

“By immersing myself in an environment where I learned something new about the industry every day, I learned how science, business, and policy intersect in an ever-changing field.”