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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: Psychology
BDP Certificate: Ethics & Leadership
Graduation Year: Spring 2024

Interning with Kids Tooth Team Outreach allowed Ethics & Leadership in Health Care BDP student Alyssa Nunn to gain experience in non-profit healthcare.

"My participation in this Connecting Experience has helped to reinforce my passion for achieving a more equitable healthcare system."
Major: Biology: Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
BDP Certificate: Museum Studies
Graduation Year: Spring 2025

Through a research assistantship with the UT Insect Collection Museum Studies BDP student Abby Jones was able to support the collection and develop lesson plans designed to engage elementary and middle school students in a variety of insect biology topics.

"I feel more confident in my choice to pursue a career in science education because I enjoyed this Connecting Experience so much."
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.”