I was born in Dallas, TX and attended Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts, where I studied costume construction. In high school I was involved in a number of honor societies, founded a discussion group called the “Coffee Bean Society,” and rowed crew on White Rock Lake, in Lakewood where I grew up. Though I was interested in the arts, I was always equally interested in science and took as many science classes as my school offered. My introduction to scientific research came after my junior year in high school when I interned at UT Southwestern in a neuroscience lab. Coming to UT, I majored in Plan II Honors and fine arts. After some very inspiring classes and a change of heart, I switched into the College of Natural Sciences where I have found my home. First majoring in neuroscience, then biochemistry, I spent my first two years at UT exploring different areas of science and performing various kinds of research. I currently work in the Arlen Johnson lab, where I study ribosome biogenesis. I plan on attending graduate school to pursue a PhD in molecular biology.
Biochemistry; Plan II Honors
Plan II Honors
Other Academic Interests:
Biochemistry (major), biology, chemistry, molecular biology, yeast genetics, cancer research, translational and basic science research, French (minor), creative writing, English and American Literature
I have been involved in research since my freshman year, working in various labs on campus, on topics ranging from eukaryotic heat shock response, human-yeast genetic interactions, and ribosome biogenesis in yeast. I have received several grants for this work and interned at MD Anderson in the summer of 2017, working on a preclinical evaluation of a synergistic drug treatment in head and neck cancer cells. Outside of research I have been involved in Texas for Expanding Opportunity, which works to improve extracurricular involvement in underserved communities in Austin, The Nobelity Project, which is a local non-profit which builds schools in Kenya and works to improve conditions in underserved Austin-Bastrop area schools. I have also been active in Texas Hillel, the center for Jewish life on campus, and Camp Texas, the spirit orientation camp run by Texas Exes.
What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
I was mostly drawn to the Forty Acres Scholars Program because of the special experience it provides to its students. Through funding, special programming with Alumni and community leaders, and access to events and mentorship, this program has truly given me a world-class undergraduate experience. UT Austin is an amazing institution in its own right; however, I knew that the Forty Acres Scholars Program would give me an experience during my four years as an undergraduate that I could not find anywhere else. Looking back at the connections I’ve made with faculty and alumni, the events I’ve been able to attend, and the family I’ve found in my cohort, I can safely say applying to UT Austin and interviewing for this program was the best and most important decision I’ve ever made.
What makes your scholar cohort unique?
My scholar cohort is a highly motivated group of my peers who I can turn to with any issue. I am constantly captivated by the breadth and depth of their talents and knowledge and always inspired by their success. I’ve never had such deep and thoughtful conversations, shared goals, and been able to rely on others like I have with this family I found through the Forty Acres Scholars Program.
Favorite FASP Memory
Just one of the many great memories this program has given me was our sophomore retreat, where we went camping at Enchanted Rock. I loved seeing my friends in the outdoors, and taking in this beautiful state park together.
What do you want prospective students to know about the University of Texas?
From my own college application experience and through talking to prospective UT students and FASP applicants, I have seen many high-achieving students (myself included, at one point) feel like they need to go to a private, name-brand university in order to reach their potential or validate their intelligence and hard work in high school. To that I say, it’s not where you go, it’s what you do when you’re there. No one student will be able to navigate, let alone take advantage of, all the resources any university has to offer. Your undergraduate success and experience come down to the connections you make and the opportunities you are exposed to. That being said, your ability to forge your undergraduate experience will be helped or hindered by those you surround yourself with. Coming to UT, and being in the Forty Acres Scholars Program has given me, my cohort, and everyone in the program, a position to succeed that few students will ever find at any university, ever. Through the dedicated staff, programming, and network available to us through the genius students in the program, faculty, and alumni, no other program, no other scholarship, major, or university, will help you more to actualize your goals, and reach your potential. I realized I could go to a school like Stanford and be another normal sized fish in a very big pond, or i could join other very large fish in a very large pond by being a Forty Acres Scholar.