Congratulations to the Class of 2022!
Posted May 19, 2022
Throughout their four years on campus, the 20 scholars in the Class of 2022 founded businesses and organizations and held key leadership positions. They researched, interned, and studied abroad around the world—all while supporting one another and earning a combined 26 undergraduate degrees with a handful continuing their undergraduate education in fifth-year programs.
As these scholars begin their next phase, they are heading off to sought-after graduate programs and a variety of jobs around the country. Read more about their experiences with the program and their plans for the future below.
Hannah is from Scottsdale, Arizona and is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Global Studies, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Portuguese. After graduation she will be spending the summer walking the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, then she will complete a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant in Portugal over the next year. After that comes law school!
"The Forty Acres Scholars Program has given me the resources and encouragement to pursue a path that is uniquely my own. Through a community full of empowered and supportive individuals, I have been inspired to seek out new opportunities, look for new ways of doing things, and constantly seek growth in all areas of my life," Hannah says. "I learned to take advantage of opportunities, even those that seem ‘random’ or ‘out there.’ I've had the most wonderful learning experiences by the most unexpected things, from learning Portuguese (in Wisconsin of all places) to developing wilderness medicine skills in Arizona. My biggest piece of advice is not to be afraid to take the road less traveled because it can be a beautiful journey."
Hannah is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by Glenn and Sally Goss. You can read more about her here.
Phillip is from Flower Mound, Texas and is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering Honors, as well as a minor in Business. Following graduation, he is excited to impact the energy and tech sectors by working as a Cloud and Digital Strategy Associate at Strategy& in Houston.
“It is impossible to reminisce on my incredibly transformative experiences at UT without the Forty Acres Scholars Program being front of mind," Phillip says. "This loving, tight-knit community of Texas Exes staff, alumni, faculty, and fellow scholars have blessed me with their encouragement, mentorship, and friendship and truly enabled me to explore my interests and drive positive impact here in Austin and around the world. They have sparked my confidence to lead student organizations and initiatives and inspired me to expand my horizons and enrich my cultural perspective by studying abroad in both Japan and Denmark. Being a part of this adventurous, thoughtful, and passionate cohort of scholars has not only taught me to chase my dreams but has also provided me the lifelong connections, memories, and lessons to achieve them.”
While studying abroad in Denmark, Phillip found an unexpected way to challenge himself. “I discovered a passion for connecting with others through ballroom dancing," Phillip says. "During my senior year at UT, I’ve enjoyed serving as a student instructor for UT’s social dance courses. The diversity in styles from Swing, Latin, Waltz, Tango, and many others means there's always something new and challenging to learn, and in my free time, my friends and I love exploring different dance venues around Austin.”
Phillip is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by the Cockrell School of Engineering, as well as the Chevron Enrichment Award. You can read more about him here.
Marshall is from Dallas, Texas and will be graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Business Honors, Plan II Honors, and Finance. After graduation, Marshall will be moving to Boston to be a Private Equity Analyst at Bain Capital.
“FASP has been a life-changing experience for me. Not only did it provide me with funds to get through college and explore the broader world, but it gave me an amazing group of friends that made my UT years truly special.”
Marshall has some great memories from the last four years, like representing UT at the Jeopardy! National College Championship. “As someone who loves trivia, meeting Alex Trebek before he passed away was incredible,” he says. He also traveled abroad several times and went to places like Belize, Athens, and Madrid. “Traveling and exploring the world is one of the most impactful ways to grow as a person,” Marshall says. “Our senior retreat in Belize was a dream trip to an amazing country that allowed me to bond with some of my best friends,”as well as “Visiting Athens for the first time. I loved getting to visit all of the historic sites, and the abundance of cats was really cool.”
Marshall is the recipient of the Elizabeth Shatto Massey and John H. Massey Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about him here.
Brian is from Port Isabel, Texas and will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science and Arts in Biology Honors this May. After graduation, he will be attending McGovern Medical School in Houston.
“The Forty Acres Scholars Program has forever changed my life,” he says. “Through the program, I have served on medical mission trips in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. I have spent summers in Austin, conducting brain research at Dell Children's Medical Center. I have also been able to travel to Israel and Palestine where I learned about the cultural, political, and historical sites in the region. I would have never imagined traveling to all these places during my four years in Austin. I am thankful for the strong friendships and mentors I have gained throughout my time at UT. The Forty Acres Scholars Program provides scholars the opportunity to turn our wildest dreams into a reality.”
Some of Brian’s favorite memories are attending the Red River Showdown with some of his FASP friends and traveling to Belize with his cohort and going horseback riding in the jungle. “You can make the most out of every opportunity afforded to you. What starts here really does change the world” Brian says.
Brian is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by Beverly and Will O'Hara. You can read more about him here.
Abby is from Austin, Texas and will be graduating in 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science.
Abby is the recipient of the Bransford Trust Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about her here.
Ashish is from Pearland, Texas and will be graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Honors, Bachelor of Arts in Plan II Honors, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. Following graduation, he will be starting as a business analyst at McKinsey & Co. in Dallas, Texas.
“My greatest lesson from college is that momentum is real,” he says. “Whether it’s with work, relationships, or your personal life, success builds upon success. The hardest ‘wins’ are the first ones, so do not be afraid to toil in the early innings. Instead, stay focused on your long-term vision and work towards that goal from as many different avenues as possible. Once you dedicate yourself and remain persistent, you will be surprised at how many doors begin to open for you!”
“My favorite memory from the program has to be our final Annual Dinner as seniors,” Asish says. “It felt incredible to see the entire Forty Acres community—scholars, parents, donors, alumni, and staff—joined together in celebration of the program. At the dinner, I was able to recount my personal story to the audience. This retelling allowed me to reflect on the tremendous blessing the Forty Acres Scholars Program has been for me and give thanks to everyone who made it possible.”
Ashish is the recipient of the Barbara and Alan Dreeben Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about him here.
Soren Ettinger DeCou
Soren is from Houston, Texas. She will be graduating in May of 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering Honors, a Bachelor of Arts in Plan II Honors, and a Minor in Chinese. This summer, Soren will be working for the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. as an intern!
“Over the past four years, I have come to understand the difference between intrinsic and extrinsically driven success. I will never live up to my own expectations if my definition of success is determined by what others prescribe for me,” he says. “My passions, values, and soul should drive me—not external expectations and arbitrary measures of success. The FASP program support me and my peers on our journeys on campus and off. I am so lucky to be surrounded by my FASP scholar peers who are incredible models of value-driven success.”
“The exceptional financial, academic, and personal investment Texas Exes makes in each scholar has changed my life,” he says. “The FASP program has become a home and a heart, filled with loving friends, impactful mentors, and unforgettable experiences. I am a better student, professional, and person because of the Forty Acres Scholars program. I can't wait to continue to learn and grow as a FASP alumni and give back to the UT community that has provided me with so much! Hook 'em!”
Soren is the recipient of the Stuart W. Stedman Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about her here.
Anne La Grange
Anne is from Palmhurst, Texas and is graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Honors and Finance. She will be moving to New York City after graduation to work in commercial banking at JPMorgan.
"The program introduced me to my closest friends and biggest inspirations," Anne says. "Their support was more akin to family than friendship and made campus feel like home." Anne studied abroad three times while at UT and brought home great memories of accidentally skiing her first black diamond route in Switzerland. “I was terrified the whole way down but felt a sense of accomplishment as soon as I hit the bottom,” she says. In Hong Kong, she camped overnight and went cliff jumping in Sai Kung Park—and had another unintentional adventure. “We started our hike a little too late and ended up trekking in the dark until finding our campsite on a remote beach,” Anne says. “It was grueling and maybe a little dangerous, but sunrise the next morning made it 100 percent worth it.”
Anne is the recipient of the Madison Charitable Foundation Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about her here.
Kerry is from Fort Worth, Texas and will be receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Plan II and Government. After she graduates in May, Kerry will be serving Representative Jasmine Crockett (TX-100) as her Operations Director. She hopes to expand her impact by working for additional progressive legislators and nonprofits.
"I think a lot of people assume that the biggest benefit of the Forty Acres Scholars Program is the financial support scholars receive. While graduating debt-free from college is really, really nice, I'd venture to say that it is the people associated with the program—scholars, alumni, staff—that have made the biggest impact on me while I've attended college,” Kerry says. “I'll never forget how so many people in my cohort mobilized to get me elected to Student Government Assembly, or how scholar alumni helped me secure a policy internship in D.C., or how Whitney, a Texas Exes staff member, checked in with me every semester. My time at UT Austin has not always been easy, but the Forty Acres Scholars program has provided me with so many people invested in my success that I've never felt I was without the support I needed to overcome and grow from the challenges I've faced."
While at UT, her favorite pastime has developed through her interest in modern art. "Ever since I took an art history class my freshman year of college, I've been fascinated with modern art,” she says. “I try to make it a priority to visit every new exhibit at the Blanton Museum of Art on campus and visit an art museum everywhere I travel. When I was in D.C. with the Archer Fellowship Program, I bussed to New York for a weekend and spent an entire day—opening to closing—admiring works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art."
Kerry is the recipient of the Waltrip/Texas Exes Fort Worth Chapter Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about her here.
Alex is from Alton, Texas and is receiving his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He will be moving to Denver, Colorado to work as a satellite systems engineer for Lockheed Martin at Buckley Space Force Base after graduation.
“My greatest takeaway from college is that networking and hard work will always trump sheer intelligence," Alex says. "It's so important to put yourself out there, whether it be in student orgs or with your professors, because you never know when a connection you make will come in handy. Also, everyone here at this university is incredibly talented and intelligent, but in order to stand out you have to work hard and always persevere. Don't overburden yourself though; find your passion and the rest will come easy.”
Alex will be using his enrichment stipend post-graduation. “The pandemic prevented me from going abroad in the summer of 2020, so I'm excited to get the chance back," he says. "I will be doing a Maymester in nuclear science and engineering in London, where I'll get the chance to visit local nuclear facilities, explore the U.K., and potentially visit my favorite Premier League team's stadium!” When he's not playing intramural sports, Alex also likes to have game nights with his friends. "My favorite memories during my time here at UT are probably the board game nights I would have with my friends," Alex says. "We would play Monopoly until 4 a.m. sometimes, and we would go to Target at least once a month to find new games to play. It's something I'll probably miss the most once I move away from Austin."
Alex is the recipient of the Cain, Denius, McGill Family Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about him here.
Lucious McDaniel IV
Lucious is from Frisco, Texas and will be receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business Honors and Management Information Systems. After he graduates in May, Lucious will be a private equity analyst at General Atlantic in New York City.
“My greatest takeaway is that what you do outside of the classroom is oftentimes just as important as what you do inside,” he says. “Focus on joining organizations that you are passionate about and develop strong relationships with friends, mentors, and professors.”
“My favorite memory at UT is attending football games every year and seeing DKR filled to the brim with burnt-orange,” Lucious says, reflecting on some great memories from the past four years. “I loved attending the Outstanding Young Texas Exes events every year. It was a great opportunity to hear from alumni who were changing the world across all industries and career paths.”
Lucious is the recipient of the George Kozmetsky Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about him here.
Michael is from San Antonio, Texas and will be graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Honors and Finance. After graduation, Michael has plans this summer to travel to India, most of Europe, and Thailand. He is also studying abroad at the London School of Economics. Michael will be starting full-time work at Bain & Co. management consulting firm in Austin, Texas.
“The Forty Acres Scholars Program has given me the best group of friends anyone could ask for,” he says. “They push me to be a better person and professional and I love spending time with them.”
As a cohort, the current seniors have spent many of their retreats and hangouts playing games like “Mafia”, many of them describing these in their favorite memories. “Playing mind games with Phillip Boltan and convincing him I'm mafia when I'm just a civilian was hilarious. Also taking out Marshall the first round no matter what was pretty funny. It didn't matter where we were... whether Belize or a ranch in the middle of nowhere, we always played epic Mafia games,” Michael said. One of his other favorite memories from his time at UT was his freshman year when Texas beat OU. “Watching Dicker kick the final field goal to win as time expired was incredible. After three years of losses to OU, I have held onto that game for dear life.”
Michael is the recipient of the Lenora and Walter F. Brown San Antonio Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about him here.
Melissa Porras Paniagua
Melissa is from Spring, Texas and will be receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration in Canfield Business Honors and Marketing, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in French Studies. After graduating, she will be working as a strategy analyst for Accenture in Houston, Texas.
“College is a time for self-discovery and exploration,” she says. “Over the years, I have searched for and found places on campus that make me feel most welcomed and like myself, taken classes outside of my major to feed my intellectual curiosity, and made a variety of degree combinations on Excel sheets to figure out what is right for me. I have grown as a person and learned so much about myself over the last four years at UT than I have anywhere else.”
Melissa just recently used her enrichment stipend to study abroad in Paris this past fall. “I got to travel with old UT friends, new friends, and loved ones,” she says. “I visited nine countries during my time there and got to hone my French speaking skills. My semester in Paris made me realize how much I love my city, and I'm itching to go back soon! I grew so much as a person and made the greatest memories I'll treasure for a lifetime.”
Melissa is the recipient of the Sylvie and Gary Crum Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about her here.
Elizabeth is from Spanish Fort, Alabama and is graduating with a Bachelor of Social Work.
Elizabeth is the recipient of the Tom and Sally Dunning Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about her here.
Emily is from Fort Worth, Texas and will be graduating in May with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is a registered nurse and will be at Ascension Seton Medical Center on Cardiovascular/IMC floor post-graduation!
“My favorite memory from my enrichment experience was volunteering as a medic at the Oosik Classic Nordic Ski Race in Talkeetna, Alaska. Participants ranged from competitive skiers to locals donning bizarre costumes, and the environment was infectiously fun. I was able utilize my wilderness first responder training while interacting with the community,” she says.
“The Forty Acres Scholars Program has allowed me so many opportunities that I never thought possible during my college experience," Emily says. "Being a Forty Acres Scholar helped me form a community of people across colleges and academic interests that I would have never interacted with otherwise. Being surrounded by such inspiring scholars and supportive staff pushes me every day to be the best version of myself. “
Emily is the recipient of the Jeanne L. and Michael L. Klein Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about her here.
Jillian is from Frisco, Texas and will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and History in May. After graduation she is excited to begin as Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27)'s D.C. Scheduler. This fall, she will also begin an Master’s in Legislative Affairs at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.
"I learned to fully invest myself where I am. Inconsistency was most likely the most consistent aspect of my time at the University of Texas,” she says. “As I spent time in Austin, Frisco, Seoul, and Washington D.C., and met so many incredible people each semester, I learned to fully immerse myself in my surroundings. I learned the most and found the greatest experiences when I let myself put everything into my current moment, rather than missing the old or planning on the next. Going forward, I know how important it is to fully connect with the people and places around me."
Jillian's favorite memory from the program is from her sophomore retreat. "We gathered together in a ranch house in Dripping Springs and spent the day hiking before making s’mores and playing card games until early the next morning” she says. “On this retreat, I had the chance to build closer friendships with other scholars and catch up with many that I had not seen much throughout the year."
Jillian is the recipient of the Friends of Darrell K Royal Forty Acres Scholarship and the Marilyn Marshall White Enrichment Award. You can read more about her here.
Michael is from Spring, Texas and will be graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Honors and Finance, as well as a minor in Management. Following graduation, Michael will be working at Dell Technologies in the Financial Development Program.
“I could never fully explain how the Forty Acres Scholars Program impacted my college experience. But I can say with certainty that without it, I would never have had the opportunities to see the world, make the lasting friendships, and form the support network as I did because of it,” Michael says. “For me and I'm sure all of my fellow scholars, however, this program was much more than just a full-ride scholarship. It was a chance to grow deeper in my knowledge, stronger in my confidence, and more encouraged about my future. I learned and saw and experienced more than I ever thought a college student would and I will forever be indebted to this program for that.”
“My favorite memory from my time at UT is probably just this past spring break when I travelled to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I went abroad with UT's Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. We explored the cities, learned more about the nation's history, and came to appreciate the Middle Eastern culture,” he says. Besides traveling, Michael has acquired some other hobbies. “In my meantime I love to bake! I make anything from cookies and cinnamon rolls to cakes and pies! I started this hobby during the Covid-19 lockdown, and it has been my favorite way to relax and spend a free evening ever since (and my roommates love it too)!”
Michael is the recipient of the AIM Foundation Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about him here.
Holland is from Dallas, Texas and is receiving a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Following graduation, she will be moving back to Dallas to begin work at Emily Summers Design Associates as a design assistant. She is very excited to be joining such an accomplished firm. Holland is looking forward to beginning her career in interior design and this next chapter of her life!
“My favorite memory from the Forty Acres Scholars Program is going to Belize with my senior cohort on the annual senior scholar trip,” she says. “We had a blast hiking in the rainforest, tubing through caves, and snorkeling with sharks and stingrays! I will always remember this special trip we were able to take together and get to know each other even better than before.”
“I am looking forward to using my enrichment stipend following my graduation in May 2022. I will be traveling for five weeks to 14 different cities across Europe researching different architectural buildings and structures,” Holland says. “This European Summer Project will expose me to the different cultures and styles across Europe and allow me to increase my knowledge and awareness of the multitude of styles of architecture and design and give me a leg up in my professional career.”
Holland is the recipient of the Texas Exes Dallas Chapter Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about her here.
Austin is from Mineola, Texas. He is receiving a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Austin is the recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship, supported by Ellen and Ray Clark. You can read more about him here.
Rachel is from Austin, Texas and is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development - Early Childhood through Grade Six Generalist Certification and a minor in Spanish. After graduation, Rachel will be attending the University of Sydney in Australia, where she will pursue a Master’s of Education.
“The Forty Acres Scholars Program has changed my life. I connected with fellow scholars and alumni that have taught me valuable life lessons. I have received advice and support from faculty and staff. I have gained unique perspectives from other scholars and seen unmatched tenacity as each scholar works to achieve their goals,” Rachel says.
During her time at UT, she also learned a valuable lesson: “Give yourself grace," Rachel says. "Throughout my time in college, I feared letting others down. I was afraid of not being ‘enough.’ I was afraid of making mistakes. In reality, every mistake I made was an opportunity to stand up and try again. I spent so much time trying to be perfect and have the ‘perfect’ college experience starting freshman year, and this led me to miss out on time making connections with the people around me and gave me a narrow perspective. When I gave myself the grace to make mistakes, it allowed me to step back and see the bigger picture. I realized that all I can do is my best, and that is enough—even if that looks different each day. Show up for people, go the extra mile, put in the work, try without fear of failing. When I was striving to do these things, I was able to confidently give myself grace, knowing that I was doing my best to make the most of my days."
Rachel is a recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship. You can read more about her here.