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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Alumni News

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NEW Submissions from our Alumni (2013)

Sonya Montoya (MA 2006) has been accepted into the American Studies Ph.D. Program at the University of Maryland.

Melinda Guillen (BA 2009) is now working as a securities litigation paralegal for a financial company in Austin, TX.

Gabriela Redwine (MA, 2008) ( is now working at the Beinecke Library at Yale.


Jessie Beal (BA 2009) has been accepted into the Ph.D program in Gender Studies at Brandeis University.

Asha Dane’el (BA, 2008) will be attending UT Austin once again to work on a dual degree Masters Program in Social Work and Public Affairs at the LBJ School.  She is ready to be a longhorn once again!  She will be focusing on empowering communities and public health policy.

Melinda Guillen (BA 2009) is a personal banker for JP Morgan Chase. She has been accepted into LSU’s paralegal studies program and will be moving this fall to complete the program.

April Looney (BA 2009) is now working for Whole Woman’s Health, a women’s health clinic and abortion provider based in Austin, Texas. We have clinics all over Texas and in Maryland.

Tava Bingham (BA 2010) is in graduate school at the University of Central Florida pursuing her Masters in Educational Leadership--Higher Education/Student Personnel. She is also working with the office of Student Leadership Development.

Elizabeth Cortez (BA 2010) accepted an offer to attend graudate school at the University of Washington because she liked the faculty members and students, and felt it was a good fit.

Kalee Gower (BA 2010) is working for a small company called Emotion Technology as Project Manager. Emotion Technology saves lives by working with social web companies, federal agencies, and policy-makers to prevent suicide and promote mental health online. Emotion Technology is a woman and minority owned business.

Stephen Tran (BA 2010) is employed at Lilith Fund, an all-volunteer organization, as Hotline Volunteer and Administrative Director. Stephen transited from an unpaid intern to this full time paid position.

Tracey Boone Swan (MA 2003) is in California finishing a dual MA/MFA at Chapman University. She was awarded a Fulbright Grant to do research in Paris for 2011-2012! She’ll be examining the performance of gender and race during the Parisian jazz age during the interwar period. The Fulbright will facilitate a continuation of research that began with the archives of Bricktop’s papers at Emory and more recently at the Schomburg Center in New York. After the Fulbright, she is going to find a Ph.D. program,  and get to work--finally. Actually, she'll be applying in the Fall for next year. Here's the link to the bio/announcement/ online version of the humanities college paper:

Catherine Bitney (MA 2004) is currently finishing up her final coursework in a Clinical Psychology PhD program at the New School University in New York City.  Catherine successfully matched for internship training at Texas State University, so she’ll be returning to the Austin area during her final year of training this summer.  In addition, Catherine was recently awarded a $10k dissertation fellowship award to support her research project. The purpose of her dissertation is to examine how African American clients respond to White clinicians when racial mismatch is overtly brought up in a single counseling session.  Much theory, research, and training has been developed over the past few decades to help White clinicians become more adept at working with racial and ethnic minority clients  Despite these efforts, however, minority clients continue to have high dropout rates in cross-racial psychotherapy, and often underutilize therapeutic services Despite growing evidence from the client’s perspective that broaching the subject of racial mismatch in the therapy session can alleviate therapeutic strain, research has indicated that White clinicians infrequently bring up such matters when working with minority clients.  Findings from Knox and colleagues (2003) suggest that White clinicians feel uncomfortable broaching the subject of race and often avoid such explicit discussions with their minority clients.  She hopes her efforts will help the field of clinical and counseling psychology better understand the implications of bringing up race in the therapeutic relationship.

Kelly King (Reidt) (Portfolio 2006) had her research, partially funded by a WGS grant, published in a book by Texas A&M Press. “Call Her a Citizen: Progressive-Era Activist and Educator Anna Pennybacker” (Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University).

Rebecca Moody (MA, 2006) completed a second MA in Religion at Syracuse University - as well as a thesis entitled “Speaking a Leak: A Discursive Performance of (Women’s) Leaky Bodies” - and looks forward to entering the PhD program at SU in the fall.

Kyle Brilliante (MA 2007) currently working for the New York City Department of Education as an 8th grade science teacher.

Jamie Madden (MA 2007) is working at Virginia College at Austin, a school offering associate’s degrees. I have taught sociology and psychology classes there since June 2010. I am also currently applying to PhD programs in women’s studies.

Kritika Agarwal (MA 2008) is a PhD candidate in the Department of American Studies at the State University of New York, Buffalo (UB). She is a recipient of the Presidential Fellowship at UB and is a graduate student instructor in the Department of American Studies. She is a recipient of the Presidential Fellowship at UB and is a graduate student instructor in the Department of American Studies where she has taught courses such as "Introduction to American Studies" and "American Lives and Environments: Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in the United States." Kritika's fields of interest include: International migration and transnationalism; U.S. immigration history, particularly history of nativism and immigration restriction; Asian American Studies; and early 20th century U.S. popular culture.

Katy Goudarzi (MA 2008) is working as a research associate in UT Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory- directed by Dr. Andreana Haley.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (MA, 2008) was resident playwright with Freedom Train Productions in Brooklyn, NY. In January, an excerpt from her one act play “Crooked Parts” was featured at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) as part of Black and White: Performing the Personal and Political. Azure will be returning to Austin, TX this June to play the titular role in Susan G. Todd’s “Sycorax” with the Weird Sisters Collective. In the early fall Azure will produce “Crooked Parts” at UT Austin before flying to London to begin coursework for an MA Advanced Theatre Practice at Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. More information can be found about Azure at

Gabriela Redwine (MA, 2008) is coauthoring a Mellon-funded report entitled “Computer Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections”, which will be published in late 2010 by the Council on Library and Information Resources. The report was the subject of a two-day symposium organized by the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities in May: Gabriela works as an archivist and electronic records/metadata specialist at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, TX.

Lea Susan Engle (MA, 2009)  is finishing up her first semester as a Learning and Outreach Librarian at Texas A&M University.  Lea teaches undergraduates how to do effective research and to try to get out of the library and into the community to interact with students, staff, and faculty.  It’s a tenure-track position, and she is currently ranked as an Assistant Professor.  The job hunt was long and stressful, but it really paid off in the end.

Paul Michels (MA 2009) Currently employed as the Principal of the Katherine Anne Porter School in Wimberley TX.

Adeline (Josie) Smith (MA 2009) is working on her Master of Arts in Teaching (secondary English) at Duke University. She is anticipating graduation in the summer of 2011. Josie is hoping to teach high school English and Writing, and hopefully start a Women’s Studies elective (there’s one already in Durham Public Schools!).

Gretchen Voter Abbott (MA 2010)  is a PhD student in Women’s and Gender History at Rutgers University. She has just been hired to teach and lead undergraduates living in the Women’s Leadership House on campus, as well.

Rawan Arar (MA 2010) is living in Belfast, Northern Ireland and interning with Trinity College Dublin’s  Irish School of Ecumenics. I’ll start a PhD program in Sociology in the fall

Starr-Renee Corbin (MA 2010)  is  a Senior IT Manager at the Applied Research Laboratories at UT (full time) as well as studying for her MPaff at the LBJ School (mid-career program).

Patricia Nelson (MA 2010) is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California in English.  Her research interests include 20th- and 21st-century American literature, film, and visual culture; gender and queer studies; and autobiography across media.

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