Below, Dedman Scholars describe their experiences during their final academic year at UT and their plans upon graduation.
Elizabeth Barnes (Graduated 2014)
Plan II and English, Episcopal School of Dallas, Dallas, Texas
Elizabeth devoted the spring semester to writing her English honors thesis, "Fixed Point in a Changing Age: Anxieties of Health, Race, and Empire in Twenty-First-Century Adaptations of Sherlock Holmes,” which examines how today’s adaptations translate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Victorian politics into the present. Elizabeth has also headed Analecta, the literary and arts journal of the University of Texas at Austin. As editor-in-chief, she has revamped Analecta’s submissions drive, instituted new publicity initiatives, and overseen production not only of the print journal but also of its inaugural web edition, now available to read free online. Additionally, Elizabeth has completed her third term volunteering as a Plan II Peer Adviser and her second year working as a writing consultant at the campus’s Undergraduate Writing Center.
After graduation Elizabeth will spend six weeks studying in Antigua, Guatemala. She is delighted to have the opportunity to return to the country, refresh her Spanish, and formally study cultural diversity in education, one of her longstanding academic and professional interests. Upon returning from Central America, Elizabeth plans to enjoy a few weeks with her family in Dallas before returning to Austin to serve a year-long term with an education-based AmeriCorps program in the Central Texas area. She is deeply grateful to the Dedman Distinguished Scholarship program and the Dedman family for supporting and enriching her undergraduate career at U.T. Austin
Katie Sinclair (Graduated 2014)
Plan II and History, St. Pius X High School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
During this past year, Katie spent much of her time completing her History Honors thesis. She worked with a manuscript in the Harry Ransom Center and also did archival research at Syracuse University in order to analyze and discuss convict memoirs coming from the penal colony on French Guiana in the 1920’s and 1930’s. As part of her thesis work, Katie joined the Junior Fellows Program to meet and hear from peers who are also completing year-long research projects. She presented her work to the Fellows as well as at the Thesis Symposiums for the History Honors program and Plan II. In addition to her thesis, Katie has kept busy by continuing to work at the Undergraduate Writing Center as a writing consultant, having now completed over three hundred teaching hours in one-on-one peer writing consultations. Katie also mentors a sixth-grader at KIPP College Prep in East Austin.
This May, Katie will graduate with a B.A. in History and Plan II and a minor in French. She plans to use her skills from working as a mentor and at the UWC during the summer, and hopes to find work tutoring either middle or high school students in writing in her hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. This coming fall, Katie will be headed to Paris where she will participate in a one-year masters program in History and Literature with Columbia University.
John Russell Beaumont (Graduated 2013)
Plan II and Architecture
Albuquerque High School
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The last year has been an incredible experience, the perfect capstone to my time at the University of Texas at Austin. It is hard to believe my time here is coming to an end, but I am excited for the road ahead. I want to thank the Dedman Scholars Program for everything it has done. I can genuinely say that this program has defined college experience. My amazing peers inspire me to try harder and aim higher; Dr. Carver, Stacey Amorous, and Linda Mayhew are always supportive and encouraging; and the generous funding has enriched my experience with study abroad and research in Argentina and Chile.
I spent the fall semester working for a young and upcoming architecture firm in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the end of my trip I returned to Chile and traveled along the coast to continue research on my thesis, “The Social and Architectural Impact of Disaster Relief Housing in the 2010 Chilean Earthquake.” I interviewed victims and volunteers, saw the damage and reconstruction first hand, and learned far more than I would have without visiting. This spring I took a studio focused on homeless families led by Overland Architects of San Antonio. I was elected to lead our studio’s presentation to three members of city council outlining our findings and suggestions for Austin’s homelessness issues.
This semester I was honored with the Oglesby Traveling Fellowship through the School of Architecture. The funding will allow me to travel through Peru and Chile to do research on vernacular architecture, community initiated building practices, and their relevance to the reconstruction effort. Beyond that, I hope to remain involved in disaster relief and social justice architecture through professional architecture firms and non-profit organizations.
I want to thank the Dedman Scholar’s Program one last time; I will look back on my time at UT fondly, and I am honored to have been a part of this community. Best wishes, and I look forward to hearing about the amazing accomplishments of my fellow scholars.
UPDATE: Russell Beaumont received a Marshall Scholarship in December 2013. See our news page for details.
Katherine J. Kling (Graduated 2013)
Plan II and Anthropology
St. Agnes Academy
My final year at UT has been a fantastic send-off. This summer I was a field assistant to UT's Dr. Rebecca Lewis in western Madagascar, an experience that proved to be the most formative and exciting one of my life. I fell in love with the country and with the Verreaux's sifaka we were studying, and was able to travel on my own and attend a conference on lemur classification and conservation before my return to the United States. After Madagascar, I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland for the fall. To echo my time in Madagascar, I was already in love with the country and its people from a former family trip, and so it was a wonderful experience to be able to live in Ireland and enjoy the "craic" as the Irish would say. During my semester I traveled extensively, exploring Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Italy and France.
With my return to UT for my final semester I have kept myself busy acting in the thriller, Deathtrap, singing in the musical, Songs for a New World, and working with the Plan II Student's Association as its Co-Vice President. I presented research on Dr. Lewis' field data from Madagascar at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists' Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee and am proud to be finishing my senior thesis, "An Analysis of Primate Conservation Education Programs: Can We Help Primates Make the Grade?" I have been selected as a College of Liberal Arts' Distinguished Graduate, one of twelve to be so honored.
Upon graduation, I will work at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando as a Conservation Education Presenter during which time I will be applying to graduate programs in primate conservation for Fall 2014. I am hoping to present my thesis research at an international conference about primate diversity and conservation in Vietnam next summer (2014) and have been offered a position to volunteer in Indonesia working with the slow loris and a conservation education program in the area. I am excited for what the future will bring, but as I can now begin to reflect back on my UT experience, I cannot repeat enough how much being a Dedman Scholar has enriched my time at the university. I have been able to explore so many opportunities while here due to the program's support. I cannot imagine going to a different school or having a better experience. Thank you.
Natalie San Luis (Graduated 2013)
Plan II and Communications
John C. Hays High School
This year I finished my course requirements in Plan II Honors, English, and Women's and Gender Studies, which included writing my honors thesis, "Livin' No Limits: Representations of Wealth and Methods of Transgression in Hip Hop Music." As part of my research, I travelled to Ithaca, New York, to visit Cornell's hip hop archives and to Seattle, Washington, to attend the EMP Pop Music Conference. I plan to continue adding to and revising my thesis after graduation in hopes of submitting it for publication and using it as a writing sample for graduate school applications.
I worked as a writing consultant at the Undergraduate Writing Center again this year. By the time I graduate, I will have consulted with over 400 undergraduate students on their assignments. I also took on the position of assistant editor of Praxis, our peer-reviewed writing center journal, for both the fall and spring editions.
My goal for the spring semester was to bolster my writing portfolio in preparation for graduation. I wrote a weekly opinion column for The Daily Texan and took a course on writing for non-profits, in which I wrote an application for a grant for Austin Clubhouse, a local mental health organization.