Six outstanding Plan II seniors named 2007 Dean's Distinguished Graduates
Michael Buhrmester, Manasi Deshpande, Lydia Eckhoff, Reid Long, Annalee Sweet and Tanvir Vahora
Posted: May 2, 2007
2006/2007 Dean's Distinguished Graduates from Plan II Honors:
Michael graduates with a B.A. in Plan II Honors, Honors Psychology, and a minor in philosophy. As President of the Plan II Pre-Law Society, Michael has helped fellow Plan II'ers (and himself) explore law careers and prepare for the LSAT. He has spent considerable time working on various projects in psychology, and his thesis examines the effects of defendant's characteristics and victim trauma on jurors' motivations to punish and sentence severity. Continuing his passion for doing research, Michael will attend UT for graduate training in the Social and Personality Psychology Ph.D. program, and is very excited to remain a Longhorn for the next several years!
Manasi Deshpande was named as a 2006 Truman Scholar. As founder and president of Students for Access, Manasi is also devoted to improving campus accessibility and disability services. She conducted a research study on campus accessibility, and led a student effort to develop an online interactive accessibility map of campus for which she was named the 2007 Recipient of the PAL-Make a Difference Award, recognizing student participation in leadership and public service initiatives. Manasi hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in natural resource economics and a career in energy policy. She is a Cactus Yearbook Outstanding Student, a member of the Friar Society, and a Supplemental Instruction leader in the Department of Economics. She will graduate in May with a BA in Plan II, Economics and Mathematics.
While at the University of Texas, Lydia Eckhoff majored in Plan II, French and Linguistics. She volunteered with the after-school reading program Heart House and tutored at the University of Texas Learning Center. For her senior thesis on Haitian language use and attitudes, which won a University Co-op George Mitchell award, she used her experience of growing up in Haiti. Following graduation, Lydia plans to continue her studies at the University of Texas through the master's program in Foreign Language Education.
Samuel Reid Long's broad interests have taken him from East Texas to Vienna via chemistry, art history, medicine, and oral history. His extraordinary Plan II Honors thesis undertook an oral history of a rural school district in his hometown. He served as a research assistant in the Lagowski chemistry lab, as an accuracy editor for several chemistry textbooks and manuals, as president of the Plan II Pre-Medical Society as well as the policy director for the Senate of College Councils. He will start a Ph.D. program in chemistry at UT next year.
Annalee Sweet was born and raised in New York City. She moved to Austin in the fall of 2003 to attend the Plan II Honors and English Honors programs at the University of Texas at Austin. Annalee has performed in a play every semester of college and has been highly involved in a variety of theatre groups, including Plan II's Broccoli Project. She studied modern drama and Shakespeare with Dr. James Loehlin, and completed both the Shakespeare at Winedale spring and summer courses. This year she enjoyed working as an intern at the Harry Ransom Center in the Performing Arts Department and writing her thesis on femininity in the theatre of Anton Chekhov.
Tanvir is a Plan II Honors, Government, and Arabic major and is the founder of Students for a Healthy Future, a service organization dedicated to childhood nutrition. She has also served as Vice President of Service and Scholarship for Orange Jackets, one of the oldest service organizations on campus. This past year, she was a senior student associate to Professor Lee Walker for his freshman Plan II Tutorial Course entitled "Community and Place." She is passionate about the Middle East and hopes to one day enter public service with an emphasis on foreign policy. Tanvir attributes her collegiate success to her parents, from whom she inherited a strong work ethic and a sense of responsibility to others.