Welcome to the Longhorn Confidential student blogging site! My name is Ryan, and I am excited to share my stories, thoughts, opinions, and dreams with you all. I am a sophomore studying biology and plan to pursue medical school or graduate school. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, before moving to Dallas, Texas, at age 13. My dad works in real estate development and my mom works in sales. I have one younger brother named Nicky who is in his first year of high school.
I graduated from Plano West Senior High School. I decided to attend UT for various reasons – the quality of education, the value, the cost, the city of Austin, and the campus. I had always been interested in health science, and after taking AP Biology my senior year, I knew I wanted to study biology in college. I am on the track to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, which allows students to focus on one of ten different areas of specialization. I selected the Neurobiology option because I was fascinated by the neuroscience field after a unit on animal behavior in my honors biology course last spring.
While I enjoy science and math, I have many other academic interests, particularly in humanities, drama, and literature. I participated in my high school’s theater and speech programs. I love acting and performing, and I look to continue these hobbies in college. In fact, last semester I was involved in Shakespeare at Winedale, which is a program housed in the English Department and is dedicated to bringing Shakespeare to life through performance. Students study and analyze Shakespeare’s works through performance, and the spring class culminates in a production at the Winedale Historical Center in Round Top, Texas. This course, taught by English Professor James Loehlin, has been one of my favorite classes.
I am actively involved in campus activities. I currently work in the Raab-Graham Lab in the College of Natural Sciences’ Center for Learning and Memory as an undergraduate research assistant. I am also the Undergraduate Research Committee Chair in the Senate of College Councils, a member on the Natural Sciences College Tuition and Budget Advisory Committee, a participant in the Shakespeare Outreach Group, the student representative on Faculty Council’s Research Policy Committee, and a volunteer through various organizations and community events.
Serving as a member in the Senate of College Councils has been an extremely rewarding and transformative experience. I joined Senate at the start of my freshman year as an At-Large member. It is one of the three legislative student organizations at UT and is the official voice of students in academic affairs. I have grown tremendously as a student, leader, and team member through Senate as well as through my other organizations and activities.
Besides my academic and extracurricular involvements, I also try to maintain a fun social life. I take pleasure in anything from reading to playing or watching sports. My second year as a Longhorn has been challenging and busy so far, but I have enjoyed every minute of it. I can’t wait to share my experiences with all of you each week. Please do not hesitate to leave comments or ask questions. Thank you, and hook ’em!