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Jelisa’s Profile

Why did you choose to attend The University of Texas at Austin?

I will admit that The University of Texas Austin was my third choice, but I was blessed with the opportunity to visit here through Longhorn Scholars program my senior year, and my mind was quickly changed. I remember the excitement when I came back to school. I had finally found the school for me. I liked the diversity, the weirdness, and the artsy feel. I fell in love with the drag, burnt orange and the Austin air. Plus, their Theatre Department would give me the opportunity to grow and develop as an artist. It was really love at first sight. I remember spending my last souvenir money on a longhorn pen that said “Lisa” and a longhorn flag that I have in my room till this day. It reminds me of the magic I found here years ago. I also believe that I was divinely put here. I prayed and prayed for guidance when college was concerned and then there it was … I was led to UT.

What’s your dream job after graduation?

I’d love to act, write and teach. My passions are theatre, Afro-Latino culture and Spanish. I want to use all of those interests to fuel a career that mixes arts, education and philanthropy into one thing. I’m considering graduate school, and I’m shadowing my old professor Rene through the IE Pre-graduate internship program. So far, I’ve been learning a lot about grad school. I’ve been wanting to be an actress since I was four years old, but I am enjoying exploring new interests.

If you could travel to one spot anywhere in the world, where would you want to visit?

The Dominican Republic. Hands down. Ever since I found out the Dominican Republic had a lot of African roots, culture and remembrance, I wanted to travel there. I hope to do a study abroad there one day. I’m curious about the music, the food and the culture. Their Spanish is a lot different from the Spanish I’m accustomed to. It’s fast, and beautiful. If I study abroad, I’m looking forward to picking up that accent.

What music are you listening to?

Because I’m learning Spanish, you will find no other than the musical stylings of Juanes, Tiziaro Ferro, Luis Fonsi, Mana and Calle13 on my laptop. On Thursdays, I sing in Innervisions Gospel Choir where the sweet sounds of gospel music resound. I must admit I’m a sucker for Disney songs, pop music (NSync), and 80s and 90s hip hop (think Lauren Hill), R&B and rock (when music was still good, hahaha).

What are your favorite Web sites? Why?

  • Yahoo: I love checking my email.
  • Facebook: I’m not going to lie I check my facebook everyday.
  • Spanish: — It helps me to learn Spanish, and gives me advice about learning the language.


What’s your pick: Tex-Mex or Texas barbecue?

Ok, I’ll admit it … I like Tex-Mex. I get food from taco cabana in the SAC (Student Activity Center) a lot. It’s certainly better than barbecue. Barbecue, I have to be in the mood for, but now that I think about it … I love them both. My dad’s barbeque chicken, my mom’s potato salad, and beans, with jalapeños, are glorious!

Where are your favorite places to go in Austin? What are your favorite things to do in Austin?

One thing I love is going to concerts in Austin. There is a lot of local talent. I love jogging at the park next to my house. The Alamo Drafthouse is my favorite theatre, and yes, yes, yes, Spiderhouse is hands down my favorite restaurant.

What are your favorite academic subjects? What are you interested in studying in the future?

I am in love with learning languages, particularly Spanish! I get excited to go to my Spanish class, and enjoy reading, listening, and talking in Spanish.
I’m also a lover of history, especially the history of my people. Dr. Moore’s Black Power Movement class has impacted my life in a positive way. There is something about learning one’s history that empowers them. I’m interested in studying Afro-Latino Spanish Literature and playwriting.

What tip would you give to someone new to the UT campus?

  • Do get off campus and see Austin. Austin is a really cool city full of quirks. There are many mom and pop restaurants, concerts, theatre and parks. Don’t have a car? UT ID’s get you around for free on the city buses!
  • Do talk to random people. Some of my best friends are the results of random conversations. Don’t be afraid to chat a person up while waiting in line at Wendy’s, or while on the fifth floor of the PCL (Perry-C Library) because that’s where everyone goes to talk.
  • Don’t take too many heavy classes your first semester. I call this the -OLOGY rule. If all your classes have the word OLOGY, or ISTORY in them. You should probably reconsider your schedule. Be sure to take classes you are good at as well.
  • Don’t neglect your spiritual beliefs. Whether you call it God, a higher power or whatever, you’ve got to remember to keep up with your spiritual journey in college.

Tell us a little about your family:

My family consists of some really awesome people who have guided, supported and encouraged me. My mom, Lenora, is amazing. She taught me everything that I know, from reading, writing, to math, this woman knows it all. Other than being my role model, she is one of my best friends, and I know no matter what she will always be behind me one hundred and fifty million percent.

My Dad is the one who makes me laugh, and he is the smartest, most self-sacrificing man I know. I like the fact that he gets excited when I make good grades, and that he still wears the Longhorn cap I gave him about two years ago. My Little brothers Nathan and Jonathan, are home schooled by my mom, and are growing everyday. All in all they are responsible young men, and I look forward to seeing them grow and change every time I come home. My grandma, Uncle Lionel, and Cousin Matt are also amazing family members who have loved, and supported me.

What are your favorite free-time activities?

When I’m not studying, or being involved with my organizations, you can catch me going to concerts in Austin. The live music is what drew me to Austin in the first place. I also like reading, acting, volunteering, going to see films, thrift store shopping, jogging, dancing and doing spoken word. Watching Mi Corazon Insiste with Jen Carlos Canela is high on that list of things I love to do as well.

Name one interesting or quirky thing about yourself:

I can recite all the lines from the Lion King and Aladdin from memory.

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November 8, 2011 | | Comments are closed for this post

3 Comments to Jelisa’s Profile

All of the questions were nicely and pleasingly answered. I especially adored your comment about keeping up with your “spiritual journey” as my religion is important to me. Helpful tips were given in your profile for new students.

I think that challenging is the word for those “ISTORY” and/or “OLGY” classes. The good news is for those who are not inclined to particularly enjoy history or biology is that UT is prepared to help you in your goal of high performance or achievement. At UT study groups are formed. You can also set an appointment with your Professor to get the help that you may need. I enjoyed reading your profile.

November 10, 2011
— Lenora Robinson

I am glad I read this. Now I really can’t wait to join the weirdness of Austin. I love listening to live music and I LLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEE thrift stores!!! I am really excited to be a longhorn next year! :)

November 15, 2011
— Anna M

Anna, Sorry for replying so late to this. You are going to enjoy Austin. It has a bit of everything. Music, sports, film, you name it. I am so happy you are excited to join the longhorn family. You will love it!

November 21, 2011
— jelisa
your photo here