The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Meet Our Staff

Lily DoñesLily Doñes
Student Development Specialist

Lily is a student development specialist with the Discovery Scholars Program. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2013 and has a B.A. in both psychology and theatre and dance. Before joining the Discovery Scholars Program, she served as a college advisor for the Advise TX College Advising Corps. In her role as a college advisor, Lily provided resources to a diverse population of high school students and guided them through the college application process.

Scott GaryScott Gary
Student Development Specialist

Scott is a student development specialist with the Discovery Scholars Program. He has a professional background built upon advising college students with a relationship-driven approach. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in business administration in 2013. Before joining the Discovery Scholars Program, he served as an AmeriCorp member with the Austin-based non-profit College Forward, where he worked with students at Texas State University as a college completion coach.

Emily HillhouseEmily Hillhouse
Learning Specialist

Emily is the learning specialist for the Discovery Scholars Program, providing students with learning assistance and individual academic counseling, as well as organizing presentations and workshops to support the development of various learning skills. Prior to joining the Discovery Scholars/Sanger Learning Center staff, Emily worked as an adjunct instructor at the University of Huston-Tillotson. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College, and received both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in modern european history from UT.

Robert JonesRobert Jones
Administrative Associate

Robert is the administrative associate for the Discovery Scholars Program. Prior to joining the Discovery Scholars staff, Robert worked for University Health Services and has over 12 years of experience in office administration. Robert is an Air Force veteran and earned his bachelor’s in English from St. Edward’s University. Additionally, he has an associate of arts degree and two military sciences associate’s degrees. He also completed coursework in kinesiology and health.

Shirley SandovalShirley Sandoval
Associate Academic Advisor

Shirley has extensive experience working with students in education, having served as a college counselor, college advisor, and peer advisor to advance students’ personal, career, and academic potential. She joined The University of Texas at Austin in January 2012, after graduating from California State University Long Beach with a master’s degree in counseling and pupil personnel services credential, in addition to a community college counseling certificate. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Emily SchroederEmily Schroeder
Associate Academic Advisor

Emily joined the Discovery Scholars Program as an academic advisor in December 2012. She earned her M.Ed. in student personnel in higher education from the University of Florida in April 2011, and holds a B.S. in human resource development from Texas A&M University. She has a broad range of experience in higher education, including peer mentoring, orientation, housing and residential life, and health and promotion services. In her free time, Emily enjoys country western dancing and a delicious Tex Mex meal.

Phaedra WhitePhaedra White Abbott
Senior Program Coordinator

Phaedra has been employed at The University of Texas at Austin since 2001 and has been with the School of Undergraduate Studies since its inception. She received her bachelor of music education degree from Louisiana State University and a master of education degree in college student personnel from Loyola University Chicago. She has spent her entire professional career working with college and post-graduate students and loves assisting students in getting the maximum out of their educational experience. Phaedra was raised in Tallahassee, Florida, and loves to travel and experience different cultures.