Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Student Introductions (1 of 2)

Here, the students present themselves and give thanks to the many people and organizations who helped them with funding in order to make their study abroad experience possible!!

Dumela! My name is Rose, and I will be a junior at UT in the fall. I am majoring in Plan II, with a pre-med concentration. This program uniquely combines my love of outdoors and science in a place I’ve been dying to go my while life: Africa. I’ve enjoyed learning about the relationship between people, the environment, and policy making here in Botswana, and hope to continue these studies with UT’s Environment Bridging Disciplines Program. Shout out to my mom and dad, Plan II, and UT Tuition Grants for making this trip possible! Kealeboga thata!

Hello! My name is Anna Carter and I am a Geography and Philosophy double-major, minoring in Geology. I am involved in UT’s campus environmental center and geological energy and environmental leadership organization (GEELO), and enjoy hiking, camping, and volunteering at one of Austin’s local farms, Urban Roots. I came to Botswana because I wanted a non-traditional study abroad experience, and through this program I hope to further my understanding of socio-environmental issues from a global perspective. Many thanks to my parents, Eugene and Caty, for financing my trip here, and to Dr. Ramos-Schaaron for encouraging my endeavors.

Bernard is an U.S. Army veteran and a senior undergraduate student at UT Austin, majoring in International Relations and Global Studies, with a minor in Sub-Saharan African Studies and focuses in climate change, sustainability, and French language. He was inspired to participate in the Botswana study abroad program due to the confluence of academic subject areas, unconventional structure of the program, and opportunity to do hands-on research in a field environment. He plans to use the knowledge and skills gained from the Botswana program in composing his senior thesis and in possible graduate research in the future. He would like to thank the College of Liberal Arts, the International Study Abroad Office and other UT departments who provided scholarships, as well as all the individual donors who contributed and helped make participation in this program possible.

Hello! My name is Ilse Munoz. I’m a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin, double majoring in Plan II and Geography under the sustainability path. I decided to come to Africa because I am fascinated by the natural environment and how people interact with the world around them and I thought Africa would be the perfect place to study this relationship. In addition, I did not want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit a place I have seen only in movies. I want to thank my family for supporting my dreams whatever they may be. I would also like to thank the people at the college of liberal arts for their generous scholarship as well as the Rapoport family, and the Rapoport Service Scholarship. Lastly, I wish to thank the Plan II program and the Plan II Travel Fellowship. Words alone cannot express my gratitude.

Hola! My name is Jessica Alvarenga (Naledi). I am a senior Geography student with a minor in Latin American Studies. As a human geographer, I am fascinated with how societies adapt not only to their physical environments but to their social and political environments as well. Botswana is an ideal environment to study geography because as a developing country with pristine natural resources, it is attempting to address rural development, poverty reduction and environmental management while maintaining cultural integrity and biodiversity. In Botswana, I enjoy ostrich observations, working out in the Bush Gym (with 10 lb rock-weights, sandy terrain to run in and a pull-up / yoga tree) and eating Botswana’s version of rice and beans, called pap. I want to thank the Liberal Arts Council, the Environment Bridging Disciplines Program and the UT Study Abroad Program from the scholarships I received. Saludos a toda mi familia!

Hello, my name is Kareem Alawar. I am 19 years old. My major is mechanical engineering. I chose this study abroad so that I could experience something new and be outside of my element. Living in tents in Africa seemed to be the perfect choice.

Hi! My name is Lily Hayes and I am a senior BFA Dance and B.A. Geography major at UT Austin. I wanted to come to Botswana because it is fulfilling both my passions in life. Botswana is an ideal setting to further my study of geography and has allowed me to immerse myself fully into another culture and way of life. Dance requires movement to be organically created and I cannot think of anything more inspiring than living for six weeks in the African savanna. I want to thank the College of Liberal Arts Morris Competitive Scholarship for making this life changing trip possible.

Greetings, my name is Nastasha Harris and I am a junior in the Geography department also minoring in Government. My life goal is to travel the world to experience different cultures while learning about my field in the process and performing research. Therefore, learning about climate change, GPS techniques, and the cultural diversity in Botswana has provided me with hands on experience that I require to be an expert Geographer upon graduation from UT. I want to thank the study abroad program at UT for granting me a scholarship. Without Professor Thoralf’s knowledge and expertise and our wonderful TA Thomas this opportunity would not have been the same, yet what amazes me is the knowledge and personalities of my fellow students. I love them all!

We will post the remaining student introductions tomorrow!!

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