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D E A N ’ S D I S T I N G U I S H E D G R A D UAT E S 2ND EDITION

IN THIS ISSUE

A M E S S A G E F RO M T H E A S S O C I AT E D E A N F O R S T U D E N T A F FA I R S

Message from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Marc Musick Calendar of Events An Inside Look: Joshua Ethan Alexander 2010 DDG’s: Pictures & Biographies

C A L E N DA R O F COLLEGE EVENTS Spike Lee to Screen Discuss New Film at The University of Texas at Austin Nov. 14, 2010 2 p.m., Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium, LBJ Museum and Library

A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N NEWSLETTER Greetings from the College of Liberal Arts.

The college recently created the Dean’s Distinguished Graduates alumni association in an effort to better connect DDG alumni to one another and the college. To date, the feedback we have received from alumni about the group and its intent has been overwhelmingly positive. Through these contacts, we have discovered that DDG alums now reside across the country and in many parts of the world. The careers they have undertaken are just as varied and range from creating policy for the federal government to working with children in developing nations. The lives that our DDG alums have lived since leaving the Forty Acres show that UT students are truly capable of changing the world. This past May we inducted our newest cohort of Dean’s Distinguished Graduates into the program. That celebration also marked the 30th anniversary of the DDG program, an accomplishment that all of us can take pride in. Three decades of the program have yielded almost 400 alumni who represent the best and brightest graduates of the College of Liberal Arts. To give you a better sense of this newest group, inside this newsletter you will find brief biographies of these new inductees so that you too can see what our best students have accomplished during their short time at the university.

International Education Week Celebrates Study Abroad, Cross-Cultural Exchanges Nov. 15-19, 2010 Various locations

In an effort to better connect with such a large and diverse group of alumni, we are undertaking several different outreach efforts. For example, over the next year we will be developing a new alumni website and Facebook page. We will also continue our efforts to send out newsletters every semester to inform alumni of new DDGs and other happenings on campus. If you have ideas about other ways we can keep in touch, please e-mail Monica Horvat at monicah@austin.utexas.edu with ideas.

Symposium, Book Signing for “Beyond El Barrio” Hosted by the Center for Mexican American Studies Nov. 16, 2010 6 - 8 p.m., San Jacinto Conference Center, first floor of the San Jacinto Residence Hall (SJH)

We in the college are very excited about the alumni program and how it has developed over the past year. I hope you share this excitement and are looking forward to all of the new efforts and programs we are planning for the association. So until I see you on campus, Hook ‘em Horns!

Free Speech Series Political Speech, Campaign Finance Restrictions Feb. 10, 2011 Location to be announced

D D G A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N FA C E B O O K PA G E C O M I N G S O O N !

For more events please visit the Liberal Arts website at: www.utexas.edu/cola.

Sincerely, Marc Musick Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Continuing toward our goal of establishing a connection with the brightest students from the College of Liberal Arts, we are developing a Facebook page. Our hope is that this will help DDG alumni stay connected and also open a way for you to let us know what you have been doing. An e-mail will be sent soon with the link to the page asking all DDG alumni to join. If you need to change or update your e-mail, please e-mail Monica Horvat at monicah@austin.utexas.edu with your new information.


2010 DEAN’S DISTINGUISHED G R A D UAT E S

From left to right starting at the back: John Meyer, Travis Simeion, Kaitlin Andryauskas, Dean Randy Deihl, James Hammond, Anna Kreisberg, Aaron Barr, Daniel Friedman, Angela Giordani, Ethan Alexander, Joseph Kolker, Rachel Meyerson, Grace Eckhoff, Cassy Dorff

A N I N S I D E L O O K : J O S H UA E T H A N A L E X A N D E R

Written May 2010 by Dr. Timothy Moore, Professor, Department of Classics Joshua Ethan Alexander, who will graduate in May with a degree in Ancient History and Classical Civilization, has been named one of this year’s Dean’s Distinguished Graduates. Every year the College of Liberal Arts awards this title to 12 graduating seniors in honor of their outstanding achievements in scholarship, leadership, and service to the college. Instituted in 1980, this is the highest honor the College awards its students. Raised in rural Texas in a family in which no one had yet attended college, Ethan began study at North Texas University when he was just 16, replacing what would normally be his junior year of high school with college work through the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science. Though he did well at North Texas, he decided that the Academy’s science-centered program did not suit well his interests in Classical antiquity, so he continued his studies instead at a community college near his home and then joined the University as a major in Classical Civilization and Ancient History. Because he had fulfilled so many of his general requirements before he arrived, and because he took an exceptionally heavy load each semester and during the summer, Ethan was able to complete his degree at UT in only two years. As he continued his studies in antiquity, Ethan realized a way he could put his interests to the best use: he plans to obtain a law degree with a specialty in antiquities law. Ethan is an active member of UT’s chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics honorary society, and with several other members of the chapter he will attend the organization’s national convention in April. This marks the third year in a row that a graduate of the Classics department has been named Dean’s Distinguished Graduate. Dhananjay Jagannathan received the honor in 2009, Megan Campbell and Christina Skelton in 2008.


Joshua Ethan Alexander was born in Houston, Texas, and spent the majority of his life near the coast southeast of Houston. Growing up in a rural area, Ethan yearned to begin his college career from a young age. Upon graduation last May, he was the first person in his family to earn a college degree. Kaitlin Marie Andryauskas is a New England native pursuing social justice through the examination of the interrelated nature of class, race, gender, sexual orientation, citizenship, and physical and mental ability. She hopes to bring about social change on the individual level as a teacher, and on the social level as a sociologist. Aaron David Barr was a triple major in East Asian Studies, Asian Cultures and Languages (Chinese), and Economics. A native Texan, he was born in Houston, but spent part of his childhood overseas, including several years in Germany. After graduation, he went on to attend graduate school to study Chinese culture and language. Cassy Lynn Dorff was born in Midland, Texas, but grew up outside of New Orleans and then Austin. While pursuing studies in comparative politics and international conflict, she spent her summers working at a nonprofit in New York City and interning at the human rights commissions in Mexico. Grace Margaret Eckhoff was born in Haiti where she lived for 14 years and as a teenager volunteered in the House of Hope for chronically ill children. Grace deferred her admission to The University

of Texas at Austin to spend eight months in Afghanistan with her parents working as a teacher’s aide and helping to found a bilingual kindergarten. She plans on pursuing her passion for public health through a master’s degree at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, followed by medical school. Daniel Butler Friedman is a pacifist martial arts instructor and lover of ancient Chinese biographies, contemporary British theater, Shakespeare, Milton, and neurobiology. His diverse interests will continue to be reflected in his pursuit of graduate degrees in both law and East Asian Studies. Angela Marie Giordani is the daughter of a police officer and a lawyer from Detroit and a first-generation Texan. She lived in west Austin and attended public schools with her younger brother until beginning at The University of Texas at Austin in 2005. Since graduation, Angela has been traveling in Damascus or Alexandria as a fellow of the Arabic Flagship Program. James Watson Hammond is a resident of Lewisville, Texas, where he lives with his parents, great aunt, and two younger sisters. An avid reader and moviegoer, James likes to write poetry and short stories in his spare time. At the time of graduation, he was planning to move to Las Vegas to teach high school English. Joseph Raymond Kolker completed his thesis titled “The Politics of Remembering State Violence in Argentina’s Jewish Community,” after studying for a semester and conducting archival research in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Joseph also studied conflict

resolution in the Balkans, conducted independent ethnographic research in Monterrey, Mexico, and interned at the Harry Ransom Center. Anna Nicole Kreisberg hails from San Antonio, although her previous residences—from Italy to Peru—have fueled her passion for anthropology and advocacy. She has since conducted activist research in Latin America and won national recognition in debate. This fall, Nicole became a Teach for America 2010 corps member in Philadelphia. John Michael Meyer was born in Dallas and grew up in New Orleans and Kansas City. He served in the Army as an Airborne Ranger, and his service included combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His play, American Volunteers, debuted at FronteraFest 2010. John studies comparative politics and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Government. Rachel Lauren Meyerson was born and raised in Houston. In college, Rachel pursued a double major in Plan II and Psychology Honors and was active in several organizations committed to service both in and outside the university. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and as of May, was planning to attend graduate school at Harvard. Travis Siemion is from Grand Haven, Michigan, and moved to Texas in 2001 after graduating from high school. He joined the Army immediately after graduation, and was deployed to Iraq in 2003. Shortly thereafter he received the “Green to Gold” scholarship which allowed him to come to The University of Texas at Austin. Travis graduated with a degree in Government.


B U I L D I N G N E W S & U P DAT E S By Gary Susswein, Director, Public Affairs

More than four decades ago, The University of Texas at Austin and its Naval ROTC program gave James Mulva the education, discipline and support that would help shape his future. Today, he is giving back, helping to shape the future of the university, the College of Liberal Arts and, in particular, ROTC. Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips, and his wife Miriam have donated $15 million to the College of Liberal Arts to construct a new building on the East Mall. The six-story building will include an entire floor for the university’s Naval, Army and Air Force ROTC units, which are part of the college. “We’ve been looking for the right project so we could, in a more significant way, help support The University of Texas and its commitment to education and research,” Mulva says. “I went through ROTC — that’s the only way I could attend UT — so I really want to support ROTC students,” he says. “For these young men and women, it’s not about making money. It’s all about service to the country. They’re very dedicated and bright students.” University President William Powers Jr. announced the gift this fall and will honor the Mulvas at an event on campus in the coming months. “Jim and Miriam Mulva’s gift demonstrates a deep commitment to The University of Texas at Austin and to ROTC,” says Powers. “Through the Mulvas’ generosity, ROTC will remain at the heart of campus for generations to come.” The East Mall building will include 30 modern classrooms; student study areas and meeting rooms; and laboratories and offices for faculty. For the first time, it will give Liberal Arts students a space of their own and create an environment in which faculty from different disciplines can collaborate more easily. “This building will help propel us to greatness by giving us the space we need to teach our students, nurture outstanding research and foster a vibrant intellectual community,” says Randy L. Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts, Student Division 1 University Station, G6100 Austin, TX 78712

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DDG Newsletter Vol. 2  

the 2nd edition to the DDG Alumni Association newsletter

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