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Liberal Arts Honors

Student Profiles

David Charbarria
Major(s): Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures and Linguistics
Hometown: Whitehouse, TX
Activities: FOCUS student ministries, Legal Intern, Psychology Research Assistant, Family Orientation Student Leader
Fun facts: I love to whistle, sing, and play the French horn although I am in no way musical.

Why LAH?

Honestly, I did not know what LAH was or really what liberal arts meant as I originally applied thinking I wanted to become an engineer. Later on, I made the rash decision of changing my major from Electrical Engineering to Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures a mere four days after being accepted into the prestigious Cockrell School of Engineering. I will say, I have not once regretted my decision to join the College of Liberal Arts as it set me on a path to study what I love and LAH has enabled my studies beyond what I could have done on my own after coming from a small town and feeling overwhelmed by UT's enormous size and complexity. LAH gracefully responds to the problems students face upon arrival by creating a small, safe environment for students to adjust to college life.

How has LAH contributed to your experience at UT?

To simply say that LAH has "contributed" to my experience at UT would be an understatement in regards to the impact this program has had on my experience at UT. Undoubtedly, I can say that LAH has defined (and funded) my education more than anything else I have been involved in. I would say the three main ways LAH has deeply affected my overall experience at UT are the unmatched, unparalleled academic advisers who have helped me with pivotal decisions throughout my college career (even before stepping foot in Austin!), the enriching LAH-specific classes I've taken which have facilitated small, specialized learning environments, and lastly, the amazing people in this wonderfully unique program who have ultimately changed my life for the better.

What are your future plans?

I plan to move to Meknes, Morocco with the Arabic Flagship Program and stay a full year continuing my Arabic language learning. Afterwards, I hope to pursue a career in either law, human rights, or both. Something tells me graduate school is inevitable in my near future.


Marina Hernandez
Major: Government/Rhetoric and Writing
Hometown: Floresville
Activities: Longhorn Band, FSP Mentor, Longhorn Advocate
Fun facts: I once was on the sideline right next to Vince Young and marched 5 steps away from Matthew McConaughey. I also love to binge watch House of Cards and eat macaroni. Lastly, I am beyond obsessed with puppies and I am in the process of trying to convince my mom to let me have one.

Why LAH?

I had the option of choosing between LAH and Plan II Honors. In the end, it came down to the fact that LAH emphasizes creativity and is the epitome of a unique liberal arts experience. I was drawn to the people; LAH seemed to have a wide array of individuals, all from different backgrounds and all studying different things. I also liked that there wasn't a set degree plan and that I could pick whichever classes I thought would be interesting.

How has LAH contributed to your experience at UT?

I have met a majority of my friends from LAH. The ongoing support and the sense of community definitely makes a difference, especially on a campus that is so large. LAH has allowed me to take some of the most interesting classes while also building an education and degree plan that is tailored specifically to my interests. Also, our advisors are seriously the best on campus and I am beyond grateful for all that they do in helping me figure out my life.

What are your future plans?

I am not 100% sure at the moment, but I hope to pursue a future in law school or editing. However, my ultimate goal in life is to be Olivia Pope from Scandal.


Carly Williams
Major: English, Health & Society
Hometown: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Activities: Liberal Arts Honors Student Council, Counseling and Mental Health Center Peer Educator Program, Echo Literary and Arts Magazine
Fun facts: I have seen every episode of, and can quote the opening credits to, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. I lived in Seoul, South Korea for two years when I was younger.

Why LAH?

Coming to college, I knew I wanted to continue challenging myself by taking honors courses, but I wanted the freedom to take classes that interested me. Some honors programs at UT have rigid requirements, which wasn't the right fit for me. Luckily for me, LAH offers challenging courses taught by professors at the top of their fields, and the flexibility of letting students shape their own path. I've really appreciated this during my time at UT because I've truly been able to take classes that both interest me and challenge me while also working towards my degree plan.

How has LAH contributed to your experience at UT?

LAH is truly a community. I met two of my best friends in our first year LAH writing class, Texts and Contexts, on the first day of class. Since then, I've met countless other LAHers from different backgrounds with a variety of interests and pursuing a variety of of career paths. It's amazing to have a community filled with people who are likeminded in being passionate about learning, leading, and serving others. LAH really does shrink down the campus—there's not a day that I've walked on campus and not seen a familiar face from LAH.

Additionally, our advisors are spectacular. They work tirelessly to provide us with the best academic support and ensure that we achieve our goals, whether short-term or post-grad. They've been instrumental in my academic success since day one of starting at UT.

What are your future plans?

I plan to work in health promotions and earn a master's degree in health education. However, from my experiences working in the LAH office, I wouldn't be surprised if I dabble in working in some area of higher education!

 

Zach Price

 

Major: Government

Hometown: Chattanooga, TN/Austin, TX

Activities: TX Votes, The Language Campaign, LAH Writing Fellow, Legislative Intern, Education Advocacy

Fun facts: I got to Stubb's with a band my freshman year at UT! I also ran for Austin ISD school board in fall 2018

Why LAH?

As a senior in high school, I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking for from my college experience. Once I was accepted into LAH, I knew I'd found it. What I love about LAH is the unique combination of more challenging (and rewarding!) coursework and the freedom to take courses tailored for your career and educational goals. This has given me the chance to take really interesting classes about education, government, and public policy with some of the best professors at the university. I wouldn't give it up for anything.

How has LAH contributed to your experience at UT?

So much of success is about connections. From my first day on campus, LAH connected me to an incredible community of my fellow students who are smart, hardworking, and passionate about making a change in their community. I've been able to work with fellow LAHers to improve civic engagement on campus and work in the community to improve educational outcomes for public school students in Austin. LAH classes are also always both highly interesting and smaller in size, and they've been some of my favorite classes I've taken at UT. Finally, I don't know where I'd be without our amazing LAH advisors keeping my head on straight. Linda, Stacey, and Mary are what make this program a success.

What are your future plans?

I want to work in government and public policy to make public education better in Texas. More than anything, my plan is to do my best to give back to my community.