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Student profile: Sheyla

Sheyla Rodman
Plan II & Psychology
Minor in Government
Class of 2023


Hello! My name is Sheyla Rodman, and I am an incoming second-year student majoring in Plan II and Psychology with a minor in Government. I am from Laredo, TX, a border town situated right between the U.S. and Mexico. That being said, coming to UT was a major culture shock. As a first-generation Hispanic student, I was overwhelmed with fear and worry about how my next four years would pan out given that I’ve never been in this kind of environment before. To my surprise, I quickly found a community and a sense of belonging within Plan II. Plan II is full of people with a diverse set of interests and experiences; from befriending great classmates to connecting with brilliant professors, getting to know this amazing community has been one of the most enriching experiences of my college career.

My favorite thing about Plan II is the varied coursework it offers. Growing up, I had difficulty deciding what career path I wanted to pursue. At one point, I wanted to be a doctor, then an entrepreneur, then a writer, before I finally decided I wanted to be a civil rights attorney (a revelation that UT and Plan II helped me realize!). Thankfully, being a part of Plan II meant I didn’t have to leave my other interests behind to pursue this goal. The biggest benefit of interdisciplinary education is the opportunity to integrate a variety of academic disciplines that suit all of your interests, making you a more critical, yet creative, thinker.

Throughout my first year of college, it was exciting to see how well Plan II complemented my other major and academic interests. My Plan II Biology class covered topics similar to those in my Psychology courses, offering me a basis to better understand what I was learning. My favorite class, Plan II World Literature with Dr. Patricia Garcia, influenced me the most. We studied literature from a diverse set of authors which touched on topics that are relevant to our everyday lives, such as feminism, equality, and immigration. This course greatly enhanced my study as a pre-law student and ultimately is what encouraged me to direct my efforts into increasing diversity and inclusivity within both the Plan II and UT communities, and helped me realize my dream of becoming a civil rights attorney (and possibly a future politician).

I also really appreciate the emphasis that Plan II puts on mental health. My TC, Cultivating Resilience, covered topics about managing stress in college, which was really helpful as I navigated my first year. Now, I’m an officer for the Plan II Mental Health Alliance and have taken an active role in ensuring that every Plan II student has accessible mental health care resources.

I’m excited to see what the rest of my UT and Plan II experience holds, from pursuing my current interests to finding new ones, and meeting amazing people along the way. Plan II and UT have helped me realize my passion for activism, and I can’t wait to implement what I’ve learned here into my future endeavors of going to law school and practicing civil rights law.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    305 East 23rd St
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    Austin, Texas, 78712-1250
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