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Plan II Honors

Peer Mentor 2021 Profiles

Class of 2025:

Remember to sign up for a peer mentor group! Submit a survey response by Friday, August 6th, 2021!

 

Lead Peer Mentor - Grace Farley

Senior, Plan II and Social Work

grace 

**NOTE: As our "mentor to the mentors", Grace will not lead a student mentee pod but will work with our mentors to support their leadership and facilitation of the mentee pods.

My name is Grace and I'm an incoming senior studying Social Work and Plan II Honors. I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and have lived in Texas my whole life! 

I am a proud first-generation college student, passionate about education policy. After graduation, I hope to pursue a Master of Social Work, and to someday work as a policy advocate for educational equity. 

In my free time, I enjoy being active, playing intramural sports, picnicking, visiting the downtown Austin public library, dog watching, and kayaking. I am always on the lookout for fun (and free) public events in Austin and have found many hidden gems ranging from goat-yoga events, calligraphy lessons, to social justice rallies. I am a huge proponent of getting off campus and exploring Austin, and would love to help anyone get acquainted with the public transportation system!

On campus, I am a part of the UT Senate of College Councils, Social Work Council, and Socks for the Sole (a student created nonprofit assisting those experiencing homelessness). In the Fall, I will also be an RA in Jester West, if you see me at the desk or around the dorms, please say hi! 

Please reach out to me at gracefarley@utexas.edu if you have any questions, or want to chat about shared interests! Welcome to UT!

 

 

Fall 2021 Peer Mentors

Hanna Ahmed
Sophomore, Plan II and Rhetoric & Writing

hanna 

Hello! My name is Hanna and I am a sophomore double majoring in Plan II and Rhetoric and Writing. I am also pursuing the Pre-Health certificate and the Health Communications certificate. I hope to pursue medicine in the future, and my dream job is to be a medical journalist (yes, Rory Gilmore and Jane Villanueva have definitely influenced my writing dreams). 

When I’m not doing school stuff, I enjoy spending time outside with friends. I have to say that my hammock is something I carry with me everywhere because I love finding places all around Austin to just lay and read. You can also find me kayaking on Lady Bird, picnicking at Zilker, or exploring random concerts downtown! I like to (attempt to) penny board with my friends and pretend I am living my coming of age movie (because that’s the only way to do it, right?). 

I am so excited to be one of your Plan II Peer Mentors this year! If you have any questions, any book recommendations, or just wanna chat, you can email me at hanna.ahmed@utexas.edu !

 

Brynna Boyd
Senior, Plan II and Communication & Leadership

brynna 

My name is Brynna Boyd, and I’m a senior majoring in Communication & Leadership, African & African Diaspora Studies, and Plan II, with a minor in English. I’m from Flower Mound, TX, and I’m so excited to be a peer mentor again! 

Outside of class, I’m president of the Black Honors Student Association and a member of the Texas Novas spirit group. I’ve also been an undergraduate learning assistant in Communication and Leadership, and I really enjoy working with other students in the program. 

Within Plan II, I was  a founding member of the Plan II Student Association Diversity Committee. We do outreach to admitted students, so you may have heard from me before! I’m in the second semester of my thesis on student activism and advocacy in digital spaces. I’m working on this project through Plan II, and I’m also a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. I also work with other volunteers in facilitating “Intro to Black UT” sessions for prospective and admitted students. 

In my free time, I enjoy embroidering, binge-watching Netflix/reality TV, and hanging out with friends! I also spent this summer working at The Escape Game, and I’m becoming a big fan of puzzles, books, and mysteries! 

I can’t wait to meet you all! If you have questions about ways to get involved, Plan II, or college in general (or just want to chat), feel free to reach out: brynnaboyd@utexas.edu.  

 

Victoria Canales
Junior, Plan II and Psychology

victoria 

Hi! My name is Victoria, and I’m a junior majoring in Psychology and Plan II. I’m so excited to be a Peer Mentor this year!

I have lots of different interests, including history, art, expression, and the human psyche, which is why I plan on going to graduate school for musicology (with the amazing help of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship!). Music and the culture surrounding it is my passion, and I love learning more about the sociology and context surrounding it. In my free time, I’m always trying to discover new artists, catch live music events, and check out fun new places around Austin! My current favorite band is Alice in Chains, but I’m also really starting to love Phoebe Bridgers. Outside of music, I am addicted to YouTube (where I watch pirated episodes of To Catch a Predator) and Depop (where I impulse buy vintage band t-shirts). I have 7 tortoises and 4 cats, though most of them are staying with my family back in Laredo, TX. However, my Russian tortoise named Poe comes with me to Austin! 

I’m so pumped to get to know you all! As a Peer Mentor, I’ll create an atmosphere for interesting discussions, provide you with all the resources that helped me, and take you to the coolest places around town! Feel free to contact me at victoria.canales182@gmail.com if you’d like to get to know me. I’m always happy to talk about school, music, or life in general!

 

Mantra Dave
Sophomore, Plan II and Business

mantra 

Hi! My name is Mantra and I’m a sophomore Plan II, Finance, and (hopefully) International Relations and Global Studies major. I’m from Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, which is a couple hours south of Chicago and as stereotypically Midwestern as you can imagine. I’m passionate about immigration reform, global development, sports journalism, and urban design. In the future, I plan to go to law school and … whatever comes after that!

On campus, I work on increasing access to research opportunities as the Undergraduate Research Co-Chair for the Senate of College Councils and edit all kinds of stories as an Associate Copy Desk Chief at The Daily Texan. I’m the Diversity and Membership Editor at the Texas Undergraduate Law Journal, where I lead recruitment and create equity & inclusion programming. And as Deputy Administrative Director within UT Student Government, I help manage a bunch of agencies that work on projects ranging from mental health advocacy to campus-wide spirit weeks. I’m also a proud member of the Longhorn Legislative Aides pipeline within Student Government and a huge fan of intramural sports. 

When not on the Forty Acres, I’m busy cooking for my friends, playing spikeball way too enthusiastically, listening to British podcasts, or watching my beloved Tottenham Hotspur find new and innovative ways to lose soccer games. You’ll also find me going on lots of morning walks, cycling all the time, drinking coffee so light it may as well be milk, and never shutting up about Jeni’s ice cream.

Some fun things on my very aspirational bucket list are visiting every national park before my 25th birthday, living on every continent, and being published in the New York Times. 

I’m so excited to be a peer mentor this Fall and to get to know y’all! I love talking about literally anything so please reach out to me at mantra@utexas.edu if you have any thoughts, questions, concerns, or just want to know where the best boba in Austin is!

 

Juliette Draper
Junior, Plan II and History

juliette 

Hey y’all! My name is Juliette! I am a junior Plan II and History major, with a minor in Business and Russian and East European Studies. On campus, I am involved in the Liberal Arts Council, the Texas Undergraduate Law Journal, and the historical journal Past in Process. Off campus, I am involved in binge-watching “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” episodes, and adoring my love, Michael Cera.

When I’m not ~curating~ playlists on Spotify (aka randomly listening to songs from my Discover Weekly playlist), you can find me eating burritos at Cabo Bobs and spending exorbitant amounts of money on 12oz lattes. I am incredibly interested in business scandals (shout-out to my dad who worked at Enron ca. 2000) and in reproductive health. I hope to pursue law after I graduate from college, and to either be a securities or reproductive rights lawyer, similar career paths I know. I am an avid reader and am currently tackling Dune, which I highly recommend to anyone who loves sci-fi. I am also running my fourth half marathon this upcoming January, and fingers crossed, will be running my first marathon senior year!

So, if you’re looking to explore coffee and taco places in Austin, chat about some good books, or run around town lake, I’m your gal! I am so excited to be a peer mentor this fall and cannot wait to work with y’all to further strengthen our Plan II community. Please reach out to me at juliettedra48@utexas.edu if you have any questions, concerns, or are hankering for a good burrito

 

Anthony Fuster
Junior, Plan II and Business

anthony 

Hello! My name is Anthony, I am a junior studying Plan II and Business Management. I am also pursuing a minor in History! Being a double major is not always an easy thing, but a challenge many Plan II students take on, even if they like Plan II just a bit more than their other major. I am from Montgomery County, Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C. When back in Maryland I love dragging my friends into DC to see the National Gallery of Art and other iconic DC museums and monuments. This past spring I spent a whole semester in Budapest, Hungary. It was a complicated feat amidst the pandemic but now I feel well acquainted with UT’s study abroad apparatus to help others understand it or perhaps prepare myself for another study abroad experience. In Austin my favorite things are volleyball games at pease park, spending too much money on south congress, and finding new restaurants away from west campus. Returning to a more “normal” semester this fall will be an exciting and exploratory time for all on campus, especially the freshman. As your peer mentor I hope to help make this experience as positive as possible! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions at anthonyfuster@utexas.edu

 

Nico Gonzalez
Junior, Plan II and Government

nico 

Hey, y’all! My name is Nico, and I’m a junior studying Government and Plan II with hopes of attending law school. I’m from El Paso, TX, and when I’m not hunkering down for the nine-hour drive to Austin, you can find me painting, golfing, or binging old movies. 

At the Forty Acres, I work as the Administrative Director of UT Student Government, tutor with the Plan II/KIPP partnership, and serve as the Equity Manager of the Tejas Club, an on-campus social group that I’m a part of. I’ll also be interning in Washington, D.C. next semester through the Archer Fellowship Program.

I previously mentored a group of 21 first-year students when I directed the Longhorn Legislative Aides (LLA) of UT Student Government. I helped the LLAs connect to academic, professional, and social opportunities across campus, and I can’t wait to do the same with y’all! My past involvement also includes researching the U.S. Supreme Court with the J.J. Pickle Research Fellowship and chairing the Plan II Academics Committee. 

If you’re interested in life at UT, making the most of your major(s), or want my definitive ranking of West Campus Halal trucks, feel free to reach me at nicolasgonzalez@utexas.edu!

Mason Gosslee
Junior, Plan II and Neuroscience

mason 

Hey everybody, I’m Mason! I’m a 3rd-year Neuroscience major along with that Plan II degree, and I get to call Dallas my home outside of Austin. Academically, I’m super fascinated with the chemistry/biology inside your brain that creates your personality. I’m also specifically interested in neurodivergent conditions (e.g., ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and OCD) and the activism that has been happening around them in recent decades.

On campus, I’m a lead counselor with Camp Kesem, a student-run program to support children with a parent’s cancer diagnosis. I’m also an officer of the Plan II Pre-Med Society and hope to see some of y’all there! 

Outside of academics, I’m still transitioning from being a high school rower to a very amateur power-lifter until I can find another activity that really excites me. I’ve also developed a deep love of being outside and spent the last two years in an ecology lab studying creek health to get my fix on the great outdoors. Over the quarantine/summer, I’ve become entranced suddenly with Formula 1 racing (I entirely blame the Netflix documentary series about it) and have been following this season fanatically. As well, I'm a huge podcast addict and have been binging Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” and Adam Grant's "Work-Life" throughout the summer--highly recommend for Dax Shepard and Adam Grant lovers. 

I wanted to be a peer mentor because I loved the idea of giving Plan II first-years a panoramic view of their vocational opportunities. Coming into college, you guys have a thousand doors open to you, and I really liked the thought of helping you see as many as possible. I’m super excited to meet y’all and am totally reachable at mwgosslee@utexas.edu if y'all have any questions!

Reese Grayson
Senior, Plan II and English

reese 

Hey, y’all! My name is Reese, and I am a 4th-year student studying Plan II and English. I started at UT back in 2016 and am now coming back to school after a three-year medical leave of absence. Back in 2018, before my absence, I wrote for the Liberal Arts Council’s Magazine, the Liberator. I was also involved in the Queer Business Student Association and the Plan 2 Queer Student Association. Because I have been away from the UT community for quite a while, currently most of my time is spent on hobbies/activities off-campus. I work regularly in the Speech and Debate Community, teaching as an instructor for the Houston Urban Debate League and as a contract Debate Coach for high schools in the greater Houston area. As of late, I have developed a greater love for video games during the pandemic. I also like spending a lot of time with friends going out, seeing drag shows, watching Queer cinema, or doing outdoorsy things. 

As of right now, I am planning to go to Law School and will be preparing for that next summer. As I settle back into Austin and rekindle old friendships and discover new communities, I am super excited to be a peer mentor. If you have any questions about the UT experience or Austin and want to chat, don’t hesitate to reach out. My email is grayson.reese11@gmail.com. 

Hailey Hollowell
Senior, Plan II and International Relations & Global Studies

 hailey

My name is Hailey and I am a fourth year student, pursuing a B.A. in International Relations and Global Studies on the Culture, Media, and the Arts track and Plan II with a French Minor and a certificate in Human Rights and Social Justice. I realize what a mouthful that all is, but it’s a Plan II bonding moment to list all your majors and minors and have no one understand what you’re actually studying. I’m from the Dallas suburbs so you can find me there with my mom and Pomeranian mix during breaks, or in Cedar Park with my dad and other pups. I love being with people, and in my free time I'm usually watching and critiquing movies with friends, baking French or British recipes, reading for fun, or playing on my Nintendo switch. When I’m not doing any of the above, I'm busy with several student orgs and jobs. In the past, I served as the Co-Chair of the College Ambassadors committee of Liberal Arts Council. I also used to serve as a Co-Policy Director for a student-run think tank called UThink which produces OpEds about issues at UT. I currently work as a Government Department research assistant studying exclusionary citizenship law. This summer I was an intern for AsylumConnect, an LGBTQ+ refugee services organization.

UT has a wealth of opportunities to explore, and through a mix of internships, study abroad, orgs, and coursework I have learned more about myself and my goals than ever before. I enjoy studying cultural imperialism and its roots in Western colonialism, as well as how these issues impact refugees and stateless people today. Plan II has been a motivating community, giving me the confidence to explore opportunities outside of my traditional field, as well as the source of my closest friendships! I have served as a Plan II peer mentor for the last two years, and can’t wait to come back to the program to meet you all in person. If you want to ask about anything in my bio, resume, or life in Austin, please send me a message at hollowellhailey@utexas.edu.

Driscoll Julia
Senior, Plan II and Chemical Engineering

 driscoll

Hey everyone! My name is Driscoll and I'm a senior majoring in Plan II and Chemical Engineering from McAllen, Texas. Although I'm studying engineering, my passion has always been law, so I currently work as a Case Manager and started a Patent Law organization here on campus. On top of that, I'm part of the Plan II Pre-Law Society, the Society of Plan II Engineers, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. 
When I'm not working, I spend most of my time running, reading, and herding the three cats I've been fostering through Austin Animal Center (Pluto, Mango, and Bongo). I love exploring Austin; from listening to live music at local bars to paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake, I've yet to have a dull moment in my time here. If you need suggestions on things to do around town, I'm more than willing to help. I'm incredibly excited to get to know everyone in the fall as a peer mentor! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at harold.driscoll.julia@utexas.edu.

 

 

Jillian Merritt 

Senior, Plan II and Chemical Engineering

jillian

Hello! My name is Jillian and I’m a third-year Chemical Engineering and Plan II student. I finished high school in Wimberley (a small town southwest of Austin), but I lived in lots of different places growing up. I love being in nature, hanging out with my three dogs, and trying new things (food, music, places, etc.)!

Outside of class, you can find me running along Lady Bird Lake, searching for the best coffee shops in Austin, or taste-testing the newest snacks from Trader Joe’s. On-campus I’m part of the Society of Women Engineers as VP Advancement, the Plan II Students’ Association as a Social Coordinator for the Class of 2023, and the Women in Engineering Program as a PAL mentor to first-year women in chemical engineering. I was a PAL mentor last year and I loved being able to provide some ~wisdom~ from my experiences at UT, so I’m excited to be a resource for you! Please reach out to me at jillianmerritt@utexas.edu if you have questions or want to grab coffee with me!

 


Valeria Rocha,

Junior, Plan II and International Relations & Global Studies

PHOTO AND BIO COMING SOON!


Katelyn Roy
Sophomore, Plan II and Studio Art
katelyn

Hi all! My name is Katelyn Roy, and I’m a sophomore studying Studio Art and Plan II Honors with minors in Art History and African Diaspora Studies. I’m originally from New Iberia, Louisiana but now I live in the outskirts of Austin with my family. I miss the bayous and Louisiana cypress trees so much, so when I’m near nature I take a bunch of photos. If you see me buried in my phone listening to music, I’m probably editing a photo.

When I’m on campus during the fall and spring, I enjoy studying at Café Medici on the second floor (the workers know my first name and order) and visiting the Blanton Museum of Art to get inspired for my artwork (mostly because it’s free). I’m a relatively quiet person but I do enjoy karaoke and dancing. During my free time, you can find me either sleeping 30 minutes into a movie or doing some unnecessary online shopping (rip to my bank account). Also, I love to go out on adventures to try new foods or visit new places. And even though I’m deathly afraid of heights, this past summer I slept in a very peaceful treehouse with my family 800 feet above sea level. Being from Louisiana, I’m used to being below sea level, so this was an adventure in many ways. I did end up being more comfortable on day 2, and I built the courage to sit outside and draw.   

I’m looking forward to being a mentor this semester to meet new Plan II students and help out in any way I can! Please reach out to me at katelynroy@utexas.edu with any questions or to chat about anything especially my expertise of the arts.

 

 

Gloria Wang
Sophomore, Plan II and Business
gloria
Hi! My name is Gloria, and I am a sophomore Plan II and Business (MIS) major from Allen, Texas. I am also minoring in Informatics and History.
When not doing homework, I enjoy reading (Goodreads is my preferred form of social media), learning about sustainability, art, and finding new music. My favorite TV shows are currently The Good Place and Money Heist, but I am also obsessed with Bo Burnham's "Inside".
On campus, I'm involved in Plan II Students Association, Longhorn Racing, and Apricity Magazine.
I am thrilled to be one of your Plan II Peer Mentors this semester, and I can’t wait to get to know y’all! Please feel free to ask me any questions and/or send me your favorite meme/book at gloriawang@utexas.edu

 

 

Isabel Webb-Carey
Sophomore, Purely Plan II!
isabel

Hey everyone! My name is Isabel and I’m a sophomore majoring in Plan II with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas, and I am also looking to add a B.A. in Psychology this Fall. 

2020-2021 was certainly a strange start to college, but I am now incredibly excited to become a peer mentor and launch into everything the university and Austin have to offer alongside y’all! Having moved from London, England to Austin in 2020, I am still getting to know the city, and so to art gallery visits to late-night adventures to food truck tours, my answer will always be yes!

On campus, I am an editor for the TX Orator, and have been involved with the Social Entrepreneurship Learning Lab, as well as Planet Longhorn, the international student organization. Over the summer, I have been working as a research assistant in two psychology labs—the Evolution, Variation, and Ontogeny of Learning Laboratory and the Pennebaker Language Lab—and look forward to continuing my work with them this year. Off campus, I work for an independent political news publication and volunteer with voter advocacy groups. 

I know what it’s like moving somewhere totally unfamiliar and am so grateful to the wonderfully friendly faces who guided me through my first year. Please reach out to me to ask me any questions and/or send me your favorite articles/podcast recommendations/artworks! Oh, and definitely say hi if you see me around campus!

***Remember to sign up for a peer mentor group! Submit a survey response by Friday, August 6th, 2021!


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