College of Liberal Arts


Meet the Undergraduate Fellows


Oscar Corpus

Oscar Corpus is an English Honors major with a minor in Portuguese and a certificate in Public Policy. His research interests include public policy’s relationship to literature and film, Marxist interpretations of Latin American cinema, and translations of literary and cinematic works. He is also passionate about academic activism, and has worked on numerous projects promoting educational policies for the betterment of disenfranchised communities, such as Refusing to Forget¸ an educational non-profit project raising local history awareness in the Rio Grande Valley. His senior thesis centers on how Mexico’s foreign policy during the first decade of the Cold War impacted the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. After graduating in May 2020, Oscar will pursue a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, specializing in the relationship between public policy and Latin American literature and film.

Zaria El-Fil

Zaria El-Fil is a third-year Psychology, African & African Diaspora Studies, Humanities Honors triple major with a minor in History. Her work places the experiences of marginalized communities at the forefront of her historical work in order to acknowledge the symbolic violence, social injury, and forms of cultural domination and oppression that have reduced marginalized groups to asterisks in the telling of history. Zaria is interested in justice and the importance of inclusive K-12 history curricula. She envisions her academic trajectory as a quest to love and retell the stories that were deemed insignificant by U.S. educational institutions. Through the ESI Program, Zaria will work with local community members to conduct Brown Bag Talks, panels, and art exhibitions in order to create conversations surrounding early life identity formation and its relationship to history lessons that are the basis through which students begin to understand society and the human condition. It is the call of her younger self who felt excluded from history textbooks as well as the ethic of her role as a scholar, educator, and community activist.

Apurva Gunturu

Apurva Gunturu is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Plan II Honors and Philosophy, with a minor in Spanish. Her academic and research areas of interest include issues of communication and language barriers, especially in regard to immigration, identity, and translation. Through the Engaged Scholars Initiative, Apurva hopes to develop a deeper understanding of communication issues and is interested in exploring potential solutions for improving information availability in immigration processes through education, streamlining procedures, and the development of translingual systems of conversation.

Jarie Nabors

Jarie Nabors is a senior majoring in Government with a certificate in National Securities Studies and minor in Sociology. Her academic and research areas of interest include Diplomacy, Civil Unrest, Social Movements, Immigration, Family, and influence of those areas on the Arts and Literature. Her Capstone project will focus on the effects of memory politics and national security policy on the social and artistic realm and how it shapes perceptions of legitimacy and morality- especially upon children. As a Terry Scholar she has strong belief in service, community, leadership and scholarship. She hopes to uphold the pillars of the Terry Foundation through not only her academic work, but also through her community involvement and engagement alongside the other ESI Cohort II fellows.

Cathy Preciado

Cathy Preciado is a third-year English major with a minor in Portuguese, seeking a Bridging Disciplines certificate in Children and Society and a UTeach-Liberal Arts teaching certification. Pursuing an English Honors thesis, Cathy is interested in studying race and immigration in literature as it interacts in public online spaces and pop culture, colloquially referred to as “fandom.” She is interested in researching how “common people” influence and receive information related to politics, race, sex, gender, and all other intersecting identities that interact freely within fandom. Through the Engaged Scholar Initiative, Cathy hopes to bring credibility and merit to “fan-scholars” and hopes her research will alter the pedagogy in which race, immigration, and other intersecting identities are often discussed as issues outside of “real literature,” the mainstream, and consumable media. She hopes to publish her work in multiple peer-reviewed journals as well as make the text accessible to non-academics and “fans.”

Emma Robinson

Emma Robinson is an American Studies and Political Communications double major. Her academic and research interests include Urban Development, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Housing Discrimination, American History, and Public Policy. Through her research with the Engaged Scholars Initiative, Emma hopes to find a way to use urban planning and zoning laws to equalize the distribution of wealth and resources within American cities. Using cities such as Houston and Austin as examples, Emma will research alternative ways to structure cities in a way that eliminates the formation of underdeveloped and under-resourced parts of cities, such as the formation of food deserts.

Ana Rosa Sanchez

Ana Rosa Sánchez is an English major with a minor in Rhetoric and Writing from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their literary interests involve finding queer perspectives in contemporary and modern literature. Their research hopes to bridge the understanding of modern and contemporary literature with the study of gender and sexuality. As part of the Engaged Scholars Initiative, they want to create a database of LGBTQ+ research papers of canonical writers, as well as less known Latin American writers. Being a Latinx student, Ana is interested in starting the database by focusing on Puerto Rican writers, in addition to English writers like Virginia Woolf. Ana hopes to create a website that is an accessible resource for other scholars interested in researching LGBTQ+ themes and perspectives in literature.

Jaelynn Walls

Jaelynn Walls is an Art History and Plan II Honors double major who is pursuing a minor in African and African Diaspora Studies. She is interested in exploring identity politics and the role of the black body in museum spaces. Jaelynn is currently exploring the implications of painters replacing classical narratives and figures in the western canon with black bodies in order to reframe narratives surrounding art history and blackness. She is also committed to expanding accessibility to cultural institutions. At the graduate level, Jaelynn plans to earn a doctoral degree in Art History with a concentration in African American Studies. Jaelynn hopes to go on to conduct art historical research while curating exhibitions in major museums.