Honors Program graduating students

Celebrating their diversity of dreams, ideas

This May, we celebrate our first group of students graduating from the Moody College Honors Program. The four-year honors program launched in Fall 2018 with the intended purpose of fostering a diverse and supportive community of intellectually curious and motivated students determined to use communication to make the world a better place.

As these students prepare for graduation, and the opportunities and challenges that await them, we thank them for contributing to our collaborative culture and for enriching our classrooms.

We invite you to learn more about these outstanding students, their honors experiences and their plans for the future.

Fatema Dawoodbhoy

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Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka; raised in Bedford, Texas

She/her/hers

What was your favorite part of the honors program? The professors! They are the most compassionate, wise and inspiring mentors a student could have.

What advice would you give to current honors students? The greatest piece of advice I ever received, from none other than Dr. Love, tailored for those especially indecisive students like myself: "You don't have to believe in everything you do/write/make 100 percent. It's okay to believe in things 70 percent."

Favorite honors memory? The Honors Fall Social Welcome Party at Littlefield House!

What are your post-graduation plans? Right after graduation, I will be interning as an Art Director for R/GA Austin. Shortly after, I will be heading to NYC to join Noble People as a creative strategist/media designer.

Favorite honors assignment? Baking as a class in Dr. Galit's "Finding Purpose in Communication" special topics course.

Best speaker? John Moore

Most inspirational person? Dr. Love

If you could go back in time and switch your major, what would you choose? I would switch my major an infinite amount of times if I could. But to start, probably Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences.

What TV show character embodies your time in college? Chidi from “The Good Place” -- constant crises.

What’s next? Reading for fun!

Alexia Huggans

Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Houston, Texas

She/her

What was your favorite part of the honors program? Everyone is so genuine, and I always felt as if my professors and peers were there to support me. While in the program, I was inspired by so many of my peers. I have never been surrounded by such a great group of people!

What advice would you give to current honors students? My advice is to take advantage of all the great resources and connections that the honors program provides.

What are your post-graduation plans? I am going to Texas Christian University for graduate school in the fall.

Favorite honors assignment? My favorite honors assignment was in the class “Finding Purpose Through Communication.” The class (via Zoom) hand-made bread together, and it really felt like in that moment the class was united. It was such a heart-warming experience.

Best speaker? My favorite honors speaker was also in the class “Finding Purpose Through Communication.” Leslie Wingo attended class and talked about the struggles that she faced to get to where she is in her life now. It was so real and so powerful to be reminded that such inspirational people have to overcome their own hurdles to get to where they want to be.

Most inspirational person? I think the most inspirational person that I met in the honors program was Dr. Brad Love. He constantly reminds his students of their worth and their capabilities, and he makes everyone in his classroom feel as though they belong. I learned so much about myself just by working with Dr. Love over the years.

If you could go back in time and switch your major, what would you choose? If I could go back in time and change my major, I wouldn’t. Over the years, I’ve come to really love my major and helping people with their communication difficulties. It is a truly rewarding major.

What’s next? I hope to become a speech-language pathologist and work in a neonatal intensive care unit once I graduate from my master’s program. In the neonatal unit, I hope to help premature babies with swallowing and feeding difficulties.

Kiely Hunt

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Flower Mound, Texas

She/her

What was your favorite part of the honors program? My favorite part of the honors program was definitely being a part of my cohort and building the amazing friendships that came from it!

What advice would you give to current honors students? My advice to current honors students is to go to every event/seminar that you can. They are so fun, educational, and allow you to make the best memories.

Favorite honors memory? Volunteering at the school and painting walls (of Webb Middle School) with Gigi Feingold and Kendyl Loper.

What are your post-graduation plans? Working in marketing and advertising.

Favorite honors assignment? My capstone project (advertising ethics blog).

Best speaker? Patrick Radden Keefe!

Most inspirational person? Natalie Devlin!

If you could go back in time and switch your major what would you choose? Definitely journalism -- Tracy Dahlby completely changed my view of it for the best!

What TV show character embodies your time in college? Jess from “New Girl.”

What’s next? Staying in Austin and working!

Zoe Judilla

Journalism, Radio-Television-Film

Round Rock, Texas

She/her/hers

What was your favorite part of the honors program? Meeting the most creative, supportive people in my cohort who I genuinely believe will be some of my long-term inspirations and lifelong friends.

What advice would you give to current honors students? Make connections with your cohort out of love for what they do! There are some incredibly smart and thoughtful people who you'll be grateful to meet along the way, and they'll inspire you across a variety of passions and perspectives.

Favorite honors memory? Collectively scream-singing "What's Up?" by 4-Non Blondes during karaoke at Littlefield Mansion for Halloween social or going to Pizza Press with the crew after Life of the Community.

What are your post-graduation plans? I'm extremely grateful to currently be deciding between opportunities in Los Angeles, where I'm planning on moving in August once the pandemic (hopefully) lightens. I'm excited to continue developing my career in the entertainment industry once I finish my current internship at A24.

Favorite honors assignment? I've spent the last semester of my senior year creating a 28-minute video essay retrospective on the works of the late Studio Ghibli co-founder, Isao Takahata. Researching the processes and impact of his films has allowed me to thoughtfully dissect how honest storytelling can often emphasize reality by transcending it.

Most inspirational person? Mitski and Phoebe Waller-Bridge are my two greatest inspirations... take that as you will.

If you could go back in time and switch your major what would you choose? I honestly can't imagine myself majoring in anything outside my two degrees! I would've loved to take more Women & Gender Studies classes, though.

What TV show character embodies your time in college? Fleabag in "Fleabag"

What’s next? In the long run, I hope to continue creating and supporting groundbreaking film and television with a foremost goal of uplifting Asian American & Pacific Islanders' stories, alongside other marginalized voices, within the entertainment industry.

Samantha Sparber

Journalism

Buffalo Grove, Illinois

She/her/hers

What was your favorite part of the honors program? Making friends with Moody students outside of my grade and major!

What advice would you give to current honors students? School is important, but don't forget to make time for the things and people you love.

Favorite honors memory? Cry-watching “Okja” in Belo's screening room.

What are your post-graduation plans? Reporting on state politics at the Dallas Morning News' Austin Bureau.

Favorite honors assignment? Analyzing (in real-time) how media outlets last spring covered the coronavirus pandemic.

Best speaker? Professor Dahlby, always!

Most inspirational person? All my Moody Honors peers – and professors

If you could go back in time and switch your major, what would you choose? I would stick with journalism, but if I had to choose something else, I'd pick government.

What TV show character embodies your time in college? Hannah Montana – I've balanced reporting internships with my schoolwork for most of college!

What’s next? This summer I'm interning with The Wall Street Journal. After that, I'll join the Dallas Morning News' Austin Bureau to cover state politics.

Regina Trevino

Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Brownsville, Texas

She/her/hers

What was your favorite part of the honors program? The community.

What advice would you give to current honors students? Go to the events, meet people, make friends.

Favorite honors memory? Telling stories at the Littlefield House.

What are your post-graduation plans? Graduate school

Favorite honors assignment? Baking challah bread in “Finding Your Purpose Through Communication” Honors capstone class.

Best speaker? Patrick Radden Keefe

Most inspirational person? Dr. Junker

If you could go back in time and switch your major, what would you choose? I can't imagine myself anywhere else.

What TV show character embodies your time in college? Rory Gilmore from “Gilmore Girls.”

What’s next? I will be attending Texas Christian University and their speech-language pathology graduate program with a bilingual emphasis.

Scotty Villhard

Radio-Television-Film

Kirkwood, Missouri

They/them

What was your favorite part of the honors program? Topics Classes

What advice would you give to current honors students? Remember that you can find your most fulfilling experiences and projects outside of classes; find other interesting people and create things with them!

Favorite honors memory? Reading Socrates for the first time.

What are your post-graduation plans? I am attending the Writing for the Screen MFA program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Favorite honors assignment? Capstone

Best speaker? Brooke Gladstone

Most inspirational person? Ever? John Darnielle

If you could go back in time and switch your major, what would you choose? I wouldn’t.

What TV show character embodies your time in college? Clancy, “The Midnight Gospel”

Lucy Wei

Public Relations

Basking Ridge, New Jersey

She/her/hers

What was your favorite part of the honors program? I really appreciated the free-flowing nature of our conversations in the “Life of the Mind” and the “Life of the Community” classes -- they were incredibly philosophical, inviting and abstract, giving me the refreshing opportunity to explore a curriculum that differed so greatly from my major's coursework.

What advice would you give to current honors students? Become friends with the students in your cohort! Everyone is incredibly intelligent and brings unique perspectives to the table.

Favorite honors memory? Laying on the floor of the Blanton in order to better analyze Thomas Glassford's "Siphonophora" art fixture, or attending the Friends of the College event.

What are your post-graduation plans? I'll be pursuing a master's in management at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

Favorite honors assignment? Working on my final project for the honors program -- it's an audio show called "Baby Steps" that explores the intersection of sustainability practice and perfection paralysis among college students. I created two episodes during my final semester and hope to continue producing content post-grad.

Best speaker? Kathleen McElroy

Most inspirational person? Dr. Devlin, my “Data Visualization and Analytics” professor, brought so much positive energy to each (Zoom) class and made learning about numbers a fun thing!

If you could go back in time and switch your major, what would you choose? History, 100 percent!

What TV show character embodies your time in college? Jess from “New Girl”

What’s next? I will be interning for R/GA's New York office as a Ventures Intern.

Marketing Communication

Team


For more information, contact:

Kathleen Mabley at 512-232-1417