Outstanding Spring 2019 Grads

Meet Moody College's selected outstanding graduates

Moody College of Communication honors and recognizes the students who are completing their respective programs of study during commencement exercises on Friday, May 24.

Please meet Moody College's selected outstanding graduates in the Spring Class of 2019.

Brittany Braun

Brittany Braun

B.S., Radio-Television-Film

Hometown: Santa Fe, TX

I attended RTF summer camps in high school and fell in love with the department. As a UT student, I figured out college is a time to learn from your failures and grow as a filmmaker.

Our professors push students to try new things creatively and not fear mistakes. Some of the most influential classes for me include: Screenwriting TV Specs with Felicia D. Henderson, Screenwriting TV Pilots with Cindy McCreery, Script to Screen with Scott Rice and Development for Film & Television with Diana Kerew-Shaw.

Through film classes and internships, I realized that I am a people person and good at understanding how to work with different personality types. After graduation I will move to Los Angeles and pursue a career in entertainment. I am passionate about story development, and my long-term goal is to be a creative producer for film and television.

Jochebed Fekadu

Jochebed Fekadu

B.S., Public Relations

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Favorite faculty wisdom bomb: Anything and everything Terry Hemeyer says is a wisdom bomb due to his honesty and insight into the professional world.

I definitely became more driven at The University of Texas and Moody College due to the insanely successful people who surround me. I also learned the value of quality over quantity when it comes to relationships with mentors and faculty. Having a handful who can really pour into you can be life-changing.

Dave Junker’s Pop Star Activism course had a significant impact on my college experience. He seamlessly tied the world of entertainment together with politics, religion and communication tactics we learn in the classrooms.

I plan on attending graduate school and eventually starting a non-profit that focuses on middle school and high school first generation students who lack information and resources regarding college opportunities. Their dreams become more attainable if we can provide them with information and mentors who look like them and can relate to their backgrounds.

Deenah Kafeel

Deenah Kafeel

B.J., Journalism

Hometown: Plano, Texas by way of Pakistan

Favorite faculty wisdom bomb: 
“People want to see what you built, not what you know.” – Rosental Alves
“You have the power to create power.” – Robert Quigley
“It is our job to make people care.” – Kathleen McElroy

At UT, I went through a paradigm shift and realized school is not an end game, but an experience that you continually evolve through. I stopped stressing about the next assignment and began appreciating my time at the university.

My experiences showed me the importance of grit and relentless perseverance in the face of defeat, empathy and grace in tough situations and flexibility with life’s plans.

When I went to Chiapas, Mexico with Humanity First to help set up and work in the first women and children’s health clinics, it cemented my passion for international humanitarian work and using my position to shine a light on situations that would otherwise go unseen.

Upon graduation, I’m heading to Indonesia for the International Consortium on Social Development and plan to work with the Fulbright Scholar program to study the role of technology adoption in the refugee crisis.

Isabel Miller

Isabel Miller

B.S., Communication Studies

Hometown: Short Hills, NJ

I wanted to be a University of Texas student because I wanted to be part of a huge university that radiated with school spirit. I was lucky enough to have witnessed two Texas Football wins in the Red River Rivalry!

It also didn’t hurt that it never snows in Austin.

One class that was significant to my college experience was Professional Communication Skills. In that class, I realized my love for public speaking, and my confidence of standing in front of a large group of people grew.

Over the years, I have seen my ability to network and build relationships grow exponentially. Because of my networking skills, I have adopted mentors, landed interviews, accepted internships at MLB Network and CNN Sports and now have secured a full-time job at ESPN as a production assistant.

My long-term goal is to be the lead on writing and producing meaningful feature stories for a major network.

Kyle Monk

Kyle Monk

B.S., Advertising

Hometown: Rusk, Texas

Favorite faculty wisdom bomb: 
“Discomfort is the fertilizer for growth.” – Dr. Leonard Moore
“So, what?” – Lisa Dobias

Growing up, the idea that The University of Texas was an untouchable and unattainable place for someone from a town like mine was instilled at a young age. This became the driving force for my desire to come to The University of Texas.

Five classes come to mind when I think of my college experience –

  • Race in the Age of Obama taught by Dr. Leonard Moore
  • History of the Black Power Movement taught by Dr. Leonard Moore
  • Traveler’s Tales taught by Tracy Dahlby
  • Introduction to Media Planning taught by Lisa Dobias
  • Integrated Communication campaigns taught by Liza Lewis

The first three provided me with new lenses with which I now observe and understand the world differently. The last two provided me with a passion that fuels my career path. 

Over the past four years, I have watched my leadership qualities develop in ways that are hard to explain. My individuality and self-expression have flourished, while I simultaneously grew my appreciation for teamwork and community-mindedness.

I plan to get a master’s in non-profit management and enter the family equity sector.

Mashhood Nielsen

Mashhood Nielsen

B.S., Communication Sciences & Disorders

Hometown: Victoria, Texas

Favorite class: Clinical Audiology, taught by Sangeeta Kamdar, gave me hands-on experience and confirmed my interest and passion in the field.

These past few years have gone by so quickly. I’m very excited and proud to say that I was able to complete my bachelor’s degree at such an amazing university.

This summer, I plan to travel the states on my motorcycle until I start graduate school in the doctorate of audiology program at UT in the fall. My goal is to become an audiologist specializing in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and also pursue my certification as a motorcycle safety instructor.

My overall experience, and training undergraduate and graduate students in the Central Sensory Processes Lab, have helped me become more confident and assertive as a person. 

Emily Rogers

Emily Rogers

B.S., Communication and Leadership

Hometown: Houston, Texas

I knew that I would have many opportunities to grow and learn at such an amazing institution, and Introduction to Communication and Leadership made me fall in love with my degree program and the Moody College experience. Dr. Jennifer Jones Barbour ignited my passion for social justice, and both she and Dr. Meme Drumwright challenged me on an academic and personal level.

I took ownership of my career path and academic experience in a way I never had before. My eyes were opened to non-profit work, and I realized I was inspired toward it. On a personal note, I also learned the importance of grace for myself and others, how to be more outspoken and how to stand up for myself.

My most special college memories are the time I spent with friends, and one of my favorite experiences as a student was starting the Communication and Leadership Club with Katie Cox and Jillian Moore. I’ll always cherish those memories, and I’m excited to apply all that I’ve learned. 

Natalie England
Marketing Communications