On Student Leadership

A conversation with Moody Communication Council President Aaron Koehler

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Aaron Koehler, a corporate communication studies senior from Grapeland, Texas, is president this year of the student-run Communication Council in the Moody College of Communication. More than 80 members from across the Moody College are in the group with a stated goal to “bridge gaps between students, faculty, staff and administration between the Moody College and the rest of the campus and Austin communities.”

Recently, Koehler explained the role of the Communication Council, plans for 2015 and a little background on himself.


Aaron Koehler poses for a picture in front
of the Belo Center for New Media. Koehler is
originally from Grapeland, a small town
in East Texas.

Can you provide examples of what the Communication Council does on a day-to-day basis?
Within Moody, you can find council members passing out treats to students on their way to class in the hopes of brightening up their day while also gauging their opinions of the college. We also host lectures lead by some notable figures from around the UT and the Austin community. Externally, we participate in community service events around the UT and Austin communities, while also participating in various Senate of College Councils events.

Why should students participate in the Communication Council?
I believe that joining a student organization is critical not only to a student’s personal success, but to his or her academic success as well. By joining a group of like-minded and supportive individuals, students are able to find their own unique niche in a space that they share with 50,000 others. I wholeheartedly encourage anyone who has a passion for innovation and making a difference within their academic community to apply to the Communication Council. Being around a group of 80 student leaders who share that same love of seeing beneficial changes put in place on a college-wide level is one of the most rewarding experiences. I welcome anyone who is interested in what we do or who we are to visit the student leadership suite in Belo and chat about how they can become involved. Those interested can also feel free to shoot me an email at utcommcouncil@gmail.com.

What does the Communication Council have planned for 2015?
Continuing to push ourselves to reach the needs of as many students as possible around the college as possible while remaining as fresh and innovative in our outreach efforts as we can. We also have begun fostering better relationships with other councils around the university, so I continue on seeing those continue to grow next semester as well.


Several council members pick up trash on the trails surrounding Lady Bird Lake last
semester. Community service opportunities such as this annual event act as positive
public outreach.

Why did you choose to study in the Moody College of Communication?
While the set of distinguished alumni and nationally ranked programs were some definite attractions, my love for writing and new media drew me to the college. I knew I had made the right choice on the first day of orientation when I witnessed the infectious passion that Moody educators and students alike have for their fields of study. Moody is a wonderful and groundbreaking institution, and I am excited to see what the future holds for it.

What have your best experiences been so far at UT Austin?
While participating in Dean Hart’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is definitely at the top of that list, and all of my best memories have been associated with the council. Honestly, I have no idea what my UT experience would have been like if it were not for the council. From camping trips to playing broomball with the Liberal Arts Council, I have had really great experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow as an individual while also making some lifelong friends along the way.

What career would you like to pursue following graduation?
I have an interest in the fast-changing technology and new media fields and how companies are adapting and responding to those changes, so I am currently applying to marketing communications positions in the Dallas area.

To learn more about the Communication Council, follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook.


More than half the Communication Council participates in a well-deserved fall retreat to
socialize with
one another at the Belo Center for New Media. Council meetings are open
to the public and take place every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Belo Center’s first-floor
lecture hall.
Marc Speir
Senior Content Producer