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Beth LaBate - CFYA Coordinator


Advises: Biology, Biochemistry, Environmental Science, Undeclared

Education: BA Music, Bates College; MM and Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, The University of Texas at Austin

Fact: Chicken does not belong on pizza.

Favorite Movies: Star Wars, Episodes 4-8

Favorite Books: Nightrunner series

Favorite Austin Restaurants: Asiana Indian Cuisine, Mandola's, and Sap's


Chris Connelly - Academic Advisor, Biology Scholars Program

chris.connelly@austin.utexas.edu ChrisC 2017 HS

Advises: Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Public Health, Undeclared, and Biology Scholars Program

Education: BA Journalism/Communications, University of Connecticut; M.Ed. Educational Psychology, UT Austin

Fact: I served in the Peace Corps on the island of Grenada.

Favorite Movies: American History X, Kill Bill Vol. 1-2

Favorite Book: A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins


Gabe Lopez - Academic Advisor, Texas Transfers Program


20180727 Gabe Lopez

Advises: Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Human Development & Family Sciences

Education: BA in English and History, University of Texas - Pan American (now UT-RGV)

Facts: I’m from San Juan, Texas which is along the Texas-Mexican border in the Rio Grande Valley.

Favorite Movies: Star Wars (especially the original trilogy), Alien, Reservoir Dogs, Blazing Saddles, The Godfather, Goodfellas, The Dark Knight Trilogy

Favorite Books: Beowulf, Dracula (Bram Stoker), Frankenstein, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, 1984

Favorite Austin Restaurants: Dan’s Hamburgers, Stile’s Switch Barbecue, Pluckers, La Posada, Home Slice


Guillermo Alvarado - Academic Advisor


Advises: Biology, Biochemistry, Environmental Science, Undeclared Pre-Pharmacy, Chemistry

Education: BA Sociology, Southwestern University

Fact: I once won front row tickets to see Beyoncé in concert. I’ve never been the same since.

Favorite Movies: Moulin Rouge, Pride and Prejudice, Arrival, The Selena Movie, Steel Magnolias, any X-Men movie except for the Wolverine offshoots

Favorite Books: Borderlands/La Frontera, A Little Life, The God of Small Things

Favorite Austin Restaurants: Polvos, Titaya’s, 888 Pan Asian Restaurant, Kismet Cafe, Fricano’s Deli


Lorena Rodriguez - Academic Advisor, Women in Natural Sciences 

Advises: Biology, Biochemistry, Nutrition, Human Development & Family Sciences, Undeclared Pre-Pharmacy, Women in Natural Sciences Program
Education:  BA in Psychology and Health & Society, The University of Texas at Austin
Fact: I can extract the DNA from a strawberry. I love dachshunds. I love traveling to different countries and do so at every opportunity! I have been to South Africa, Portugal, and the UK - I can't wait for my next adventure.
Favorite Movies: Titanic, Madagascar, Breakfast at Tiffany's - I like a wide range!
Favorite Books: My Story (Elizabeth Smart), The White House Doctor (Connie Mariano), and Holes (Louis Sachar)
Favorite Austin Restaurant: Trudy's, Hyde Park Bar and Grill, Cafe Bazille at Nordstrom, and Taverna. Austin food is a favorite pastime.

Olivia Biehle - Academic Advisor, Women in Natural Sciences

olivia.biehle@austin.utexas.edu Olivia Portrait

Advises: Biology, Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy, Neuroscience, and Women in Natural Sciences Program

Education:  BA Mathematics and BS Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas at Austin

Fact: In my spare time, I love baking desserts as well as playing any and all Legend of Zelda videogames.  I also think cats and Captain America are pretty great.

Favorite Movies: Wayne's World, The Avengers, Singin' in the Rain, Gladiator, and Top Gun

Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby, Crime and Punishment, The Spoils of Babylon

Favorite Austin Restaurant: Pad Thai, Maudie's, Clay Pit


Renni Turpin - Academic Advisor

renni.turpin@austin.utexas.edu  RenniTurpin

Advises: Biology, Biochemistry, Textiles & Apparel, Nutrition

Education: BA English, Northeastern University; M.Ed in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies-Higher Education Administration, Boston University

Fact: My deepest and most sincere wish is to adopt a corgi. His name will be Kylo. 

Favorite Movies: Birdman, Swiss Army Man, The Lobster, Rat Race, Galaxy Quest, Bad Times at the El Royale 

Favorite Books: Beloved, Taming of the Shrew, Le Morte d’Arthur, and any book you’d find in a grocery store.

Favorite Austin Restaurants: Salt and Time, ABGB, and Terry Black’s Barbecue.


Sara Guajardo - Academic Advisor

sara.guajardo@austin.utexas.edu SGuajardo 0718

Advises: Biology, Biochemistry, Math, Physics, Astronomy, Undeclared

Education: BA English, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi;  M. Ed. Educational Leadership and Policy Studies - Higher Education Administration, University of Texas at San Antonio

Fact: I love to be entertained by movies and going to the bookstore. I absolutely LOVE DOGS!

Favorite Movies: The Da Vinci Code, Remember the Titans, 10 Things I Hate About You, Young Frankenstein, Pride and Prejudice, Signs, The Greatest Showman

Favorite Books: Jane Eyre, Dracula, The Fault in Our Stars, Failing Forward, Where'd You Go Bernadette

Favorite Austin Restaurants: Freedmen’s and Kerbey Lane Cafe


Briana Denham - Academic Advisor  BrianaD


Advises: Biology, Biochemistry

Education: Bachelor of Journalism and BS Radio-Television-Film, University of Texas at Austin; M. Ed. Educational Leadership in Higher Education, Texas Christian University 

Fact: I taught English in Madrid for two years.

Favorite Movies: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Monster’s Inc., Zoolander, She’s The Man, Big Fish, Clue

Favorite Books: Pride and Prejudice, Slaughterhouse-Five, A Gentleman in Moscow, Rebecca, Boy Swallows Universe, Ella Enchanted 

Favorite Austin Restaurants: Mandolas, Trudy’s, Ramen Tatsu-Ya


Kaycee Armstrong - Academic Advisor  


Advises: Biology, Biochemistry

Education: BS Public Relations, The University of Texas at Austin

Fact: I love going to concerts. The Austin City Limits Music Festival is always one of the highlights of my year. The first concert I ever went to was Aly & AJ.

Favorite Movies: A Cinderella Story, The Greatest Showman, Hairspray, Guardians of the Galaxy

Favorite Books: The Maze Runner Trilogy, Looking for Alaska, The 5th Wave, Into the Wild

Favorite Austin Restaurants: Kismet Cafe, Snooze, Don, Magnolia Cafe, Pluckers, 888 Pan Asian Restaurant, Patrizi's, Madam Mam's