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We invite you to send any questions you have about the application process or the program to the Polymathic Scholars listed below. 

Julian FJulian falco   Julian.falco@utexas.edu

"Hi! I'm Julian Falco, a sophomore biochemistry major in the Polymathic Scholars Program; I'm from a small city called Friendswood, which is in the Houston area. I am currently on the pre-med track, and I hope to create my Polymathic field around the development of health care around the world over time, and how global communities today are able to effectively engineer systems for its delivery. I've gotten involved as a social services volunteer at the C. D. Doyle homeless shelter clinic, and I also do research in a neuroscience lab that studies synaptic plasticity in the brain. In whatever free time I have left, I enjoy swimming, playing piano, and writing music. I really enjoy talking about the programs I'm in, so please feel free to reach out!"


Esther Kim

ESTHER KIM    kim.esther@utexas.edu

"Hello! My name is Esther Kim, and I am a third-year pre-med biology major in the Polymathic Honors Program. I was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to Dallas, Texas with my family in August of 2011. I love serving others, so I currently volunteer at St. David’s Medical Center. I am also a part of an organization called Advocates for Cancer Awareness, wherein we educate the UT Austin community on the effects of cancer with a holistic perspective. I am very excited to follow my dreams at UT in the Polymathic Honors Program, in which I get to design my own field of study and truly pursue my passions! My designed field is about how social infrastructures, such as parks and libraries, affect public health through providing people resources and allowing them to come and interact with one another."


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NATALIE LIM   natalie.lim@utexas.edu

"Hello! I am a second-year Neuroscience/Plan II double major from East Texas (specifically Tyler). Currently, I am on the pre-med track but am still interested in the possibility of professional research or even an MD/PhD. As part of FRI, I am in the BioBricks stream working on the KH1/KH2 project. Outside of class, I am part of Texas THON, an organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for kids in Dell Children’s, and am an RA in the Honors Quad. I am a buyer of books that I don't have time to read, a listener of too many types of music, and an officially unofficial taste tester of good boba and tea."


Landry LLandry luker   landry.luker@UTEXAS.EDU

"Hello! I am a third-year, pre-med Biochemistry major from Waco TX who is also working on an Elements of Computing certificate.  My Polymathic field aims to look into how the intersection between society and disease prevention contributes to societal evolution and medical innovation. I was part of the Genome Engineering FRI stream my freshman year and am now doing research under a postdoc with an interest in synthetic viruses. Outside of academics, I volunteer with Dell Seton Medical Center and am a member of the Natural Sciences Council, with past involvement in the Diversity and Inclusion and Academic Affairs committees. In my free time I love to mountain bike, play strategy games, and go to UT football games (Hook ‘Em!). I would love to help with any questions!"


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CHRISTINE NGUYEN   christinenguyen1@utexas.edu

"Hi! I am a third-year, pre-dental nutrition major from Friendswood Texas. I was in the Genome Engineering stream through the Freshman Research Initiative and I am currently working with a Ph.D. student doing research on the relationship between nutrition knowledge and oral hygiene. I am involved in Kappa Rho, an all-girls pre-health organization, Texas Pre-Dental Society, and Healing with Harmonies, a music therapy group. In my free time, I enjoy playing the guitar and ukulele, watching horror movies, taking Buzzfeed quizzes, and volunteering." 



ARIANA OLVERA   oariana17@utexas.edu

"Hi everyone! I am a fourth-year pre-med biology major in the Polymathic Scholars Honors Program. I am from the Rio Grande Valley, and graduated from Donna High School in 2016. I was involved in the Freshman Research Initiative through the Antibiotics stream, and now serve as a mentor to current students. Additionally, I am actively involved in the Hispanic Health Professions Organization (HHPO) and Humanity First. Please feel free to reach out to me over any questions you may have about the application process or to ask about my experiences here at UT so far. I am excited to hear from you!"


Owirodu headshotATHENA OWIRODU   athena_owirodu@utexas.edu

"I am a fourth-year Biochemistry major born and raised in Dallas, Texas! My designed field is titled "Human Resilience in Academia," in which I aim to understand how certain qualities impact an individual's ability to achieve success in college. I have been a part of the Virtual Drug Screening stream through FRI, and served as a mentor in the Scientific Inquiry Across Disciplines class for freshmen pursuing research. I also serve as a Texas Student Recruiter in our effort to reach underrepresented students applying to UT. Outside of school, I am enjoy volunteering, music, and geeking out about statistics!"


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LOIS OWOLABI   lois.owolabi@utexas.edu

"Hello! My name is Lois (pronounced like Joyce but with an L) and I’m a third-year Biochemistry major from Carrizo Springs, Texas. My polymathic field focuses on an intersection between Digital Arts Communication and STEM Education. I’m hoping to engage and excite more students in science discovery through the gamification of complex science topics. Outside of the Polymathic Scholars, I sing as a tenor with Voices of Africa A Capella, work as a scribe at a Urogynecology clinic, organize physician shadowing opportunities for others as a part of UT’s Health Careers Mentorship Program, and serve the Austin area with my fellow Chickadees in the Chi Kappa Phi Service Society. If you have any questions or concerns about UT, programs that fit you, or just wanna reach out to a real life Longhorn, I'm just an email away!"


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JOYCE TIONG   jtiong@utexas.edu

"I am a third-year, pre-med biology major from Allen, Texas. I currently work with the Osier Lab on a clinical research study at Dell Children’s Medical Center, and I am also part of the Gene Networks stream through the Freshman Research Initiative. Outside of lab and classes, I am involved with Healing with Harmonies, a music therapy group, and volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and Home Cooked Fridays, a local event that provides free meals to the Austin community. During my free time, I enjoy playing tennis, the ukulele, and the guitar, cooking, and exploring Austin."



We invite you to send any questions you have about the application process or the program to the Health Science Scholars listed below.All serve as CNS Honors Ambassadors.



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 "My name is Sabrina Benitez and I’m a junior majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Anthropology. I’m a Health Science Scholar and I plan on pursuing a degree in medicine after I graduate. I’m a member of the BioProspecting stream as part of the Freshman Research Initiative and I’m involved with various volunteer organizations on campus. In my free time, I enjoy exploring Austin and trying out new places to eat. Being in the Health Science Scholars Program has been an influential part of my college career so far, giving me amazing opportunities for learning and enrichment."



Nia Choi

"I am a second-year Biochemistry major pursuing Business of Healthcare, Spanish for the Medical Professions, and UTeach Certificates. I am a premed in HSS, hoping to be an academic physician. I am passionate about teaching, mentorship, and medical mission work. On campus, I am involved in HSS Council, Global Medical Missions Alliance, and Crossroads College Ministry. I am a member of the BioBricks Stream in the Freshman Research Initiative. Through HSS, I have made some of my best friends. The community of supportive students and faculty has encouraged and motivated me in pursuing my academic goals. In my free time, I like to explore coffee shops in Austin and play ultimate frisbee. Feel free to reach out with any questions - I'd love to be of help!"


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 "I'm a third-year double major in Public Health and Biochemistry also pursuing a certificate in Children & Society. Within the HSS council, I'm a part of the Volunteer Committee. I'm also involved in Camp Texas and the UT Saxophone Choir, and I volunteer as an Interpersonal Violence Peer Supporter with the Counseling and Mental Health Center. When I have time, I like partaking in Austin’s diverse food and music scene, hanging out with friends, and reading."



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 "I'm a third-year student from Weslaco, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley, and I'm majoring in Biochemistry. I'm an active member in the Freshman Research Initiative where I conduct research in the antibiotics stream. I'm also a member of TIP Scholars and the University Leadership Network. I embrace diversity and inclusion throughout the university and hope to improve diversity in programs within the College of Natural Sciences. I plan to pursue a career in medicine and research."



Mercado"I'm a third-year biology major from Round Rock, Texas, and I transferred into HSS after my freshman year at UT. You can often find me walking around campus in a burnt orange polo, giving tours to prospective students. Outside of school and work, I enjoy my position as a research assistant at Dell Seton. When I have free time, I love getting my hands on a good book, going for a run, and discovering new coffee shops in Austin (I have a list if you're interested). Please reach out to me for any and all questions regarding HSS—this program has transformed my college experience!"


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 "My name is Jamil Okada and I am currently a sophomore neuroscience major in the Health Science Honors program. I am premedical and have an interest in orthopedics or neurology. I hope to someday own my own clinic. In my free time, I love playing soccer and listening to Kpop. I’m just getting started but I already see the exciting opportunities and interesting experiences the honors CNS community and UT has to offer."




Faiza Sarwar

"Hello!! I am a third year Biochemistry major pursuing an Ethics and Leadership in Healthcare Certificate. My research interests revolve around medical ethics in relation to interpersonal health communication, and the importance of developing trust in science and medicine when addressing healthcare disparities. I hope to implement my findings into my practice as a future healthcare professional. In my time at UT, I hope to continue to learn from and grow with my peers, supporting each other's journeys through university, medical school, and beyond. I thoroughly enjoy reading, dancing, writing for a women's health/policy blog, and having deep discussions over coffee! I love speaking with students, so please feel free to reach out!"


Shenaq Noor

"I am a pre-dental sophomore majoring in biology and pursuing a certificate in pre-health professions. I have a passion for science, mentorship, and community service. On campus, I am involved in organizations such as Texas Pre-dental Society, Students Expanding Austin Literacy (SEAL), and Student Government. I am also a teacher for UTeach where I teach second-grade students science lectures at elementary schools in Austin. I was a researcher in the Freshman Research Initiative in the discovering signals stream last year; Currently, I am on my journey in developing my capstone research project. Joining HSS has been a pivotal point in helping me strive to achieve my goals. Please reach out to me with any questions you may have—I would be more than happy to help!"


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 "I’m Meena Tadros.  I am originally from Denver, CO but later moved to Plano, TX.  I am in the Health Science Scholars Program, studying biochemistry and hoping to attend medical school. I’m working in the Zhang lab on molecular biology research. I am particularly interested in this work and hope to continue research in that field during my undergraduate career. I also enjoy volunteering with a group on campus known as Refugee Student Mentoring Program (RSMP) through the Middle Eastern Studies department, which has allowed me to serve as an Arabic-to-English translator and mentor to students from the Middle East."


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 "Hey everyone! My name is Shuda Xia and I am from Plano, Texas, but I grew up in Qingdao, China. I graduated from Plano Senior High School and I am currently pursuing a biochemistry degree as part of the Health Science Scholars program. Over the past few summers I have done research in a cardiology lab at UT Southwestern and was a coauthor in a published paper. I intend to go to medical school after my undergraduate degree. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my friends and trying out new food!"

We invite you to send any questions you have about the application process or the program to the Dean's Scholars listed below. All serve as CNS Honors Ambassadors.


Ahmed headshot

"Hi, I'm Alisha and I am a third-year Dean's Scholar Neuroscience and Plan II major from Austin! I am currently working in Dr. Mackenzie Howard's neuroscience lab, where I focus on neural circuitry and neuroanatomy in epileptic mouse models. In the future, I hope to go to graduate school! On campus, I am involved in Apricity Magazine, Natural Sciences Council, and Model UN. I'm also a mentor in the Bioactive Molecules FRI stream. In my free time I enjoy hiking, shopping, and making art. Feel free to reach out with any questions!"




"I'm a sophomore from Katy, Texas double majoring in Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering, and am part of the Dean's Scholars and Engineering honors programs on a pre-med track. I am an alumnus of the Aptamer FRI Stream and am currently a part of Dr. Livia Eberlin's clinical mass spectrometry lab. I really enjoy the close-knit feeling of the CNS Honors community that I've experienced so far through mentorship opportunities, seminars, and extracurricular events. Currently, I'm involved on campus as a director in the Student Engineering Council and as the president of UT's Science Olympiad Alumni Association. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!"


de Beurs headshot"I was born in Amsterdam, lived in College Station for high school, and am now happy to be in Austin. I'm a physics and astronomy double major and Dean's Scholar. I work as a research assistant in Dr. Andrew Vanderburg's exoplanet lab which seeks to increase our sensitivity to earth-mass exoplanets using machine learning. A few of my research interests include exoplanets, ultra-high energy cosmic rays, and X-ray binaries. I'm also the president of Natural Sciences Council and aspire to make CNS as welcoming and impactful as possible for all students. Other than that, I'm always interested in hearing about anyone's interest and passion for science, coffee, or anything else! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are unsure of applying to honors!"


Thomas Dang headshot“Hello! I am a first-year Dean’s Scholar from Plano, TX majoring in biochemistry and public health. I currently work in Dr. Jessie Zhang’s lab studying transcriptional regulation of RNA polymerase II. I love the uplifting, motivating spirit of the Dean’s Scholars family and hope to pursue an MD/PhD to become a researching physician. Around campus, I’m an editor for the Texas Undergraduate Research Journal and a service coordinator for The Project. Feel free to reach out with any questions!”


Do headshot

"Hi! My name is Lauren and I'm a third year Public Health / Plan II double major from Austin. I enjoy doing work for the college through the Dean's Scholars Council and Natural Sciences Council and am also a Texas Spirit. In my free time I like to run, hike, and explore coffee shops around Austin. I was previously in the FRI Bioactive Molecules stream, and now I'm working on the Bridging Barriers project Whole Communities-Whole Health under Dr. Amanda Barczyk. It is focused on improving chronic health issues in the community through direct engagement and involvement of families in the research process. In the future, I hope to attend medical school to get an MD/MPH and split my time between clinical practice and population health research."


Emily May headshot

"Hello! My name is Emily May, and I am a Dean’s Scholar Biochemistry and Neuroscience double major from San Antonio. I am an alumnus of the Gene Networks FRI stream and currently work in the Cambronne lab where I study effector protein genes that are key to the virulence of Legionella pneumophila. I will be joining the Phelps lab this summer studying engrams in Prairie Voles.  I hope to continue my education into a Ph.D. program at the intersection of Genetics and Neuroscience.involved in DS Council, Undergraduate Research Journal, Central Texas Undergraduate Research Conference, and GirlUp outreach. I also play saxophone in a UT ensemble. In my spare time I love to hike, especially on the Greenbelt in Austin, and volunteer at Austin Pets Alive. Feel free to reach out and contact with any questions!"


Mallya headshot"I am a junior neuroscience major in Dean’s Scholars and do cognitive neuroscience research in Dr. Jarrod Lewis-Peacock’s lab! In the future, I plan to pursue either medical school or an MD/Ph.D. program in the hope of becoming a psychiatrist."


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"Hello! I am a second-year Physics and Astronomy major participating in the Dean's Scholar honors program from Frisco, Texas. I am really passionate about increasing diversity within CNS Honors as well as CNS and UT as whole and am part of organizations such as the CNS Honors diversity committee, the Council for Diversity Engagement, the Black Honors Student Association (BHSA) and the Black Student Alliance (BSA)! Outside of school, I love to play tennis, go on hikes, teach myself piano, and work out. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have! Hook'em!"


Venkat headshot"I'm a junior chemistry major. I'm a member of Dean's Scholars, and I'm active on DS Council. I work in a lab in the College of Pharmacy, under Dr. Ben Liu. In the future, I hope to attend pharmacy school."