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Nobel Laureate, Web Stars, Drumming Dean Cheer on 2020 Graduates

Nobel Laureate, Web Stars, Drumming Dean Cheer on 2020 Graduates

​At the end of each May, the College of Natural Sciences celebrates another year's graduates, their impact at UT and the positive change they'll bring the world. This year's graduates were extraordinary, making countless contributions on the Forty Acres and in their communities. For them, the College of Natural Sciences missed having a live event this spring but instead held our first virtual commencement celebration. High-profile scientists, friends and faculty, as well as students themselves, joined in a day especially for recognizing and honoring our newest graduates.

Meet the 30 Dean's Honored Graduates for this Year

Meet the 30 Dean's Honored Graduates for this Year

Each year, the College of Natural Sciences bestows its highest honors for graduating seniors on a select group of students. These students, known as Dean's Honored Graduates demonstrate excellence across multiple domains, achieving not only academically but in scientific research, independent intellectual pursuits, leadership, service, entrepreneurship and community building. Below are biographies of the 30 outstanding students selected by a committee of College of Natural Sciences faculty for this distinction in 2020.

Texas Science Students Serve the Community During the Pandemic

Texas Science Students Serve the Community During the Pandemic

Undergraduates in public health, neuroscience and computer science found ways to help out their communities and fellow classmates, amid and in spite of COVID-19.

Students at UT Austin already had plenty on their plates. When COVID-19 hit, the usual return from spring break and settling back into campus life turned instead into a mass migration—students scattering to shelter in place wherever they call home, in many cases moving back in with their families. Some became ill or began caring for sick family members. Classes moved online. Jobs ended. Everything was topsy turvy (it still is). But that hasn't stopped College of Natural Sciences undergraduates in public health, neuroscience and computer science from finding ways to help out their communities and fellow classmates.

Graduating Seniors Help Identify Scientific Solutions in Coronavirus Fight

Graduating Seniors Help Identify Scientific Solutions in Coronavirus Fight

As confirmed cases of COVID-19 began to appear in the U.S., graduating seniors at the University of Texas at Austin looked for ways to apply their scientific expertise toward slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus. In the midst of their own academic careers and personal lives being turned upside down by a pandemic, their work yielded potential solutions to the shortage of coronavirus tests and medical-grade facemasks.

Texas Parents Recognizes Outstanding CNS Students

Texas Parents Recognizes Outstanding CNS Students

Since 1951, Texas Parents has proudly honored two undergraduate Outstanding Student recipients and four finalists who demonstrate exceptional leadership, scholarship, character and service. They are awarded $1,000 grant for a registered student organization or campus program of their choice. This year both recipients and two of the finalists were from the College of Natural Sciences. Meet the award winners.

Auto Emissions Generate More Dangerous Ultrafine Particles Than Once Thought

Auto Emissions Generate More Dangerous Ultrafine Particles Than Once Thought

University of Texas at Austin undergraduate Annie Zhang was part of a research team that found auto emissions are responsible for more dangerous ultrafine particles than previously thought. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu.

An international team of researchers that includes undergraduate chemistry student Annie Zhang from The University of Texas at Austin has found that aromatic compounds from auto emissions play a key role in the creation of tiny airborne particles that pose a significant health problem in many urban areas of the world.

Student Mindful of What We Owe to Education

Student Mindful of What We Owe to Education

Education is powerful — it's a means to inciting progress in the world, empowering individuals and transforming lives. Education's role in facilitating positive change is a major theme in Texas Computer Science student Dora Gurfinkel's life. She's so aware of it, in fact, that she is using her education to elicit real change within the university while paying homage to her family's unique history.