2016 17 student panel

The Polymathic Scholars Student Leadership Panel hosts a variety of social, academic, and service events on and off campus. Among its signature achievements is the Texas Chautauqua Series, an annual campus-wide forum on issues of particular importance to Texans. Recent forums have concerned the controversy over how evolution should be taught in the state’s public schools, concealed carry legislation, the influence of major college football in higher education, and the pros and cons of taxing carbon emissions. Sophomores, juniors and seniors apply to join the coming year’s panel in April; freshmen may apply after their first semester. The 2017-2018 Chair is Savannah Troy.


Sarah Campbell

Sarah CampbellSarah Campbell is a second-year Neuroscience major from Katy, Texas. Although she has not yet proposed a field, she hopes to combine her interests in film, music, science communication, and policy. She is currently part of the Bugs in Bugs FRI Research Stream and a cellist in the UT University Orchestra. Outside of class, she loves to listen to music, read, play the cello, hike, and cook more food than she can possibly eat. She looks forward to meeting and planning events for her fellow Polymaths!


Jarod Chaney

chaneyJarod Chaney is a third-year Neuroscience major from Southlake, Texas. He plans to combine philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience in his field, “Consciousness,” to explore how non-sentient neurons give rise to thinking, feeling beings. Jarod describes himself as “tentatively pre-med” but is also considering grad school and was once heard asking about the difficulty of the LSAT. His interests and hobbies include boxing, running, music, French, and reading. He hopes to study abroad in France in the spring, and is looking forward to his first year on the student panel. 



Holly Hodge

Holly HodgeHolly Hodge is a second-year Neuroscience student from the exotic city of Austin, Texas. She has yet to pick a polymathic field but plans on centering it around medical ethics or some other topic in relation to philosophy. She is currently in the Epidermal Cell Fates FRI research stream. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, podcasts, traveling, food, and hanging out with friends. After finishing her degree at UT, she plans to go to medical school to become a neurologist.


sarah hood

Sarah Hood

Sarah Hood is a senior Biology major who was raised here in Austin and now lives in Irvine, California. Her polymathic field, "Birds and the World," aims to explore the interactions and interpretations of birds by humans, from both scientific and cultural perspectives. She hopes to work in wildlife conservation and research after graduation. Sarah enjoys birdwatching, exploring Austin, collecting rocks, painting or crafting, and archery. She hopes to help foster friendship and fun in this year's polymathic program!


christian lumley

Christian LumleyChristian is a third-year physics and biology double major and proud Polymath from Southlake, Texas. His field is called “Artistic and Cultural Movements of Pre-Modern Europe,” and deals with the integration of the fine arts with other aspects of European culture during the Enlightenment. In the future, Christian plans to attend medical school and indulge his interest in biophysics. Outside of Polymathic Scholars, Christian is a tutor at the Sanger Learning Center, a member of the Supramolecular Sensors Research Lab, and a clinic volunteer in the University Health Services’ Sports Medicine clinic. In his free time, he is a classical guitarist, volunteer, world traveler, photographer, bibliophile, and coffee enthusiast. This year he is the chair of the Large Scale Events committee and looks forward to working closely with the Polymathic community.

 madeleine marlar

Madeleine MarlarMadeleine is a senior Neuroscience and French major from San Antonio, Texas. Her field on stigma and mental illness is an examination of how different approaches to diagnosing mental disorders can impact prevalence rates in different cultures, which she studied while abroad at the University of Exeter in England. Ultimately, Madeleine plans to attend medical school on the MD/PhD with the goal of going into medical research. She has been a part of the Vetebrate Interactome Mapping stream through FRI since her freshman year. Outside of school, she loves to read, travel, and spend time outside.


Michael Olowabi

m owolabiMichael Owolabi is a third-year Biochemistry major from Carrizo Springs, Texas, and this is his second year on the Polymathic Scholars Student Leadership Panel. Michael was born in Nigeria but graduated from a high school in Carrizo Springs. Apart from his major, Michael is also pursuing the African Studies certificate and plans to attend medical school. When he isn’t busy cramming science facts into his brain, Michael enjoys reading, singing in the church choir, playing sports, and volunteering at the local hospital.




Alli ReibachAlli is a Junior Neuroscience major from Denton, Texas. She designed her field, "Cognitive Speech Science," to investigate the neurological basis of language. She hopes to be a speech pathologist someday, and views her research as a way to connect neurosience to her future career. Aside from her studies, Alli enjoys rock climbing, reading, and spending time with her friends. 



Maya Rigley

Maya RigleyMaya Rigley is a second-year Biochemistry major and although she's yet to finalize her field, she does have her sights set on becoming a veterinarian in the future. Maya's hobbies include reading, listening to music, running, and playing on the University of Texas Women's Rugby team.




Michail Shaposhnikov

Michail ShaposhnikovMisha is a second-year Turing Scholar and Polymathic Scholar majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Entrepreneurship. He is currently juggling between mathematics, robotics, finance, and probability theory as topics for his polymathic field. His advice for anyone who is unsure of themselves is to unapologetically explore everything there is to learn: "Once you've found something that catches your interest, find a person already in that field that can inspire you and teach you. Then spend as much time as you can around that person." He is also the Social Coordinator for the Turing Scholars Student Association and the Partnerships Lead for Convergent, a project-based organization that helps people make their ideas into realities. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, soccer, French EDM, dance, attending hackathons, and defying the status quo.

vik shirvaikar

Vik ShirvaikarVik Shirvaikar is a third-year student from Frisco, Texas, majoring in Math and Economics with an additional concentration in scientific computing and data science. His polymathic field, "International Politics and Finance," deals with the interactions between public policy and financial decision-making on a worldwide scale. Outside of Polymathic Scholars, he is also involved with the Natural Sciences Council, The Daily Texan, and the UT Quiz Bowl team. In his free time, Vik enjoys playing soccer, improvising on his violin, attending musicals and comedy shows, and playing chess.

Hannah Simon

Hannah SimonHannah Simon is a second-year environmental science and visual media major from Euless, Texas. Her field of “Environmental Photojournalism” will someday take her around the world to document, research, and report on environmental concerns in hopes of reaching the people who do not pursue science as a career. By effectively communicating her research, she hopes to reduce and reverse the negative impact that people have on the environment. Outside of Polymathic Scholars, Hannah is also involved in Texas Spirits, works as an undergraduate TA in Natural Sciences, and will be biking from Austin to Anchorage with Texas 4000 in the summer of 2018.


Savannah TroySavannah Troy is a double major in Biology and French from College Station, Texas. Her Polymathic field is titled "Applying Ethnobotany to Sustainability," which addresses the anthropological and scientific importance of indigenous plants and how that knowledge applies to environmental conservation. Additionally, she conducts behavioral ecology research on Mountain White-crowned Sparrows in the Rocky Mountains. Outside of her academic interests, she actively studies classical voice and piano and enjoys painting.


krithika vasudevan

KrithiKrithika Vasudevanka is a third-year Neuroscience major and a proud Austinite of ten years. Their field is involved in health care and healthy policy regarding the transgender community, a topic that is very dear to them and the people they care about. Their academic goals include finding a long-term cure of major mood disorders, finding a way to expedite the recovery of aphasia patients, and reworking formulas for antidepressants and antipsychotics to minimize dangerous side-effects. Krithika’s extracurricular passions include visual art, playing video games, reading social science papers for fun, and taking care of their many plants.