> Experience

Student voices and creative expression abound at Moody College. Immerse into our work to stimulate curiosity, inspire introspection or motivate you to acquire new skills. See how imagination and sustained effort work together to produce remarkable experiences.

#SummerXMoody: Riley Church is currently studying abroad in the Prague Maymester with Dennis Darling learning about street photography. Church always knew she would study abroad because she’s from Austin and has seen the sights around town. Studying abroad will allow her to see new things and immerse herself in a different culture while continuing her education. “I also wanted to study abroad because of all the experiences I missed out on in college because of COVID: living in student housing with my classmates, attending events, traveling, going to class…”

Church is already building a solid portfolio in Prague and learning to approach strangers to learn their stories. “I have a lot of interests in history and archives as well, and so being in Prague, the best-preserved historical city in Europe, has allowed me to learn much more about topics outside of photography.”

She said global education is important because living independently in college is a big transition but living in another country forces you to explore and learn quickly about your new home. “There are many things that can’t be taught in a classroom, including almost all the lessons I’ve learned here. Perspective is everything, and the best way to expand your perspective is through global education. Experiencing other ways of living and thinking different than your own is important to building skills you can use in any situation: accepting cultural differences amongst your peers, finding your place in communities, and opening yourself up to new ideas and perspectives.”
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#WhyMoody: Maybe you’ll run into Olivia Rocha this fall! She joins us from Corpus Christi, TX and will be studying @utexascld.

Rocha is attending #TEXASMoody because she believes she’ll thrive on campus and receive the best education in Texas. She’s looking forward to spending the next few years on the 40 Acres.

“I chose Communications and Leadership because the leadership aspect stuck out to me. I had never seen a major like it and knew it was for me! Communication is crucial because it can lead to an expansion of ideas and collaboration as well as establishing and maintaining relationships.”
📸 x @jstewartphotography
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#SummerXMoody: This summer @utexascld student Emily Anaya is working as an intern at the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at @utexaslaw!

She wants to go to law school after she graduates and pursue a career as a human rights attorney. She’s most excited to have the opportunity to coordinate projects that involve community collectives and build relationships between local activists and the Center.

“I chose this internship because I wanted the opportunity to engage with human rights topics and projects with the support of a respected and experienced establishment. I hope to learn how powerful institutions engage with their communities and how the law and grassroots advocacy can work in tandem to create real change. Human rights work sounds amazing, but what does it look like in practice, and what are the obstacles to achieving these goals?”

She identifies as bi and gave us some advice on finding a community on campus.

“If you can, find ways to express yourself that feel authentic. People come out so that we can finally exist in the ways that come naturally to us, and this manifests visually, behaviorally, and relationally as exactly what feels right- not what you think others want to see from you. The only responsibility you incur by being part of this community is solidarity, and when you’re true to yourself, the right people will gravitate toward you.”

“While Pride Month is a nice reminder that our community is large, diverse, and beautiful, I tend to think that it can serve to be an aesthetic performance that seeks to virtue signal to non-LGBTQ+ communities. It’s a pretty negative thing to say, but when you consider, for example, the fact that marriage equality has not been codified, the progress that’s been made is subject to the decisions of an unelected few. I think it’s important to be reflective during this month and to appreciate the freedoms we’ve achieved, but not to let that keep us from pushing for real and lasting equality and recognizing that there are many levels of marginalization. Be proud and expressive always, but pride doesn’t begin and end with seasonal rainbow t-shirts at Target.”
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Today is Juneteenth and since 1865, the holiday has been widely celebrated as the official date marking the end of slavery in the US. With deep Texas ties, the holiday can be traced to the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston on June 19, 1865.

For as long as @utexasrtf Professor and filmmaker Ya’Ke Smith can remember, he’s always celebrated Juneteenth. “Celebrating Juneteenth was and still is a way of honoring my ancestors. During these celebrations, I could feel them speaking to me, rejoicing alongside me, as I ate, danced, sang, and told stories of those that came before us.”

Smith directed the recently released documentary, “Juneteenth: Faith and Freedom," from the Our Daily Bread Voices Collection. The documentary opens with powerful spoken words over cinematic footage from Galveston. Smith became involved with the documentary after writing a Juneteenth devotional for Our Daily Bread. The documentary walks you through the history of Juneteenth and its ties to Galveston, TX, with vignettes from historians and activists.

“Making this film was another form of celebrating and honoring them. It was a way of again letting them know that their story will never be forgotten because their story is my story. Walking the grounds of a plantation where they suffered and found joy in loving on one another after hours of back-breaking work—sitting in the pews of a church where they made their petitions to God for freedom—holding space with their descendants. Hearing the stories of what they built after emancipation. Experiencing those moments while directing this project was life-altering for me, and being able to document it so others can know the story is the type of filmmaking I live for.”
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Dean @jaybernhardt has been reappointed for a second six-year term as dean of Moody College of Communication. Over the next six years, he will lead #TEXASMoody to become the most impactful communication college in the world.

“My hope for Moody in the coming years is that we retain the things that make us excellent and impactful, most importantly our people, while leaning into the rapid changes of our industries to remain innovative and transformational in everything we do,” Bernhardt said.

Congrats Dean Bernhardt!
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#WhyMoody: Katelyn Alcott will not be traveling far from home to attend college this fall and she's no stranger to #TEXASMoody. Coming from Georgetown, TX, she'll be pursuing a degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences because she was once a client at @utstuttering.

Alcott has had a stutter since she was two years old. When she was three years old, she started to go to UT for speech therapy. "My speech therapists changed my life and made me who I am today. I want to help and encourage others who stutter the way my therapists did. My speech therapists were either Moody graduates or Moody student clinicians. They were some of the most caring, creative, and hard-working people I have ever met. Moody produces the best of the best, and I wanted to be a part of that."

She is ready to join the #TEXASMoody community as a student this fall. She's looking forward to her new job at the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research because she gets to work with the same staff who supported her and made her who she is today.

"Communication is vital to human existence and society as a whole. We use communication to show our love, advocate for others, and share new ideas. Whether we communicate fluently, disfluently, verbally, non-verbally, loudly, or softly, we impact those around us, and that is beautiful."

📸x @gabriellamariephoto
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#SummerXMoody: Do we have any NASCAR fans here? You might be a little jealous of Nico Banda’s internship. Originally from Laredo, TX, and studying @utcommstudies, he's spending his summer in North Carolina managing and creating content for @bubbawallace.

He’s looking forward to growing his social media management skill and furthering his creative storytelling to better engage with Bubba’s audience. “I started my career primarily as a photographer/videographer. However, this internship allows me to exercise all kinds of new muscles like social management, analytics, sponsorship management, and other really interesting stuff. My ability to work in social, photo, video, and graphics is huge for my future career.”

His favorite thing about photographing #NASCAR races every week is his freedom to create while focusing on different skills. A perk of the job is traveling to a different state every week and trying local food. “CMS has been a tremendous help with my interpersonal communication skills. You’d be surprised how far being approachable and friendly can take you in the creative industry.” Maybe we’ll see you at the track, Nico! Have fun creating this summer.
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