Brooke Reaves is the Editor-in-Chief and cofounder of The Texas Orator. She is a second-year majoring in Business Honors and Plan II Honors at UT Austin. She considers herself a strong classical liberal. Brooke looks forward to growing The Texas Orator’s community and increasing the free exchange of ideas on campus. Outside of her time with The Orator, she tutors with PlanTutoring, leads a creative writing club, takes too many classes, learns French, studies Texas history, and reads voraciously. Twitter/Instagram: @brookelinreaves
Wes Dodson is a Managing Editor and Law Editor for The Texas Orator pursuing a Plan II and Marketing double-major. A perennial holder of unpopular opinions, Wes approaches national politics from the classical liberal position, which he commonly describes as “small l” libertarianism. After arriving at UT, Wes became increasingly aware of and interested in the role of UT Student Government and has written analyses of the economics of SG and how it is used as a national politics dog whistle. He hopes to co-helm The Texas Orator through the rough waters of student journalism and expand the awareness of student opinions. Wes is currently working on a detailed historical account of UT Student Government.
Brendon Sparkman is a Managing Editor for The Texas Orator as a fourth-year UT student majoring in English with a minor in Marketing. A staunch conservative, his writings focus predominantly on the long-term effects of social trends in America with something of a poetic flair. He is adamant in his desire to see The Orator become a major contender in the on-campus political sphere and is glad to see The Orator left in capable, passionate hands. Outside of The Orator, Brendon plays music locally and enjoys spending time on the river with his Bichon Frise.
Candace Baker is our Culture Editor and a Journalism and Government student at the University of Texas. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Candace writes for The Texas Orator on social and cultural issues in America. In addition to being a news and film enthusiast, she hopes to someday write professionally for a major publication.
Erica Colston is our Editor-at-Large and a History second-year pursuing a Certificate in Core Texts and Ideas through the Jefferson Scholars Program. Aside from writing for The Texas Orator, she performs in plays with University Theatre Guild. She is deeply grateful for the opportunity to share her thoughts and improve her abilities with the help of all the lovely people at The Orator, as well as for those who have supported her in all things. She is excited for what else this organization has in store for UT as it continues to grow as a publication.
Matthew Cox, another Editor-at-Large, is a Government and Economics major at the University of Texas. He writes for The Texas Orator on improving social and political systems. In his spare time, Matthew runs the Longhorn Update, a “your week ahead”-style podcast for students on campus, along with a litany of other projects. He is an ardent fan of innovation, obsessed with city design, and wishes to pursue a career that enables him to improve the lives of those around him
Mark Csoros is our Domestic Affairs Editor and a second-year in the Plan II Honors program, also pursuing a Marketing degree through the McCombs School of Business. He is a member of the McCombs Leadership Program, plays for UT’s rugby team, and won the first-year section of the 2017 Worthington Essay Contest. This summer, he is working as a shared-time intern with the Texas Association of Defense Counsel and the Texas Civil Justice League. As part of Mark’s commitment to meaningful political and philosophical discourse, he volunteer coaches a middle and high school debate club in South Austin. He hopes that The Orator will continue to act as a catalyst for ideological engagement, while changing minds and firing imaginations.
Rylan Maksoud is our Editor-at-Large and is a Plan II and Government second-year from Houston. A former editor-in-chief of Neo Politico, a youth journal for politics, Rylan is passionate about politics and its interaction with the world around us.
Jeffrey Marshall, our Tech Editor, studies Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas, while also pursuing a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas from the Jefferson Scholars Program at the university. He writes for The Texas Orator on how economic policies and political involvement can affect different markets, such as the sports and cryptocurrency markets. He is from southern California, but also feels a strong attachment to both New Jersey and Texas. He is an avid sports fan and a lover of innovation. Jeffrey hopes to pursue a career in computer architecture.
Nicholas Romanow is our Foreign Affairs Editor and studies International Relations and Global Studies at the University of Texas. He writes for The Texas Orator on foreign policy, political economy, and public life. Nicholas was born in Canada before moving with his family to Dallas, Texas. He also trains as a track and field/cross country athlete for long distance races. Nicholas hopes to pursue a career in public service.
Tarek Zaher, our Ideas Editor, studies Government and European Thought at the University of Texas while also pursuing a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas through the Jefferson Scholars Program. He is interested in understanding the answers great thinkers have given to the most important questions—those of human nature, morality, and happiness—and applying that understanding to current controversial issues at every level of politics. In his free time, he enjoys reading books, cooking food, and discussing politics, religion, and dogs with his friends.
Jason Eric A. Ancheta is a first-year business major from Houston, Texas. His interests include foreign policy, legislative analysis, and market trends. In his free time, he is either cooking and watching programs devoted to culinary arts or following the newest developments in K-Dramas.
Swetha Berana is a first-year Electrical Engineering, English and Plan II major from Plano, Texas. In her free time, she enjoys playing the guitar, reading historical fiction, and wholesome vegan food. She writes for ORANGE Magazine, a lifestyle publication on campus, and on weekends, she can be found downtown watching local music or trying to learn Arabic.
Benjamin Brown is a first-year Government major pursuing a certificate in UT’s Elements of Computing program. Hailing from the modest beach-side community of Port Aransas, Texas, he has long been enamored with international affairs, American culture, and sociopolitical history. He also enjoys philosophical discourse, being particularly interested in critical theory. Therefore, much of his writing is motivated by a desire to frame issues in a historical or philosophical context. Outside of The Texas Orator, Ben spends his time reading, doing trivia, recreationally studying math, and collecting antiques.
Carson Coronado is a second-year Business and Liberal Arts Honors History major from Austin, Texas pursuing a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas through the Jefferson Scholars Program. His primary academic interests include the study of Late Antiquity and Latin American History. Carson writes for The Texas Orator on economic policy and United States political history. In his spare time, Carson enjoys playing the banjo and can often be found at Lions Municipal Golf Course.
Shoumik Dabir is a second-year Plan II and Economics major pursuing a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas through the Jefferson Scholars Program. Having lived in India, Singapore, England, and now the U.S., he takes great interest in international geopolitics and is an ardent follower of American and Indian politics. He enjoys being involved in the UT Austin community through student government and is currently the vice president of a Hindu youth organization on campus. He is thankful for The Texas Orator’s presence as a voice for undergraduates and keenly anticipates its rise as the premier student-led political review in Texas.
Nick Eastwood is a first-year Liberal Arts Honors International Relations major from San Antonio, Texas. His interests include international scandals, cyber-security, and experiencing new food. When not writing for The Orator he spends his time re-watching his favorite tv shows, and listening to mystery podcasts.
Ben Gitzinger is a first year Mechanical Engineering major from Dallas, Texas, pursuing a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas through the Jefferson Scholars Program. He plans to attend law school after getting his degree to pursue patent law. In his free time, he enjoys running, playing ultimate frisbee, and playing and writing music.
Connor Hanna is a Liberal Arts Honors student majoring in Linguistics and pursuing a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas through the Jefferson Scholars Program. From Houston with roots in Northeast Texas, Connor can usually be found in cheap dive restaurants, dancing at the Fed, or drinking coffee on the patio of his student housing co-op. Motivated by a strong belief in the civic duty of an educated public, Connor is primarily a political writer.
Ryan Jaffe is a second year Government major and is actively involved with the Senate of College Councils working as the Faculty Affairs Co-Chair. He is passionate about all forms of art, entertainment, and most importantly, the United States government. He writes with the intent of sincerity, logical thinking, and providing firm positions on provocative topics.
Lucy Li is a second-year International Relations and Government double major from Houston, Texas. Her interests include foreign policy, human rights, and animal rights, and she hopes to attend law school after UT to study international law. In her free time, she is either at the tennis courts practicing or showing other people the many pictures and videos she has of her dogs.
Grace Leake is a Plan II and Business Honors second-year from Austin, Texas. She’s passionate about freedom of speech, diversity of thought, and the right of all individuals to design their own destinies. When not writing for The Orator, she is likely reading science fiction, working on her book, playing quidditch, or talking to Brooke Reaves about Harry Potter.
Morgan Learn is a Political Communications major from Frisco, Texas. When not writing satirical pieces for The Texas Orator, she spends her time reading or listening to true crime podcasts. She is also a Mohawk First Nation student learning the Kanien’kehá:ka language.
Richard Liu is a writer and our Social Media Chair. He is a second year in the Masters of Professional Accounting (integrated approach) program. He is currently planning on graduating in 2021 though might consider adding a second major or a minor if time allows. He also serves as the President of the Student Conduct Advisory Committee under the Office of the Dean of Students and has been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award by then-President Barack Obama. He enjoys taking time reading about current events and spends time working on poetry.
Archit Oswal is a foreign affairs writer for The Orator who is a first year International Business and Plan II major at the University of Texas at Austin. A Houston native, his interests include preparing three different kinds of salad dressings (typically viniagrettes), drawing with black ink, and Latin Dance. He is currently studying German and Russian in the hopes of one day becoming a diplomat.
Naveen Rajan is a first-year Computer Science student from Austin, Texas. His interests include foreign policy, technology, and history. In his free time, he can be found watching Gilmore Girls, reading a book, or trying to collect obscure CDs.
Victor Saadeh is a second-year Aerospace Engineering student, pursuing both a business and entrepreneurship minor, from San Antonio, Texas. He thoroughly enjoys politics, classifying himself as a moderate liberal, basketball/sports analytics, sweet tea, and Mexican food. In his spare time he loves reading Bleacher Report, FiveThirtyEight, and going thrift shopping. He also makes delicious sandwiches for a living.
Megan Choy is a second year undergraduate student pursuing a double major in government and journalism and a minor in media studies. She is originally from Nashville, TN, but grew up mostly in Dallas. She spends a lot of her time practicing and competing with the UT climbing team, however when she is not climbing, Megan enjoys reading, writing, and exploring the outdoors.
David Koeller is a Chemical Engineering and Plan II Honors student with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. In his free time, he enjoys ultimate frisbee, climbing and improv. David is excited to grow as a visual storyteller through his photojournalism work with The Texas Orator.
Akash Thakkar is a sophomore Economics and Plan II Honors major. When he’s not studying economics, he often spends his free time photographing protests and political demonstrations around campus and Austin. He first picked up a camera when he was 7 years old, and has been glued to his Nikon ever since. To keep up to date with his work, you can follow him on Flickr at www.flickr.com/imagesbyakash.
Jacob Kunz is an English second-year from New Braunfels. Stemming from a background in writing and broadcast journalism, Jacob took up a position as a columnist for UT’s campus newspaper, The Daily Texan. He is now the resident Head of Copy for The Texas Orator. Outside of his work with The Orator, he is an avid fan of theatre, film, and proper grammar. He hopes to see the publication’s reception expand and is eager to continue working with such a passionate team.
Samuel LeBus is a first-year Mechanical Engineering major from Houston, Texas, pursuing a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas through the Jefferson Scholars Program. He has lived in a myriad of places since moving to Austin, including New Orleans, Louisiana, and Calgary, Canada. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hanging with friends, and going to the gym. Samuel is ecstatic to join The Texas Orator as a copy editor and looks forward to seeing the publication flourish.
James Mismash is a second-year double majoring in Government and History in the Liberal Arts Honors program at UT Austin. He has been selected multiple prestigious internships in the government and civic engagement area and is passionate about learning how our nation’s and world’s pasts can be used to shape how our government acts in the future. He is the Co-Deputy Director of Advocacy for UT Student Government, a 2019 Normandy scholar, and a member of a few other organizations. He was a podcaster for The Daily Texan before joining The Texas Orator as a copyeditor and occasional contributor. James hopes to attend law school following his undergraduate studies with a focus on constitutional or government law.