About

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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Archit Oswal, our Editor-In-Chief, is a junior studying supply chain, Plan II, Russian, and Government at UT Austin. He has received three scholarships from the US State Department to study Russian for a year in Moldova and two summers in Russia. He is interested in better understanding the interests and capabilities of the United States’ rivals on the world stage, in particular, Russia and China. After graduation, he hopes to work at the intersection of national security and economic policy and remain engaged with the Post-Soviet Space, a region near and dear to him thanks to the time that he has spent there.

EDITORS 

Anandi Barker

Anandi Barker is a freshman student at the University of Texas at Austin where she is pursuing a major in government. She is a member of the Jefferson Scholar’s Program and the Liberal Arts Honors College, for which she spends most of her time reading and writing essays.  Anandi’s interests revolve around the political theory of the American Revolution and its evolution into today’s societal values.  When she is not involved in classwork, Anandi can be found in a little nook at the Perry-Castañeda Library with a cup of coffee and a book.  

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Benjamin Brown, an Editor-at-Largeis a third-year History Honors and Government major enrolled in UT’s Elements of Computing and Liberal Arts Honors programs. Hailing from the modest beach-side community of Port Aransas, Texas, he has long been enamored with U.S. socio-political history. His interests include political parties, the American presidency, and 19th-to-20th century intellectual movements. 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, playing trivia, volunteering at the LBJ Library, and researching arcane historical topics. 

Isabel Webb Carey, a Domestic Affairs Editor, is a freshman Plan II major in the Jefferson Scholars Program from London, England. Coming to UT as an international student, she looks forward to providing a unique outlook on the current political and philosophical debates. Outside of The Orator, Isabel is involved with the Social Entrepreneurship Learning Lab (SELL), Julie Oliver’s Campaign for Congress and Students Expanding Austin Literacy (SEAL). She also loves spending time in the sun, dancing and exploring the Austin area. 

Olivia Conway

Olivia Conway, a Managing Editor, is a second-year biochemistry and Plan II major from College Station, Texas. She is passionate about scientific research, but even more so about the ethical implications of modern discoveries. She loves reading, writing, and searching for the obscure and unnoticed in everyday life. She hopes to use her background in science and philosophy to offer a new perspective on the events and policies that shape our lives. 

Ramiro De Los Santos, a Managing Editor, is a Journalism and European Thought double-major pursuing a certificate in Core Texts & Ideas within the Jefferson Scholars program. His main academic interests include foreign affairs, domestic policy, and philosophy, with a particular interest in European political developments and modern intellectual history. In his free time, he is probably meticulously crafting another Spotify playlist, trying to find the best possible Mexican food in his vicinity, or watching reruns of Twin Peaks. 

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Ethan Masucol, our Foreign Affairs Editor, is a third-year student majoring in Plan II, International Relations & Global Studies, and Chinese. He is most interested in foreign affairs with a particular fascination with China. He appreciates how The Texas Orator provides a forum where people with opinions across every spectrum can have a voice. Outside of school, you can find him swimming, rewatching his favorite movies, or drinking boba. 

Charles Jackson Paul, an Editor-at-Large, is a Freshman studying Finance in the McCombs school of business. He has lived in a lot of places, but will always call Houston home. He writes about economics, foreign policy, law, and more from a classical conservative point of view. 

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Sydney Riordan, a Managing Editor, is a third-year Plan II and Biomedical Engineering dual-major with a focus on cellular and biomolecular engineering. Her political interests include free speech, individual liberties, and the right to life. In her free time, she enjoys cooking a new recipe, going for a run, and playing with her labradoodle. She hopes to use her background in technology and medicine to bring a new perspective to the discussion on controversial topics.

Naran Shettigar, our Culture Editor, is a freshman economics major. He enjoys writing both creative and nonfiction pieces in his spare time, in addition to reading, exercising, and playing music. He is excited to write for the Texas Orator, and hopes to explore a variety of political opinions/topics with his writing.

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Scarlett Smith, an Editor-at-Large, is a freshman pursuing a Business Honors major and a minor in Spanish. She is fascinated by both domestic and foreign policy and hopes to someday influence global policy. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading anything she can get her hands on, and binge-watching Criminal Minds. 

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Courtney Thomas, a Managing Editor and our Arts Editor, is a Theatre and Dance and Humanities student working towards an Art History Minor and certificates in Museum Studies and Core Texts & Ideas. She is interested in the intersection of art, storytelling and politics. 

VISUAL ARTS DEPARTMENT

Aseem Agarwal is the Orator’s resident political cartoonist. He is an advertising major and Jefferson Scholar here at UT. He is interested in politics and the intersection it has with communications. In his free time, he loves to draw and cartoon, read a good book (especially about US Presidential history and politics), and hang out with his family and friends.

Chase Meech is a photojournalist for The Texas Orator and a first year Physics major at UT Austin. He is deeply interested in understanding the Universe through the Natural Sciences, and plans to help expand the human race’s reach in space and the Solar System. He also loves being creative through photography and taking snapshots of life, the world, or people. He joined The Texas Orator to get more involved around UT and hopefully take more photos of this amazing school!

Gloria Wang is a graphic designer for The Texas Orator. She is a business and Plan II honors major at UT. On campus, she is also involved in Apricity Magazine, Plan II Students Association, and Kappa Delta sorority. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with friends/family. 

STAFF WRITERS

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Tarek Arouse is a Psychology and History Major on the Pre-Law track. His main interests are American politics, Greco-Roman History, Philosophy, and Law. In his free time, he enjoys running, reading, and podcasting!

Emmett Berger is a sophomore Psychology and Political Science major from Dallas. His interests surround biotechnology, specifically the arguments surrounding the future of gene editing and data harboring. In his free time he enjoys watching UT athletics and binge watching Seinfeld.

Adrienne

Adrienne Brown is a second year Government and Anthropology major from Southlake, Texas. She enjoys lively political discussions, particularly surrounding civic engagement, campaigning, and activism. Outside of the Texas Orator, she interns with the City of Austin in communications, is involved with Alpha Phi Omega, and watches media that satirizes political life.

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Alejandro Castaneda is a second-year Government student from Pflugerville, Texas, pursuing a certificate in Security Studies through the Clements Center. His interests include immigration, court reform, elections, and world history. He plans to attend law school after graduating and pursue civil rights law. In his spare time, he is listening to podcasts, reading books, or shopping.

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Matthew Cox 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.

Carolina Cruz is a second year journalism major at the University of Texas. She is from Laredo, Texas, a small city on the border. Her main inspiration for pursuing journalism is her love for politics, literature and videography. She plans to go to law school after graduating. In her free time she enjoys playing video games, hanging out with family and friends, and making coffee. 

Jack Chapman is a fourth-year student from Dallas, Texas, studying Finance, Government, and History. His main interests are domestic policy, law, and the intersection of politics with the financial markets. In his free time, his favorite activities are playing soccer at the intramural fields, watching Manchester United play, and reading good books.

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Kyle Flick is a second-year student, pursuing a major in Business Honors and a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. He enjoys learning and writing about literature, law, and foreign policy. In his spare time, Kyle enjoys hiking, watching the Houston Rockets, and playing games of foosball.

Christopher Gearing is a Government major, Business and Public Policy Minor, and a member of the Liberal Arts Honors cohort. He’s a former debater and mock trial-er in high school, and is currently involved in Senate of College Councils and UThink, a student-run think tank at UT. He’s passionate about politics, justice, and the student experience at UT! He loves hanging out with his friends, playing video games in his free time, and reading a good book on the South Lawn. Feel free to email him if you have any questions or good book recommendations! cgearing@utexas.edu

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Ben Gitzinger is a second-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.

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Landry Harmon is a junior double-majoring in International Business, with a concentration in China and Chinese, as well as Art History. He is the President of the International Business Student Association. He also works for Renegade University and the Unregistered Podcast in a marketing role. His interests include film, authoritarian regimes, propaganda, art, anarchism, world history, and culture. In his free time, he is watching art house films, listening to too many podcasts, practicing his photography, or reading books.

Riya Kale

Riya Kale is a second year government major and pre-law at Texas. She is from Houston, where she was editor in chief of her high school newspaper and ran competitive track. She joined The Texas Orator to continue to foster her love of analytical writing. Outside of the newsroom, she is Vice President of her sorority, Alpha Phi, serves as President for Texas Diversity in Pre-Law, and enjoys going on long runs through Zilker. 

Katherine Lee is a fourth year International Relations & Global Studies and Sociology major from Houston, Texas. She plans to attend law school after graduating and pursue public interest law. Her interests include politics, human rights and law. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new recipes, listening to music, and watching way too much television.

Jack Maedgen is a second-year Government and History major from Austin, Texas. His interests surround politics, foreign-policy, and political theory. In his free time, Jack loves reading, cooking, and experiencing the outdoors.

Ankita Narahari is a third-year Economics and International Relations double major. Planning to continue her studies in law school and pursuing an international legal career is the end goal. Currently she teaches English as a Second Language (E.S.L.) to immigrants through a local tutoring academy and also works with a non-profit organization, oriented to help provide free legal counsel to low-income Spanish speaking families at the border.  

Bethany Roberts is a freshman from Dallas, Texas majoring in English within the Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is passionate about the Fine Arts, especially dance and literature, and is a proud member of Texas Tri-Delta. Outside of school, she likes to spend her time hiking, exploring museums, and drinking copious amounts of chai.

Travis Simons, hailing from a small town called Devine, is a Sophomore pursuing a degree in Urban Studies. After undergrad, Travis seeks to pursue a Master’s in Urban Planning. Film, urbanism, and skating are among his interests. In his free time, Travis can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee, enjoying the weather at Auditorium Shores, or on his couch catching up on his Letterboxd watchlist.

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Emma Stambaugh is a second year Management major, minoring in Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin. She is passionate about creating social and political changes in the immigration system. Her firsthand experiences growing up in Brownsville, Texas located on the U.S./Mexico Border have been her fundamental motivation for pursuing future studies at law school. She enjoys reading, traveling, and Forumla 1 racing. She hopes her writing will illuminate issues and ideas that are overlooked in everyday news and conversations.

Kiley Thomas is a freshman majoring in Computer Science and Plan II Honors. Her mission is to help as many people as possible, while being as happy as possible, and loving others as much as possible. In her spare time, Kiley enjoys painting, skateboarding, and thinking deeply about the universe and its meaning. She is so thrilled to be a part of The Texas Orator.

Savannah Ward is a Religious Studies Major with a minor in Modern Hebrew. Before coming to UT, she went to school in Scotland for two years writing for and editing for a few magazines. Now her main interests are Women’s rights and Liberation movements like Black Lives Matter. When she’s not writing or studying, she can be found playing with the Texas Women’s Rugby team or taking her dog hiking. 

EDITORIAL BOARD

Jacob Kunz is an English third-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.

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Samuel LeBus is a second-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.

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Caroline Cabe is a second-year Rhetoric and Writing major pursuing a Creative Writing certificate with a specialization in Playwriting, originally from Fort Worth, Texas. Her interests include human rights, theater, film, performance art, political satire, and social commentary. Outside of The Orator, she can be seen volunteering with her Gamma Rho Lambda siblings, writing or reading a new play, participating in a protest, or petting other people’s dogs.

FOUNDERS

Brooke Reaves is a co-founder of The Texas Orator. She is a fourth-year majoring in Business Honors, Plan II Honors, and Economics Honors at UT Austin. Brooke looks forward to growing The Texas Orator’s community and increasing the free exchange of ideas on campus. Outside of her work with The Orator, she tutors with PlanTutoring, writes fiction, makes glass art, learns French and Hindi, studies economic development, and reads voraciously. She is also involved with Design for America, the Social Entrepreneurship Learning Lab (SELL), and BreadwinnHER female speaker series. Twitter/Instagram: @brookelinreaves

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Wes Dodson is a Managing 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. 

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Brendon Sparkman is a co-founder of The Texas Orator and served as a managing editor from January 2017 to August 2019. He is currently a senior pursuing a B.A. in English and a minor in Communications and aspires toward a career in social media management.