About

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Amara Kwiatkowski (She/Her), our Editor-in-Chief, is a third-year Plan II and Government student minoring in American Studies and English. Outside of the Orator, she is in the Community Engagement Collective and has participated in numerous research projects in her time at UT. She enjoys writing about American culture with an emphasis on gender, race, and the politics of various films.

EDITORS 

Anandi Barker

Anandi Barker, a Domestic Affairs Editor, is a 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.  

Isabel Webb Carey, a Managing Editor, is a third-year 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. 

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Alejandro Castaneda, our Operations Manager, is a senior 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.

Carolina Cruz, a Culture Editor, is a 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. 

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. 

Christopher Gearing, a Managing Editor, is a Government major with a minor in Business, and a member of the Liberal Arts Honors program. He is passionate about politics and law, and how they intersect with economic, business, and social forces. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing D&D and other tabletop games, and playing video games.

Aadhar Kulshrestha, an Editor-at-Large, is a Government major and Economics minor from McKinney, Texas. His interests include foreign and domestic policy, campaign strategies, and international cultures. In his free time, he likes to play racquetball, watch movies, and spend time with his family.

Charles Jackson Paul, a Managing Editor, is 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. 

Naran Shettigar, a Managing Editor, is an 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 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. 

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.

STAFF WRITERS

Benjamin Castro is a first-year history major from Belton Texas. His interests include law, history, and the American labor movement. When he is not studying or writing he likes to read, volunteer, and spend time with his family.

Amanda Foust is a junior Neuroscience major and Philosophy minor. Her favorite philosophy is absurdism. She wants to go into clinical psychology, then specialize in neuroscience research relating to consciousness and the cause of mental illness. She joined the Texas Orator because of the freedom of speech and the leniency of talking about controversial topics through a unique lens. She hopes to help raise awareness about the everyday applications of philosophy and neuroscience and encourage people to think about those topics more.

Emma Guan (She/Her) is a sophomore from Austin, Texas pursuing double majors in International Relations and Global Studies and Economics as well as double minors in Philosophy of Law and Art History. Her many interests include foreign policy, art, the environment, culture, and international law. Outside of her studies, she enjoys going on walks and spending time with her friends.

Evelyn Watson is a third-year Government major and Communication Studies minor from Fort Worth, Texas. Her interests include law, foreign affairs, and national security. Outside of school, Evelyn enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and trying new restaurants with friends.

Gabi Griffey is a senior from San Antonio, Texas majoring in Government with an Economics minor.  She is passionate about politics, women’s rights and immigration law. Outside of school, Gabi loves reading true crime novels, finding new restaurants and searching for Austin’s best iced americano.

Chloe Holliman (She/Her) is a Plan II and Government major and is pursuing a French minor and certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. Her main focus in her writing is the cross section of politics and culture, with a special consideration of the emotions involved in our political lives. When she’s not writing for the Orator, Chloe is an active member of the Delta Gamma sorority, the Plan II Student Association, and the Jefferson Scholars Program.

Celeste Hoover is a freshman student studying English and Anthropology at the University of Texas. She’s passionate about her state’s government, culture, and immigration law. When she’s not writing, you can usually find Celeste at the bookstore, binge watching the Indiana Jones movies, or drinking entirely too much caffeine.

Diego Lopez is a sophomore majoring in Government and Plan II Honors. His passions include U.S. constitutional law, political philosophy, and American history. When he’s not reading and writing, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing tennis, and debating way too much at the dinner table.

Sam Mills is a second-year student from Dallas, Texas, majoring in IRG and Asian Studies and pursuing a certificate in Security Studies as a member of the Liberal Arts Honors Program. His interests include foreign policy, political economy, political culture, history, philosophy, and theology. When not consumed by his studies or incessant thinking about these matters, Sam enjoys running, reading, watching documentaries, and spending time with his close friends and family.

Savannah Paetzel is a sophomore in the Canfield Business Honors Program hailing from Round Rock, Texas, a suburb of Austin known for its literal round rock landmark. An English minor, she considers her passions to be writing and the humanities. When she isn’t writing for The Orator, Savannah can be found cafe-hopping or reading on the lawn.

Bethany Roberts is a sophomore 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.

Bradyn Robertson is a Plan II Honors and English major pursuing a Business minor. Outside of The Orator, she is involved in the Plan II community as a peer mentor and Sophomore Coordinator committee member, in Kappa Alpha Theta as ritualist and a diversity, equity, and inclusion council member, and in Apricity Magazine as a performing arts reader. In her free time, she enjoys singing til it drives her roommates crazy.

Jaxson Shealy is a second-year Philosophy and Economics major from Coppell, Texas. He likes to focus his writing on American culture, climate change, and political unity. In his free time, he likes to read, watch movies, and play video games and basketball.

Samantha Treviño (She/They) is a third-year English student at UT Austin from Laredo, Texas. She likes writing social commentary on current cultural and media events. When they’re not writing, they like writing poetry and reading. 

EDITORIAL BOARD

Cassidy Beeding is a second-year Economics and Plan II major hailing from the gulf coast of Mississippi. As an aspiring financial services lawyer, Cassidy’s epic loves are the American economy and the judicial process. When she is not studying the money markets or doing homework, Cassidy can be found waitressing UT’s favorite local diner, Kerbey Lane Cafe, or binge-watching Madam Secretary on Netflix. She is also a proud member of the Students for Planned Parenthood and Emancipet on Campus organizations, and, of course, the Texas Orator. 

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Caroline Cabe is a third-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.

Connor Cowman is a fourth-year History and Government major from Austin, Texas. He is passionate about state, national, and international political, economic, societal, and environmental issues and crafting potential solutions for these problems. Outside of this, he is an avid reader and writer who enjoys spending time in nature. Connor is interested in entering the field of geopolitical risk advising after graduation and engaging with cultures all across the globe. He also hopes to run for public office in the future and make a difference for his community, whether that be at a local, state, or national level.

Willa Meissner is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin finishing a B.A. in International Relations and Global Studies. She currently interns at Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s office, and conducts research on disinformation in Asia. When not in class, you can find her at Moody, where she hopes to possibly pursue a graduate degree in communications.

FOUNDERS

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Brooke Reaves is a co-founder of The Texas Orator and served as Editor in Chief.

Wes Dodson is a co-founder of The Texas Orator and served as a Managing Editor.

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Brendon Sparkman is a co-founder of The Texas Orator and served as a Managing Editor.