Brooke Reaves is the Editor-in-Chief and cofounder of The Texas Orator. She is a third-year majoring in Business Honors, Plan II Honors, and Government 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 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 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.
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.
Candace Baker, a Managing Editor and our Culture Editor, is a third-year Journalism and Government student from Dallas, Texas. In addition to her time at UT, she spent a semester studying journalism and politics at the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, England. When she’s not working on articles for The Texas Orator, she also works as an editorial/digital intern at Austin Monthly, having previously interned at Study Breaks Magazine.
Archit Oswal is a Managing Editor and a Foreign Affairs Editor for The Orator, and is in his second year as an 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.
Nicholas Romanow is a Foreign Affairs Editor studying 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.
Courtney Thomas, our Arts Editor, is a Theatre and Dance 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. Most days, you can find her in a dark theatre or reading at any Austin coffee shop.
Scarlett Smith, our Domestic Affairs Editor, 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.
Benjamin Brown, an Editor-at-Large, is a second-year Government and History 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. 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, volunteering at the LBJ Library, and studying Farsi.
Olivia Conway, an Editor-at-Large, is a first-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, an Editor-at-Large, 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.
Sydney Riordan, an Editor-at-Large, is a second-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.
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.
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.
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.
Joe Cascino is a second-year Government major from Weatherford, Texas. In addition to his fascination with all things historical, cinema, comedy, and baseball, Cascino is an officer in University Democrats and a passionate political activist.
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.
Mark Csoros is a third-year student 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. He has also worked 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.
Andrew Dareing is a first-year Plan II major from a small town in West Texas. His favorite pastimes include exploring State and National Parks with those close to him and watching bears from a questionable distance. Topics that interest him the most include international relations, Texas politics, and environmental policy.
Nick Eastwood is a second-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 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.
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 onthe 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.
Lucy Li is a third-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.
Sarah Low is a sophomore studying Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Alongside her pre-health ambitions, she is pursuing a certificate in the Core Texts and Ideas. She is involved with the National Alliance for Mental Illness, neurobiology research on campus, and is a Jefferson Scholars Peer Mentor. Sarah is deeply interested in psychiatry, technology, philosophy, and the arts; outside of school, she loves writing fiction, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and listening to Radiohead. She is from Dallas, Texas.
Oscar Armando Lopez III is a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is pursuing a B.A. in Government and a B.B.A in Business Honors. Currently, Oscar serves as the Deputy Advocacy Director of the University of Texas Student Government and he holds a seat on the Student Services Budget Committee. Oscar served as a 2019 Google Public Policy Fellow where he worked on issues concerning broadband access, data privacy, and the future of artificial intelligence. A Laredo, Texas native, Oscar is proud to be from the U.S.-Mexico border.
Ethan Masucol 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.
Gabe McCoy is a freshman Biology major from Dallas, Texas. His interests include history, philosophy, and social movements, being influenced by thinkers such as Thomas Paine and Condorcet. He is interested in how to expand and protect democracy in an increasingly complex and polarized world. He enjoys reading and exploring the city of Austin.
Leland Murphy is a first-year government major in the Liberal Arts Honors Program from Kennedale, Texas. He likes being involved in campus life and hopes to participate in many protests at U.T. and in Austin. He loves how social movements, politics, and society at large all influence and shape each-other.
Victor Saadeh is a third-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.
Mackenna Shull is a junior double-majoring in International Relations and Global Studies and Economics. She is focusing on Middle Eastern Studies and is part of the Arabic Flagship Program. In addition to writing for The Texas Orator, Mackenna works as a research assistant studying civil wars and is involved in Model UN and International Affairs Society. Lastly, Mackenna enjoys giving back to her local Austin community through Texas THON and Texas Spirits.
Conner Vanden Hoek is a senior pursing a Government major with a minor in Political Communications. He is planning to continue his studies in law school and would like to pursue a career in politics. He served in Student Government for many years where he learned the importance of having healthy and respectful debate. He hopes that his writing will serve to increase engagement and respectful dialogue on the issues facing us all.
Divjot “Div” Walia is a first-year mechanical engineering and pre-law major from Pearland, Texas. He especially enjoys writing about political philosophy and policy in relation to scientific and technological issues. In addition to writing for the Texas Orator, Div writes for Vector Student Engineering Magazine and is an active member of the ASME Design Team. In his free time, Div enjoys cooking, coffee-making, and playing the guitar and French horn.
Megan Choy is a third-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.
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.
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.
James Mismash is a third-year student 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 a 2019 Frank Denius Normandy scholar, a 2017 Terry 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. James hopes to attend law school following his undergraduate studies with a focus on constitutional or government law.