About

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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Sydney Riordan, our Editor-in-Chief, is a fourth-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.

EDITORS 

Anandi Barker

Anandi Barker, an Editor-at-Large, 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 Managing 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. 

Carolina Cruz, our Culture Editor, 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. 

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. 

Kyle Flick, our Operations Manager, is a third-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, a Jr. 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.

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. 

Amara Kwiatkowski, a Jr. Managing Editor, is a second-year Plan II and Government student minoring in American Studies. Outside of the Orator, she is a Student Fellow for the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and edits for the Texas Undergraduate Law Journal. She enjoys writing about American culture with an emphasis on gender and race issues.

Naran Shettigar, a Managing 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, 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. 

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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.

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.

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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.

Riya Cyriac is a freshman at UT Austin majoring in Plan II and Business. When she is not writing for The Orator, she is either writing her novel, dancing, or running her organization, The Young Writers Initiative.

Chloe Holliman is a first year Plan II Honors major and Jefferson Scholar, with plans to declare government as a second major. In addition to writing for The Orator, she is a member of Delta Gamma and the social media manager for the Voters of Tomorrow Texas chapter. In her free time, Chloe loves going on outdoor adventures with friends, binge watching The West Wing, and attending ballet class to get back in touch with her dancer roots. She’s interested in using her writing as a way to peel back the complicated layers of political and cultural drama and really understand the philosophy behind this crazy human system we call government. 

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.

Aadhar Kulshrestha is a sophomore 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.

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.

Savannah Paetzel is a freshman in the Canfield Business Honors Program hailing from Round Rock, Texas, a suburb of Austin known for its literal round rock landmark. Hoping to add an English major, she considers her passions to be writing — poetry, prose, and the like — and studying the humanities. When she isn’t writing for The Orator, Savannah can be found reading, hiking, or getting coffee with her Delta Gamma sisters.

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.

Jaxson Shealy is a second-year Radio-Television-Film major from Coppell, Texas. His main interests are history, philosophy, economics, and politics. He focuses much of his writing on bridging the political left and the political right as well as integrating historical and political perspectives with greater sympathy and understanding of the minutest details. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, drawing, film-making, and boxing.

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.

Nick Van Lente is a freshman studying Plan II honors and International Relations from Austin, TX. In addition, he is following a pre-law track and pursuing a certificate in core texts and ideas with the Jefferson Scholars Program. In his free time, Nick loves to read, explore outdoors, cook, and travel.

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

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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.

Connor Cowman is a third-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.

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.