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Meet 17 Students We’re Proud to Call Longhorns

What do two White House interns, a NASA researcher, Guinness World Record-holder, New York Times writer and a YouTube star have in common? Their university.

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As students at one of the most highly ranked universities in the world, Longhorns have a reputation for being among the best of the best. The recent Business Insider feature “17 Incredibly Impressive Students at The University of Texas” brings that to life. Reporters Melissa Stanger and Melia Robinson’s profiles are brief but moving portraits of young men and women from across campus who make it easy to see why we say “What Starts Here Changes the World.”

Click each student’s name below to go directly to his or her story.


Jon Cozart


Jon Cozart, YouTube star

Famous for his Disney, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings musical parodies, the film student has more than 90 million views on his videos and has sold more than 100,000 songs on iTunes. [Photo: Lucy Maude Ellis]

Holland Finley


Holland Finley, emergency services reformer

The business student helped improve campus emergency response services and is a collegiate national wakeboarding champion. [Photo courtesy Holland Finley]

Katie Floyd


Katie Floyd, historical translator and youth advocate

The Latin American Studies major got special access to the UT Library’s rare books room to work with 18th and 19th century texts. [Photo courtesy Katie Floyd]

Holly Heinrich


Holly Heinrich, New York Times contributor

With a White House internship and New York Times byline under her belt, the government major will tackle a master’s degree in public policy at Cambridge University. [Photo courtesy Holly Heinrich]

Nina Ho


Nina Ho, branding agency founder

This branding and social media entrepreneur also speaks four languages. [Photo courtesy Nina Ho]

Hirokazu Horikoshi


Hirokazu Horikoshi, environmental conservationist

He put his urban studies degree into practice, creating a campus landscape design projected to reduce landscape water usage by 50 percent. [Photo courtesy Hirokazu Horikoshi]

Mark Jbeily


Mark Jbeily, ROTC rising student leader

The son of Lebanese immigrants who escaped civil war, Jbeily wants to “preserve the way of life that drew my parents to this country in the first place.” [Photo courtesy Mark Jbeily]

Kevin Machate


Kevin Machate, Air Force veteran, record-breaker and filmmaker

Machate was nominated for Austin Filmmaker of the Year and also holds three Guinness World Records (he can squat a lot more weight than you). [Photo courtesy Kevin Machate]

Jordan Metoyer


Jordan Metoyer, affordable housing activist and Truman Scholar

She chose a career in urban planning after her childhood home was lost to foreclosure. [Photo courtesy Jordan Metoyer]

Charles Nwaogu


Charles Nwaogu, health care crusader and refugee outreach volunteer

A government and Arabic language and literature double major, this White House intern works to increase health care enrollment within black communities. [Photo courtesy Charles Nwaogu]

Divya Ramamoorthy


Divya Ramamoorthy, regenerative heart researcher

This biomedical engineering and Plan II double major works in a UT lab whose research could one day eliminate the need for organ donations. [Photo: Valerie Nies]

Ana Laura Rivera


Ana Laura Rivera, policy buff and social change agent

A first-generation college student, Rivera interned on Capitol Hill and organizes sexual health awareness events on campus. [Photo courtesy Ana Laura Rivera]

Cortney Sanders


Cortney Sanders, equality champion

Also a Congressional intern, Sanders filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in favor of UT’s affirmative action defense case. [Photo courtesy Cortney Sanders]

Jay Shah


Jay Shah, tech whiz and charity cyclist

The triple major is an active computer science blogger and joined fellow Longhorns in biking 4,500 miles across the U.S. to raise money for cancer research. [Photo courtesy Jay Shah]

Rudy Torres


Rudy Torres, NASA researcher

A mechanical engineering student, Torres was a standout intern for the NASA Johnson Space Center Education Office’s Undergraduate Student Research Program. [Photo courtesy Rudy Torres]

Yevgeniya Vinogradova


Yevgeniya Vinogradova, startup co-founder

Her company is developing software to make computer use easier for people with upper limbatory disabilities. [Photo courtesy Yevgeniya Vinogradova]

Margaret Wellik


Margaret Wellik, sustainable food manager

The Plan II student started and built UT’s student-run Micro Farm, which produced nearly 500 pounds of fresh produce from just one-fifth of an acre in its first harvest. [Photo courtesy Margaret Wellik]

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