What Starts Here: Students discuss University motto, future endeavors

Angela Lim, Life & Arts Reporter

Born and raised in Texas, Tavi Singleton said she never saw the world beyond the Lone Star State’s borders until she took a trip to California last summer and felt her horizons widened by the bustling city life and skyline of downtown Los Angeles. 

“Something clicked in my head and made me realize (LA) was a place I wanted to experience a portion of my life,” said Singleton, an Asian cultures and languages senior.

At UT, the words, “What starts here changes the world,” represent the institution’s goal of fostering students to become innovators in their chosen disciplines as they create solutions and pursue various opportunities elsewhere. While some Longhorns see their mission to change the world as something that will take them far and wide, others strive to bring UT’s motto to life by becoming trailblazers in their existing communities.

Singleton said she discovered a passion for health administration after seeing her parents battle sickness during the pandemic. She said she plans to study the field out of state and hopes to make health care more accessible for marginalized communities.

“The motto stands (as) a representation of what all the students here are capable of,” Singleton said. “As an underclassman, I was very one-track minded in terms of what I wanted to do with my career, but through my experiences (at UT), I’ve realized that you don’t have to limit yourself to one path.”

After finding his love for governmental institutions and processes in high school, junior Leland Murphy decided to pursue government as his major in college. Now, as a UT student, he promotes service and leadership with organizations on and off campus as a member of the University’s Senate of College Councils and an intern in the Texas State Capitol.

“Getting to help out and do advocacy has been awesome,” Murphy said. “Being at UT has opened up the door for those opportunities.”

With plans to go to law school, Murphy said he aims to address issues of the working class within Texas, especially those affected by financial institutions. Growing up in Texas and feeling a deep attachment to its people, he said he wants to focus on statewide problems.

“The mindset of just giving up is something that I’ve never been fond of,” Murphy said. “These people deserve help, so I want to be there organizing and advocating with them and not just being like, ‘Oh, it’s hard, so it’s not worth it’ — because the people here (in Texas) are worth fighting for.”

To make her mark on the world, radio-television-film sophomore Brandy Frausto intends to tell stories through cinema. Finding joy in making connections within the UT community, she said she gets her ideas for projects through conversations with those around her.

“I love hearing other people’s stories — where they come from and what they love to do,” Frausto said. “Sometimes, these people are even inspirations for the scripts I write or produce. I’m like, ‘Oh, wow, I actually got this from somebody that I met on Speedway the other day.’”

To Frausto, “What starts here changes the world” means taking what she learns at UT wherever she goes. Frausto said she wants to give back to her Texan roots by sharing the knowledge she gained from professors and peers and leaving a positive impact on her audience.

“I’m going to end up wherever life takes me,” Frausto said. “If that’s in Texas, then cool. (If) not in Texas, that’s great as well. At the end of the day, I know that my home is always going to be here in Texas.”