By Bella McWhorter

The 2016–2017 Texas Quidditch highlight real. (Courtesy of Texas Quidditch Facebook page)

AUSTIN — The University of Texas at Austin’s tower glowed orange on April 14, 2013. But it was not for any of the traditional reasons — it was to honor the school’s first championship win at the Quidditch World Cup VI.

A good amount of the students who play for UT Quidditch initially joined because of their love for author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter world in which the sport was born.

However, as players move up from the Quidditch organization’s intramural teams to the traveling…

By Katie Bauer

Jill Williams and her service dog, Olive (Photo by Katie Bauer)

AUSTIN — Three years ago Jill Williams was on the varsity volleyball team her senior year of high school. Running, jumping and squatting through games and practices, Jill was well on her way to play volleyball throughout college and possibly beyond. Now, Williams can only walk with the assistance of her prosthetic leg and asks her service dog countless times a day to help her grab items just out of her reach.

According to Service Dog Central’s website, there are currently 387,000 service dogs in the US. …

By Jacqueline Briddell

UT sophomore Felicia Green treks across campus to make it to her next scheduled class. (Photo by Jacqueline Briddell)

AUSTIN — On the northern side of The University of Texas at Austin’s campus, in an average class of about 40, the majority of students appear to be between the ages of 18 and 22. One second-year student is vigorously moving her pen across her lined college-ruled notebook, taking extensive notes on the class material. She is almost 20 years older than an average college freshman. Her name is Felicia Green and she is a 46-year-old sophomore at UT.

On the other side of campus sits Green’s oldest daughter, Madison Baker, who also attends UT. She is…

By Travis Hlavinka

Jatarie White goes up to score against UTSA. (Photo courtesy of Katie Bauer/The Daily Texan)

AUSTIN — After turning down The University of Texas when she was first recruited, Jatarie White, the current starting center for the undefeated, second-ranked ranked Texas Longhorns women’s basketball team, eventually found her way back to the city she now calls home.

The 6’4” junior from Providence Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina was one of the nation’s highest-regarded basketball players in high school. ESPN ranked her as not only one of the top 10 players in the class of 2014, but the top player at her position in the nation. She was a high school All-American…

By Alexis Green

Tehreem Shanab is a government major hoping to make a difference in the newsroom. (Photo by Sarah Holdeman)

AUSTIN — The smell of bacon filled the air as motorcycle engines revved and protesters with signs that read “go home and take Obama with you’ waved in the air. The people were protesting against a group of Muslims who were praying and having a meeting inside of the convention center in Garland, Texas. The event was held nearly a week after a terrorist attack in Paris.

Nearby a group of counter-protesters are joined together in prayer to protest against Islamophobia and the hate group. …

By Alexis Tatum

Brooke McCarty, with her notable bun hairstyle and bright pink nails, focuses on a free throw. (Photo courtesy of

In a few sharp dribbles, Texas’ all-star guard flies down the court for a lay-up and sends fans into a frenzy, her high bun bouncing all the way.

Brooke McCarty’s movements look nearly impossible for someone of her stature. At only 5 feet and 4 inches tall, she dominates basketball courts with the strength and elegance of someone twice her size.

McCarty, the senior point guard for The University of Texas women’s basketball team, is entering her final season as a Longhorn with the same initiative that she’s had for the last three years.

“I think my…

By Onaje McDowelle

Isaiah Garcia makes intricate cuts for a shirt design. (Photo by Onaje McDowelle)

AUSTIN — Mary E. Gearing Hall was once the epicenter of home economics at The University of Texas at Austin. Built in 1933 and named after Mary Gearing, a pioneer in studies of domestic and in-home practices, the building is quaint and worn out. Now, the space houses workrooms, classes and closets for aspiring fashion designers. Although it is not perfect, for Isaiah Garcia, the place is just right.

Garcia is a second-year textiles and apparel major at UT originally from San Antonio. Before making the switch to textiles and apparel, he originally planned to study business…

By Rebekah Phillip

AUSTIN — “We believe that someone suffering from chemical dependence will not get better if they are ostracized,” said Mandy Renfro, president of the Student Pharmacist Recovery Network (SPRN). The organization works within the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) to fight the stigma against substance abuse.

In 1981, the Texas Pharmacy Association established the Professional Recovery Network (PRN), which became the first of its kind in the United States. …

By Jacqueline Pena

Caroline Graves (bottom center) along with her fellow Summer 2017 orientation advisors. (Photo courtesy of Caroline Graves)

AUSTIN — The water lapped quietly along the edge of the pool as the swimmer made her way from one end to the other. People stared, not because of her technic nor her grace; they stared because she was not using her legs.

“Just because I have dead weight for legs doesn’t mean I can’t swim,” UT sophomore government major Caroline Graves said.

Graves has used a wheelchair since she was 2 years old. She has full physical use of her upper body. She actively swims, is a member of Student Government and is pursing multiple minors…

By Brooke Sjoberg

UT computer science major Sierra Prempeh has a story to tell. (Photo courtesy of Instagram @Sieroni)

AUSTIN — Computer science sophomore Sierra Prempeh said she did not mean to be a CS major — it just sort of happened.

Prempeh is the only black woman in the Turing Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin, which is intended to provide a top-notch education to outstanding computer science students. She is also a child of Ghanan immigrants who work in the medical field. Like her parents, Prempeh said she had assumed she would become a medical worker — a doctor, or a nurse maybe — until her junior year of high school.

Reporting Austin

News from the J310 Reporting Words Lab at @UTAustin

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