Scholarship Winner: Lizzy Tan
School: University of Texas at Austin
Major(s): B.F.A. Dance, B.A. Economics, Liberal Arts Honors
Sophomore Lizzy Tan has been one busy Longhorn since receiving an ATG Artistic Scholarship award in 2014. As a member of the University of Texas’ Dance Repertory Theatre, she has participated in a number of dance concerts while taking master classes with prominent dance artists. In just the past two school years, Lizzy has won six academic awards and honors, including a Cactus StandoUT Award, first place (twice) in the College of Liberal Arts Freedom of Speech essay contest and membership into the Order of Omega Honor Society. She’s also making a difference across the campus by co-founding Texas Leaders to “establish leadership as part of the University of Texas’ curriculum.”
Accomplishments Since Spring 2014:
- Forty Acres Scholars Program (one of sixteen recipients in the 2018 class)
- 2015, 2016 First-place winner of College of Liberal Arts Freedom of Speech essay contest
- 2016 Order of Omega Honor Society (highest honor given to Greeks, top 3% of Greek life members at UT)
- 2016 Cactus StandoUT Award
- 2016 Creative 40 Acres, Leadership Cohort (one of 2)
- 2016 Texas Leaders, Student planning committee
- 2016 Delta Gamma, officer: Honor Board Member-at-large
- 2014, 2015, 2016 Dance Action, Choreographer and Member/dancer
- 2015 joined Dance Repertory Theatre,
- 2015 Theatre & Dance Peer Mentor Program, mentor
A Personal Thank You from Lizzy
April 18, 2016
Dear ATG Community,
I am now finishing my sophomore year at the University of Texas at Austin – how quickly time has flown!
As a second-year B.F.A. dance major, I joined the department’s residence dance company, Dance Repertory Theatre. In my first concert, Fall for Dance, I worked with faculty member Andrea Beckham on her piece, Feminist Doormat, which explored feminism in western culture. I was also able to take master classes from artists like Manuel Vignoulle, Alex Ketley, and Alvin Ailey dancer, Mbewe Escobar. In the spring concert, Bodies and Souls, I worked with UT alumnus Alvin Rangel on Vigilia and Erica Gionfriddo on They Have Big Voices Where the Universe Ends. I was also able to perform in the department student choreography showcase, S.E.E.D., and debuted my own piece, trance, in March.
Last October, I founded Texas Leaders with five other fellow undergraduate students. Texas Leaders is an initiative between a student planning committee, General Cucolo, Dean Iverson (School of Undergraduate Studies), and Dean Lilly (Dean of Students) to realize Chancellor McCraven’s goals to establish leadership as part of the University of Texas curriculum. We collaborated closely with General and UT System Vice Chancellor Cucolo, Dean Iverson, Dean Lilly, and the on-campus Texas Exes Alumni Center to organize a leadership conference that brought over sixty student leaders from over forty UT Austin organizations. We planned the event over four months; fundraised approximately $5,500 toward catering, venue logistics, and outreach; and secured speakers such as former head football coach Mack Brown, Oracle Vice President of Sales Todd Cione, Austin Mayor Pro-Tem Sheryl Cole, Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, and President of Dell Children’s Medical Center, Dr. Mark Shen
This experience was an incredible way to connect my peers to outstanding professionals, share valuable leadership skills for students to use in their positions, and to network with other exceptional Longhorn students. We plan to continue the leadership conference and begin a panel series next semester.
Increasing awareness of student arts and supporting other artists is something very important to me. Through my new position in the leadership cohort of Creative 40 Acres, I have been working to promote, publicize, and highlight arts-related student organizations, projects, and activities at UT Austin. My co-leader and I manage five social media channels and serve as a resource for UT students – for example, we began a Google calendar for different student organizations to input their events, asked those who wanted to be featured on our social media accounts to hashtag their posts with #creative40, and promote Facebook events for other organizations on our pages. Recently, we organized a campus-wide fair called “block pARTy” to highlight creative student groups like Dance Action, Artists in Action, and Longhorn Singers. We raffled Matt Crump prints, set up tables and sound for the groups, and hosted Mind Canvis, a group that creates adult coloring books.
Recently, I was awarded the Cactus StandoUT Award by UT’s Cactus Yearbook, and will be featured in this year’s edition for my leadership and accomplishments on campus. I also am the two-time winner of the College of Liberal Ars’ Freedom of Speech essay contest – my paper from last year’s contest is being reviewed for publication in the Texas Undergraduate Law Review.
This summer, I will be studying abroad in Havana, Cuba, for a month. During my stay, I will learn about United States-Cuban relations and Cuban arts. I also plan to conduct my own research on the role of the government in the arts (such as subsidies, ministries, agencies, and the like) for my thesis in the Economics department. When I return, I plan to take summer courses at UT and either teach at local dance studios or take on an internship in human rights and social justice.
I am so grateful for the support I have received from Against The Grain Productions, and look forward to the accomplishments of my fellow recipients!