English/Language Arts Instructor
University of Texas at Austin (Plan II and English Honors, B.A.)
In addition to helping Berkeley² students hone their college applications, Austin served on the selection committee for one of the most elite full-ride merit scholarships at the University of Texas. In this role, he saw first-hand which kinds of essays and interviews made students stand out.
"In order to explain who you are to someone else (like an admissions officer), you first need to do some work discovering yourself. The end of high school is full of stressful transitions, and it’s important to root your sense of direction in what inspires and drives you. It will be tough to convey yourself through a resume or a 500-word essay; as a counselor with selection committee experience, I have plenty of advice about building your application and your self. Stay true to yourself, but acknowledge your continuing growth. Always be open to new advice and information, but stand by your convictions. Be honest, compassionate, and courageous. Cultivate these virtues in yourself, and my job will be to help you express—clearly and vividly—your wonderful personality and unique potential to the college of your dreams. Together, we’ll tell your story the way it deserves to be told."
In high school, Austin tutored his peers in subjects ranging from physics and calculus to English and theater arts, as well as in preparation for AP and SAT exams. At UT, Austin worked with younger students as president of Shakespeare at Winedale Outreach (SHOUT). With SHOUT, Austin helped elementary school students explore Shakespeare’s language and develop their own unique voices through performance and play. Austin also has many years of experience helping his three younger brothers with their homework.
“You don’t really understand something until you’re able to successfully explain it to someone else. Teachers must recognize that their familiar methods of problem solving might not concur with students’ intuitive lines of reasoning. There is almost always more than one way to solve a problem, and being able to approach a question from multiple angles holds distinct advantages over more rigid techniques. Both students and teachers can benefit from new ways of thinking; there are always new things to learn and new methods with which to learn them. Be open to discovery.”
Austin is a Shakespearean actor; in the summer of 2019, he played Macbeth through UT’s Shakespeare at Winedale program..