Meet the spring 2021 capstone teams

This spring, our students are overcoming countless barriers to carry out thorough, innovative journalistic projects for the community. Be it tackling the environmental effects of fast fashion or exploring the intricate stories of Interstate 35, this semester’s capstone students are demonstrating what it means to be a senior-level journalism student in a pandemic as well as what tomorrow’s journalism looks like today. 

Here are the teams for Spring 2021 and their exciting, innovative projects:

1. Redistricting Interactive Project

Group members: Christina Peebles (journalism senior), Gabi Wongso (journalism, RTF senior), Andres Cerda (journalism, government senior)

After the 2020 census, state lawmakers will use the census data to draw new congressional and state legislative maps. Due to the event’s importance, this team decided to create an interactive website to show the history of redistricting and how gerrymandering impacts the process.

Read more about the Redistricting Interactive Project and the team here. 

2. Fast Fashion

Group members: Stefi Hsia (journalism, biology senior), Dabrelle Dickson (journalism, RTF senior), Michael Hernandez (journalism senior), Hayden Baggett (journalism, international relations & global studies senior), Sarah Bass (journalism, humanities senior), Jimena De la Mora (journalism junior)

While there are currently websites and news articles that reveal some numbers of the impact of fast fashion, there is no one-stop website that can display all of the relevant information. This team is creating an interactive website as a unique aggregate of information for sustainable fashion in the U.S. and throughout the world. 

Read more about the Fast Fashion project and the team here. 

3. COVID-19 and the Austin Music Scene

Daniel Cavazos (photojournalism senior)

This podcast will cover how the Austin music scene has had to pivot and survive in the wake of the industry being shut down due to a global pandemic. The podcast will focus on the experiences of club owners, musicians and industry personnel.

4. Texas Timeline Project

Group members: Grace Dickens (journalism, geography senior), Alyssa Hiarker (journalism, sustainability studies senior), Evan L'Roy (journalism, RTF senior)

The Texas Timeline Project is a timeline surveying the impact of environmental legislation on Texans during the Trump Administration. Through multimedia storytelling, they aim to contextualize and revitalize the narrative of environmental impacts on the lives of everyday people. 

Read more about the Texas Timeline Project and the team here. 

5. 35

Group members: Sara Schleede (journalism senior), Lawson Freeman (journalism senior)  Grace Ann Hornfischer (journalism senior)

“‘35” is a five episode podcast exploring some commonly unknown history underlying Interstate 35. Host and director Sara Schleede created the podcast because of her lifelong love of road trips and hopes her audience will listen and learn something new about Texas.

Read more about the upcoming podcast here. 

6. Delivering Darkness: Fear in 512 

Group members: Aiden Snasdell (journalism, Plan II senior), Kenny Jones (journalism junior), Ashley Miznazi (journalism, corporate communication junior), Alexandra Buckner (English, journalism senior), Libby Cohen (journalism, business, Spanish senior)

“Delivering Darkness” is a podcast about Mark Anthony Conditt, the perpetrator of the Austin Serial Bombings  in 2018. The show will break down how he was caught and the tragedies he caused.

Read more about the upcoming podcast here.

Ashley Miznazi and Kenny Jones work on their podcast at a patio table.

Ashley Miznazi and Kenny Jones work on their podcast at a patio table.

7. Crooked Power

Group members: Cesar Perez (journalism junior), Maya Fawaz (journalism senior), Meara Isenberg (journalism senior)

The "Crooked Power" podcast is about a libel lawsuit an ex-president filed against El Universo, the biggest newspaper in Ecuador. Cesar Perez, whose father is one of the publishers of the newspaper, tells the story from a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective alongside co-producer Maya Fawaz.

Read more about the upcoming podcast here. 

8. Story Submarine

Group members: Gwenny Govea (journalism senior), Zoe Judilla (journalism, RTF senior), Drew Van Chau (journalism senior)

“Story Submarine” is a podcast where books are transformed into audio versions for children. The podcast conveys emotion and pictures from books through heavy utilization of sound.

Read more about the upcoming podcast here. 

9. Alex Jones Podcast

Group members: Libby Cohen (journalism senior), Alexandra Curry-Buckley (English, journalism senior)

The Alex Jones Podcast, pending a name, intends on detailing how a local Austin personality became a famous right wing influencer. Alexandra Buckner and Libby Cohen discuss the mess Jones' rhetoric and conspiracy driven ideas left behind over the years. 

Read more about the upcoming podcast here. 

10. 'The Young Lovers' Album

Julian Rowe-Cohen (journalism, sport management senior)

This album is the culmination of many years of hard work on Rowe-Cohen’s music and storytelling. It is a ten song album, sometimes indie-pop, sometimes southern-rock record that falls mostly under the umbrella of the intersection between falling in and out of love and growing up. 

Read more about the album here.