Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism
Reporting Texas Archives
Jun 10, 2022

Former UT Hoops Walk-on Hopes Graduate Assistant Gig Leads to Coaching Career

After Tristan Licon earned a surprise spot on the Longhorn basketball team as a walk-on, he is ready to hang up his jersey for good and complete his initial goal of being a graduate assistant.
Graduate assistants for an athletic team are similar to university teaching assistants. The position is designed for students pursuing a master’s degree, many of whom want to pursue a coaching career. 
“You need to go somewhere where you can learn the business,” said Drew Valentine, current head coach of Loyola-Chicago who first started out his career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State University. “The graduate assistant experience was great for me because I got to see firsthand how a program was run at the highest level.”

May 31, 2022

Pandemic, Criminal Conviction Resulting from Nurse’s Mistake Raises Concerns for Future Healthcare Workers

Hot on the heels of the conviction of a Tennessee nurse at another university medical center, University of Texas at Austin nursing students are wary of joining healthcare workers already stretched to the limit by the COVID-19 pandemic. RaDonda Vaught injected Charlene Murphey with an incorrect drug and failed to monitor her, resulting in Murphey’s death. […]

May 31, 2022

Just Call Me By My Name: UT Students Reflect on Their Identity

A name is the first glimpse into a person’s character. It, too, is one’s brand.

Names correlate with self-worth, personality and status. According to author Ralph Ellison, it is through our names how we first place ourselves in this world.

Three University of Texas at Austin students share how their names shaped their identities, often not without struggle.

May 31, 2022

Austin Mounted Patrol Making Most of New Home

Like many Central Texas residents, Austin police officer Dawn Leonard has bad memories from Winter Storm Uri in 2021. Not only did she have to keep herself warm, but she had to ensure the survival of the horses of the Austin Police Department’s mounted patrol unit.

 “It was a horrible week,” Leonard said. “So 24/7, every two hours, I got up and scooped poop.”

In the end, the storm turned out to be a blessing for the 16 horses in the mounted patrol unit. Because of a lack of water and sewer issues caused by the storm, the Austin Police Department moved the animals from a stable in Manor to the Austin Equestrian Center in Cedar Creek.

May 24, 2022

Amid Population Decline, Rural Texas Towns Look to Future

Despite Texas gaining more people than any other state in the past decade, more than half of its counties lost population, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.

During the past few decades, changes in agriculture and the boom-or-bust oil and gas industry have led to dwindling employment opportunities in rural Texas. Many young people leave rural communities after high school in search of economic and social opportunity, often never returning.

“You start seeing what I describe as kind of a net out-migration of young people who age up through high school in their community where they grew up. And if they want to go to post-secondary education or they want to work in a job that’s, you know, potentially higher paying, they’re going to have to move to a more urbanized area,” Texas State Demographer Lloyd Potter said.

That loss of young people, Potter said, has left aging populations in rural communities.

May 23, 2022

Diversity in Tattooing Opens Up Art Form to People with Different Identities

In the years she’s been a tattoo shop owner and artist, Tina Poe has witnessed more body art studios opening, increased diversity in artists and more creative work being put out. It’s exciting to see more demographics being represented in the industry, she said. One demographic Poe noted was women. The majority of Moon Tattoo’s clients are female now, she said.

May 18, 2022

Responsibility for Ukrainian Refugees Shifts to Individual American Sponsors Like Austin Woman

In the absence of a more robust immigration system, American citizens are hosting refugees, assuming financial responsibility and assisting with the resettlement process.

May 17, 2022

As Teacher Vacancies Mount, Special Education Teachers Struggle to Meet Student Needs

Nearly all states in the U.S. are dealing with teacher shortages in special education. Texas school districts have struggled to fill teacher vacancies for years. The situation worsened during the pandemic.

May 17, 2022

Residents, Businesses Face Prospect of Moving to Make Way for I-35 Expansion 

TxDOT’s $4.9 billion I-35 Capital Express Central project is intended to reduce congestion and improve the safety of the highway. The Austin section of I-35 has twice been named in the Congress for the New Urbanism’s “Freeways Without Futures” report as one of the American highways in most need of elimination. That section of highway ranked second among Texas’ most congested roadways by Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute. 

May 15, 2022

Kirk Watson, Running Again for Mayor, Wants Austinites to Look Forward

Watson, who was mayor from 1997-2001, says Austin needs a mayor with long-term, forward-looking direction —  not someone simply reacting to the day-to-day issues facing one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. 

May 13, 2022

George Clinton Art Exhibit  ‘Grooves from the Deep’ in East Austin

The Carver Museum exhibit, “Grooves from the Deep and the Space Math of George Clinton,” opened March 10 and will run through June 19. It’s the first public museum showing for Clinton, who debuted his visual art in a solo exhibition in a private gallery in New Orleans in 2021.

Carre Adams, Carver Museum culture and arts education manager, said Clinton’s visual art is an extension of his music — a singular form of eclectic psychedelic funk that he performs in outrageous costumes with his band Parliament Funkadelic.
The exhibit features dozens of mixed-media paintings made by the artist, album covers from his records, posters, videos and photographs. 

May 12, 2022

Nurses Rally at Capitol to Fight for Workplace Safety

Several dozen Texas nurses demanded workplace changes at a rally outside the Capitol May 12.

May 12, 2022

Increased Production Could Lead to More Methane in the Permian Basin

Beneath the stark, dusty landscape of West Texas lie copious energy-rich substances that have fueled American automobilse and the Texas economy for over a century. These resources are now playing a role in America’s response to the war in Ukraine, raising new concerns for environmental advocates

May 12, 2022

How a UT-Austin Program is Helping Students of Color Study Abroad 

During the 2017-18 academic year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, about 11% of all U.S. college students studied abroad, according to reporting from Inside Higher Ed. Of those who studied abroad, Black students comprised 5.5%, Hispanic students 10.6% and Asian students 8.6%, while white students accounted for 70%, according to data from the Association of International Educators. 

About 4.7% of Black UT-Austin students studied abroad in the 2018-19 school year, Heather Thompson, director of the university’s education abroad department, told Reporting Texas. Among all UT-Austin students, about 8.5% study abroad annually.

The Global Leadership Program is helping to change the way students of color study abroad at UT by recruiting students of color and first-generation college students, offering study-abroad scholarships and building leadership programs for student success.

May 10, 2022

UT Professors: ‘Anti-Critical Race Theory’ Law Is Attempt to Avoid Historical Truth

In a series of interviews with UT professors in March and April, most said the law is an affront to the teaching of historical truth regarding racism.

May 06, 2022

City Council Again Discusses Austin Opera House Redevelopment

The dispute over a proposed 1,200-seat music venue on the site of the old Austin Opera House continued to flare during an Austin City Council meeting Thursday. 

May 06, 2022

Reporting Texas TV – May 5, 2022

Journalism students from Moody College at the University of Texas produced their sixth and final newscast of the semester on May 5, 2022. This week’s reports include a rally demanding increased pay and other benefits for many Austin Independent School District employees, efforts to unionize by workers at a campus-area Starbucks, and the announcement of […]

May 06, 2022

AISD Teachers Rally for Living Wage and More Planning Time

AUSTIN, Texas — Participants at the “At What Cost” rally on April 28 chanted “hey hey ho ho, [Superintendent Stephanie] Elizalde’s got to go!” and held signs with statements like “All classified workers deserve a $6.50 pay raise” as they expressed dissatisfaction and impatience with the Austin Independent School District. Organized by Education Austin, the […]

May 06, 2022

Texas Relays, the Largest Predominantly Black Event in Austin, Returns

For the first time in three years, more than 5,000 high school, college and professional track athletes and tens of thousands of spectators from around the country came together for the Texas Relays.

May 05, 2022

Professional Bull Riding is Coming to Austin

AUSTIN, Texas – College sports have thrived for decades in the city that bleeds orange and white. However, over the past two decades, the pride in green and black has grown with the arrival of professional hockey, soccer, and now bull riding wearing those colors.  The Austin Gamblers are a professional bull riding team that […]