River Terrell (they/them) is a fourth-year undergraduate in the Dean’s Scholars Honors Program pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minors in Science Communication, Business Administration, and LGBTQ Studies.
For their senior thesis, River is researching how college-aged LGBTQ young adults experience and process sexual assault and domestic violence using interpretive phenomenological analysis, combining resources and experience from arts, communications, sciences, and social work to develop materials that might aid in healing for survivors and developing empathy in communities.
In addition to this research and their function at the Rapoport Center, River is very involved on campus and in the UT community. They work in science communication research under Dr. Anthony Dudo, the faculty committee chair of the science communication program at UT. River was published last year for their work in this lab in a white paper on the state of science journalism. River is the Community Engagement Team Supervisor for the Computational Media Lab on campus, which focuses on ethical artificial intelligence and ai’s impacts on society, behavior, and politics. They are also a member of the leadership team for an Environmental Justice Theater Project, sponsored by GreenFund at UT, examining college students’ internalized messages about climate change through theater.
River strongly believes that storytelling is a method for healing, both individually and in communities. By sharing stories of science in engaging, accessible, and empathetic ways, she hopes to advance community and relationship building. Taking advantage of experiences in the arts, humanities, and sciences, River works to connect with people and help them see their part to play in advocacy for science issues, environmental protection, and safeguarding human rights.
River plans to graduate from UT in May of 2024 and enter graduate school for science writing.