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Division of Campus and Community Engagement

Division of Campus and Community Engagement

Celebrating Our 2021 Graduates: Nikita Belathur

Nikita Belflaur GraduAsian 21

Hometown: Coppell, Texas

Major: Finance, McCombs School of Business/Asian American Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Program and Activities: Director of Finance, Asian Desi Pacific Islander American Collective Student Agency (ADPAC); Designer, Liberal Arts Honors’ Echo Literary & Arts Magazine

New discoveries…Like many of her fellow undergraduates, Belathur had to do some exploring before committing to a major. After some trial-and-error, she soon found her path while attending a speaker event at the Multicultural Engagement Center. “After the director of the Center for Asian American Studies came to speak, I became very interested in Asian American history and how it relates to other communities of color. I’m learning so much about my own personal history—and I have been given this toolset to talk about difficult topics that I normally wouldn’t bring up with my family.”

Learning more to the story… “For the final paper in my Reproductive Justice/Race class, I had to conduct an interview with someone I knew about their reproductive choices. This gave me an opportunity to interview my mom and ask her questions I really wanted to know more about. Under the context of the class project, I was able to have this conversation with her and learn so much more about her own personal backstory.”

A special shout-out…Of all the supportive faculty and staff at UT Austin, Belathur is especially grateful for her supportive Capstone advisor Tony Vo, who is also the director of the Center for Asian American Studies. “So many wonderful people helped me along my way, but Tony Vo has been the most influential. I consider him a friend and someone who has had a big impact on my life.”

Finding her calling…While mentoring interns within the ADPAC student agency, Belathur found that she, too, enjoys making a positive impact on students. While watching them bring their campus and community events into fruition, she realized she may have found a new calling.  “My greatest experience at UT was helping our student interns not only plan and coordinate events but to also learn about their histories and how to share their voices. In the long-run, I plan on pursuing a career in education because I really enjoy this work.”

A time to reflect and move forward…Belathur is excited to celebrate with her fellow graduates at the MEC’s GraduAsian ceremony, which dovetails with AAPI Heritage Month. During this time, Belathur encourages others to learn more about the histories and cultures of the many ethnic groups within the monolithic umbrella of “Asian-Americans.” “AAPI Heritage Month is a time to reflect on our past histories in the U.S and the current issues we face today, specifically the anti-Asian violence that is on the rise. It’s important to look back at our histories and find a grounding place where we can unite and move forward.”

The future ahead…After graduation, Belathur is ready to hit the ground running at Fidelity Investments, where she gained a wealth of work experience as a summer intern. “I’m really looking forward to moving back to Dallas and getting started in my career! I know this sounds weird because most college students want to move away from home, but I’m really excited about being close to my family again.”