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17 Interns Make the Magic Happen at UIL

By Lauren Kelley, UIL Intern | Wednesday, November 02, 2016 11:01 AM

This semester 16 interns are hard at work at the UIL state office. The University Interscholastic League welcomed 10 new interns with seven interns returning for another semester.  UIL interns help with the daily upkeep of their respective departments and also assist at UIL State events.

Katarina Antolovic, a Theatre intern, is returning for her third year here at UIL. In high school Katarina competed in LD Debate, Congressional Debate, Informative and Persuasive Extemporaneous, and Current Issues and Events.

“I could not think of a better place to work,” Katarina, who attended Pflugerville High School, said. “Everyone here truly cares for each other and does all they can to make competing in UIL the most enjoyable experience possible for thousands of students across Texas.”

Katarina is a junior Speech Language Pathology Major with a minor in Linguistics. She is a member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association and iNSPIRE, a women’s leadership program in the Center for Women and Gender Studies.

Katarina’s interest lies in bilingualism and she hopes to continue this in the future.

“In 10 years I hope to have completed my master's degree and be working as a speech-language pathologist,” she said. “I also want to continue doing research on how we can best support for bilingual children with speech and language disorders.”

In her spare time Katarina enjoys scrapbooking and reading.


After volunteering at the State Meet last year, sophomore Shelden Dowden officially joined the UIL Speech and Debate team as an intern this semester. Shelden competed in seven UIL events in high school — five of which he advanced to State. These included: CX Debate, Number Sense, Mathematics, Editorial Writing, Literary Criticism, Solo and Ensemble and One-Act Play.

“UIL was always a big part of high school and middle school, and elementary school — all of it really for me,” he said. “Now I get to make sure it stays a big part of everybody’s high school, so they all get the opportunity to excel.”

Shelden, who attended Clifton High School, is an Aerospace Engineering major, with a minor in Mathematics. He is involved in the Engineering Chamber Orchestra jazz ensemble (EChO) and UT Design Build Fly.

“In the future I hope to be working on exploratory near-autonomous drones for NASA,” he said. “Like Curiosity, but flying.” Note: Curiosity is a space rover exploring Mars.

Junior Lauren Kelley began her third year at UIL as an Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC) and Journalism Intern. Lauren, who attended Karnes City High School, competed in Feature and Editorial Writing in high school, where she placed second at State in Editorial. Lauren also played volleyball and ran track.

“It is incredible to be given the opportunity to give back to an organization that gave me so much,” she said. “I want every student that participates in UIL to have as good of an experience as I had, and working here gives me that opportunity.”

Lauren also says working under Jeanne Acton, director of journalism, is “the best.”

“Jeanne is awesome and one of my biggest role models,” she said.

Lauren is a Communication Sciences and Disorders major, specializing in Speech Language Pathology. She is the president of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association and an undergraduate researcher in the Language Learning and Bilingualism Lab.

Returning intern, sophomore Gage Krause works in the Speech and Debate Department with Director Jana Riggins. In high school Gage competed in Persuasive Speaking and Policy Debate, in which he was an octofinalist.

“Speech and Debate gave a lot to me in high school, so being able to give back is rewarding,” Gage, who attended Lake Travis High School, said. “I’m excited to be here at UIL because I get to work in the community I am most involved in.”

Gage is a Government and Philosophy major here at UT. After his undergrad, he hopes to attend graduate school.

He also is still very involved in speech and debate.

“I am a debate consultant for Lake Travis High School,” he said. “I also teach at various debate camps, and frequently judge on TFA, UIL and TOC circuits in debate.”

Sophomore Adrienne Loftus joined the UIL Theater department this September. Adrienne is an Environmental Science major, minoring in Scientific Computation.

In high school, she competed and advanced to State in Mathematics, Ready Writing and One-Act Play. Adrienne, who attended Brackett High School, also competed in UIL Science.

“I’m excited to be here at UIL because it’s a fun environment where I get to brush up on my typewriter skills,” Adrienne said.

On the UT campus, Adrienne serves as an officer for the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano, and is a self-proclaimed adventure-seeker.

“In a decade I hope to have hiked the Appalachian Trail and obtained both my undergraduate and graduate degrees,” she said.

Freshman English major Madison Rider joined the UIL Theatre department this September. In high school, Madison competed in CX Debate, Persuasive Extemporaneous Speaking, Congress, Prose, and One-Act Play. She advanced to State multiple years and placed at State in CX Debate, Persuasive Extemporaneous Speaking, and Congress. 
“UIL is something that’s had a huge impact on my life and tons of lives across Texas,” Madison, who attended Ennis High School, said. “Anything I can do to be a part of it is a chance to give back and help UIL continue to influence students.”

Outside of UIL and classes, Madison enjoys writing. In the future, one of her goals is to travel.

“I also want to go to graduate school, earn my doctorate, and become a professor,” she said.

Senior Sunil Prajapati is beginning his third year at UIL as an academics intern under Academics Director Dr. David Stevens. Sunil competed in Mathematics, Number Sense, Calculator, Science and Extemporaneous Speaking in high school.

“UIL is my home away from home,” Sunil, who attended Athens High School, said. “I’ve been a part of UIL for as long as I can remember.”

Sunil is a Mechanical Engineering major. He is involved in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Indian Students Association and Pi Tau Sigma.

“In 10 years, I hope to have obtained a masters degree from UT in Biomechanics,” he said. “I also hope to be married and working for a company that helps people rehabilitate from injury quicker through the use of robotics and engineering.”

In his spare time Sunil enjoys tennis, basketball and Netflix.

Freshman Lauren Weik also joined the Theatre Department this semester. In high school, Lauren competed in Oral Interpretation, CX Debate and One-Act Play, which she advanced to State in. Lauren, who attended Keller High School, is continuing her career on the stage by pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts in acting.

“I am excited to be here at UIL because the League was such a huge part of my individual growth in high school,” she said. “UIL helped shape me into the person I am today.”

In her spare time, Lauren enjoys painting and yoga.

“In 10 years, I hope to have graduated from UT and either attend graduate school or audition on the west coast,” Lauren said.

This August, sophomore Kathryn Wiatrek joined the UIL Journalism department as an ILPC and A+ Academics intern. Throughout high school, she competed and advanced to State in CX debate, One-Act Play and Editorial Writing. She also participated in Feature Writing and Current Issues & Events.

“I did a fair amount of extracurricular activities in high school, but competing in UIL was always my favorite,” Kathryn, who attended Karnes City High School, said. “It was extremely hard to finally say goodbye to the UIL world when I graduated. This being said, I am incredibly excited to have UIL be a part of my life again and to actually help contribute to such an important organization.”

Kathryn is a Business major, looking to specialize in Marketing and possibly double with Advertising. Within the McCombs School of Business, she serves as the graphic design officer of UT’s collegiate Texas American Marketing Association chapter.

Shalavé Cawley joined the UIL mailroom team in fall 2015. She is a sophomore at UT, pursuing a degree in Radio-Television-Film and Advertising. In high school, Shalavé competed in all four of the journalism contests, where she advanced to state in News Writing. She also competed in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking.

“UIL was a big part of my life in high school,” Shalavé, who attended Mansfield Legacy High School, said. “It’s cool to see how it all works and help out in some way.”

Shalavé also works on a show at Texas Student Television, the UT television station.

“In the future, I’d like to be working as a commercial and/or music video director,” she said.

Junior Phoenix Zorola joined the mailroom at UIL in Fall 2014 as a freshman. In high school Phoenix competed in band competitions and advanced to State for his Ensemble performance.

“It’s nice to come back and work in such a welcoming and friendly environment,” he said.

Phoenix, who attended East Central High School, is a Radio-Television-Film major and is the Texas Union Film Festival Co-Director for the Showtime organization on campus.
“In the future I hope to have a successful career in movies and/or TV,” Phoenix said.

Senior Brooke Daily is an athletic intern majoring in Youth and Community Studies, with a minor in Communication. In high school, Brooke competed in Ready Writing, Extemporaneous Speaking, One-Act Play, Softball — and at the State level in Discus.

“I’m excited to be working for an organization that loves Texas high school sports as much as I do,” Brooke, who attended Abernathy High School, said. “I’m excited to see where this experience takes me.”

In addition to UIL, Brooke also serves as a student worker for Texas Exes.

“I’m also very involved in my church, Austin Stone,” she said.   

In the future, Brooke’s hopes to find a job where she “truly enjoys coming to work every morning,” she said. “And I hope to be married to someone who makes me laugh.”

Athletic intern Kylie Klaus is a sophomore studying Kinesiology, with a specialty in athletic health care. In high school, Kylie competed in Volleyball, Basketball and Spelling.

Athletics has been a part of Kylie’s life for a long time — her dad is a head baseball coach and she played sports all through high school.

“I’m thankful for the chance to get to stay involved with athletics, even if I’m not playing,” Kylie, who attended Rogers High School, said. “I get to see things going on behind the scenes that I didn’t know about that made me getting to play sports in high school possible.”

Currently, Kylie is involved with Texas Baseball Diamonds and Texas Rowing.

“After graduating from UT, I plan on going to Physician’s Assistant school somewhere in Texas, getting a job as a PA and hopefully settle down and start a family.”

The three other UIL interns are Veronica Sanchez, who works in the mailroom, Brittany Gregg who works in the accounting office, and Passion Symone, who works in the business office.