200m bronze medalist an online student or attending extension campus?

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by sanantone, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Little rant. When I heard that Olympian Gabby Thomas, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in neurobiology from Harvard, was training and studying public health and epidemiology at UT in Austin, I knew something was off. UT-Austin doesn't have an MS in epidemiology or any MPH program.

    Her LinkedIn profile says that she's actually attending the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, which has a pretty good public health school. Understandably, she's training at UT-Austin because they're excellent in track and field. The media has been confused. They've said she's a graduate student at Texas University (no such thing), Texas (that's UT-Austin), and University of Texas (also UT-Austin). Everyone seems to know the difference between all the University of California schools but can't understand that the UT and Texas A&M systems have multiple independent universities. No one I've come across thinks that UCLA and Berkeley are the same school.

    She's either in the online MPH program or attending the Austin campus. UTHSCH also has extension campuses in Brownsville, Dallas, San Antonio, and El Paso.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's a fair complaint. Texas has multiple good systems that deserve to be known independently. I'm only speculating, but perhaps a lot more journalists that make it to the national level come from California than Texas.
    sanantone likes this.
  3. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    UT Austin is not really as widely known as it is in Texas, where it is viewed as an elite university. I used to live in University Park and am a graduate of UTD so I understand how well respected UT is in Texas. My relatives in LA and NY don't know much about UT Austin or UT Dallas or any public Texas university for that matter, except those who watch football. In Canada/Toronto, where I live, saying you graduated from the University of Texas at Austin or UT Dallas just means "he studied somewhere in Texas". You may as well say Texas State University, it wouldn't make a difference to people here.

    It is a similar shock that Canadians get when they learn that the University of Waterloo, which many Canadians view as a truly elite school, is virtually unknown to anyone in Texas. I remember a Canadian co-worker in Dallas who graduated from Waterloo and everyone did not really understand what / where that school was. It's only when I moved to Toronto that I understand that view.

    Really, it's no different from someone mistaking the University of Quebec in Rimouski for the University of Quebec in Montreal. To a Texan or American writer, they're both pretty much interchangeable because they have no idea what these schools are. I wouldn't be shocked if they just write "University of Quebec" if they had to write an article about one of their graduates winning a medal.

    Obviously as members of this forum we probably know more than the general public (we know a lot about universities, etc) so I get your point obviously - but I think the obvious mistake in the article is due to Texas schools not being as internationally-renowned as UCLA or Berkeley. UT Austin is an incredible university but it's just not as well known in the rest of the US or the world as the UCs. It is what it is.
    Rachel83az and Vicki like this.
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't expect Canadians to know about universities in the U.S., and I wouldn't expect Americans to know about universities in Canada. Most Americans I come across have known about UT-Austin; they just don't understand that the other UT campuses are not the same school. Honestly, I've known foreigners who weren't all that familiar with the specifics of the UC system. My ex-boyfriend was from France and was looking at doctoral programs.

    On most world rankings, including reputation rankings that require the international community to know about certain schools, UT-Austin is usually in the Top 50.
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Recognition of Texas universities shoots way up if you mention the Longhorns or the Aggies.
    sanantone likes this.
  6. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    As I mentioned, football (in America) is always the exception. Now that I think about it, the Longhorns are branded as "Texas Longhorns" or "University of Texas". It's not branded as UT Austin when you're watching the games.

    For the brand UCLA bruins, you know they're talking about LA, not berkeley.

    Same with Alabama - it's the Alabama Crimson Tide. Exactly which Alabama campus in the system they're talking about, I have no way of knowing unless I google it LOL.
  7. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    You'd expect someone reporting on sports to be familiar with a university that's in the Top 10 for producing Olympic medalists.

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