EPPS Student Blog

Wondering what it’s like at UT Dallas and EPPS? Check out what our student bloggers are saying.

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in these blogs are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of EPPS or UT Dallas.

Meet Your Bloggers . . .

Blake Eaton

Hometown: San Diego, California
Major: Political Science


Hello, all! My name is Blake Eaton. I'm a San Diegan born and raised, and the only reason I'm here at UTD is because I absolutely love this school. As a freshman political science major, I've taken every opportunity to dive into UTD's community. I am Vice President and co-founder of Whoosh the Vote as well as a member of the UTD Mock Trial and Model United Nations teams. I spend whatever free time I have at the gym, reading the news, or writing. I'm a pre-law student, a political junkie, and a brony, but more than anything, I want to experience as much as possible as quickly as possible, and I plan to do just that in my time at UTD.


Najib Gazi

Hometown: Murphy, Texas
Major: Political Science with a minor in Public Affairs


Hi! My name is Najib Gazi, and I am a freshman here at UTD, and my major is Political Science with a minor in Public Affairs. I live in Murphy, and graduated as the Salutatorian of Wylie High School’s Class of 2015. I earned many distinctions during my four years, such as being a National Merit Commended Scholar and National AP Scholar. I was heavily involved in clubs and sports at my high school, and plan to do the same here at UTD. I’ve already jumped into both the John Marshall Pre-Law Society and the Mediation team and I definitely want to join Moot Court and Mock Trial as soon as I meet the qualifications. I love trying new things, and plan on experimenting with the majority of the clubs on campus. For my future career, I currently see three pathways. I’d either like to become a lawyer, politician, or possibly even work in an agency that is free flowing like the GAO. In my free time, I enjoy playing sports, playing FIFA, or watching TV shows such as the Blacklist, Empire, and Suits among others.


Vernicia Griffie

Hometown: Texarkana, Texas
Major: Political Science


Hello! My name is Vernicia Griffie, and I am a political science major here at UT Dallas. I'm from Texarkana, TX, which is about 3 hours away from Dallas. In my free time, I enjoy watching reality TV and perusing Pinterest for DIY ideas. My passion lies in journalism. I plan to one day be a political news anchor and use this zeal for journalism to benefit my community by providing citizens with information about the issues that affect them.


Colton Hattersley

Hometown: Portland, Texas
Major: Sociology


Hey everyone, my name is Colton Hattersley! I hail from the small town of Portland, TX, which is about fifteen minutes away from Corpus Christi. I am a sophomore Sociology major and am planning to attend law school following graduation. I am a Terry Scholar and am involved in UTD's Mock Trial team, which is one of the greatest experiences I've ever had. Being raised near the ocean, I love any activities involving water - swimming, kneeboarding, canoeing, water skiing, etc. - but also love listening to music, writing and reading poetry and fiction novels, and baking desserts.


Christina Lanier

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Major: Economics & Political Science


Hello! My name is Christina Tallulah Lanier and I’m from Hotlanta (that’s Atlanta, Georgia)! I am a first-year National Merit Scholar studying for a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science. After my time here, I plan on going to law school and eventually be a corporate or federal lawyer. I am a member of the John Marshall Pre-Law Society and the mock trial and mediation teams. This semester, I have had the wonderful opportunity of working with The Innocence Project of Texas. Additionally, I am intern at the district office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, who represents most of South Dallas in the House of Representatives. So to say the least, it’s been a productive and exciting first year here, and I can’t wait for the next three! In my free time, I love to listen to public radio (go KERA!), read law books, and cook delicious vegan food. I have been vegan for over a year and never plan on looking back! So if you ever have any questions about veganism or want some neat recipe ideas, shoot me an email!


Hope Steffensen

Hometown: Kenai, Alaska
Major: Political Science


Hi, my name is Hope Steffensen. I am a political science major. I was born and raised in Kenai, Alaska, the "King Salmon Capital of the World." Contrary to popular belief, everything is not bigger in Texas! Alaska has bigger mountains, larger lakes, more coastline, etc. I'll stop now before I offend someone! Here on campus I'm in the CV Honors Program and on the Model United Nations Team. I am also active in Fellowship of Christian University Students. I enjoy anything to do with law or politics, and I plan on becoming an attorney in the future. In my free time I go jogging or work out at the gym. I also like to read my Bible and follow anything online that has to do with Disney characters, Disney outfits or Disney vacations.