Several mornings a week, Taylor Huey ’21 starts her day with a 2-mile run around Lady Bird Lake. It’s a practice she began last spring, when she was back home in Dallas and went for jogs around her neighborhood just to get out of the house. On Zoom calls, she and her friends discovered they were all doing the same thing, so they decided to keep up their habit together when they returned to Austin. The run clears her mind for the day ahead.
Huey runs with friends, including Athina Castañon ’21 around Lady Bird Lake several times a week.
The Math Lab is operating virtually this year, but Huey takes her laptop to the physical classroom to write problems on the board and explain via Zoom.
As a math tutor and calculus teaching assistant, Huey works hard to dispel the myth that people are naturally good or bad at math.
A Mathematics major, Huey is conducting math research and supports other students as a teaching assistant for Calculus and as a Math Lab tutor. She tells them how she, too, was intimidated by calculus as a college freshman. She dreaded going to her calculus class because she was afraid she wouldn’t do well. But she ended up enjoying the class, partly because she’d worked so hard to master the material. She now shares her strategies — work on assignments every day, do the homework early, ask questions — with the students she coaches.
“People think that they’re either naturally good at math or they’re not, so I start by trying to dispel that myth,” Huey says. “Usually telling them my own story is helpful. If they’re not understanding the material, they may need to put more effort in, but I also need to try harder to help them and explain in a way that they understand.”
Post-graduation, she is considering becoming a patent lawyer, a profession in which a STEM background is helpful. Patent lawyers need to understand the mechanics behind new tools or technologies to know what distinguishes them from existing ones.
As vice present of the Student Government Association, Huey serves as chair of the senate and facilitates meetings between students and administration.
Huey restocks a campus bathroom with pads and tampons. The SGA initiative helps students who can’t afford the supplies or need them unexpectedly.
Huey takes a break in the Munday Library. In addition to classes, she’s working on her Honors thesis, which analyzes deaths in custody in the Texas prison system.
At least once a week Huey studies at Mozart’s Coffee, which has plenty of outdoor deck space and fresh air.
On Sundays, Huey and her friends relax in Zilker Park. “We’ll bring our laptops and say we’ll get work done, but we usually don’t,” she says.
Huey is also the vice president of the Student Government Association and serves on several committees, including the Natural Sciences Advisory Board and the President’s Taskforce on Systemic Racism. She says that the university has helped her gain the confidence to advocate for subjects that matter to her. “I’m more of a quiet person, and St. Edward’s really calls me to speak up and speak out about issues that I care about,” Huey says.
Huey and other members of the Black Student Alliance assemble Thanksgiving wellness kits for people experiencing homelessness.
Covid-19 has reshaped Huey’s college experience, but she says the most significant impact of the pandemic is a collective societal epiphany.
“The problems that Covid has highlighted — students without access to the internet or a laptop, students who also had to work and provide childcare — have always existed, but now that they affect people of all income levels and races, they’re getting more attention,” she says. “I hope that, once the pandemic is over, we continue being more empathetic as a society and look for ways to help people who are disadvantaged.”
By Robyn Ross
Photography by Chelsea Purgahn