By Faith Daniel and Nataly Torres
What starts here changes the world.
That’s the motto that is emblazoned across The University of Texas at Austin. From the moment that students step forth onto the Forty Acres, they are encouraged to strive for greatness and find passion in their work. Since August 2011, Jane Claire Hervey has done just that. Hervey is one of more than 50,000 students that roam the Forty Acres on a daily basis. What differentiates the Rio Hondo native is that she isn’t aimlessly wandering around. Hervey knows the path that she’s taking.
Hervey is graduating in December 2014 with a Bachelor of Journalism. Although her time as a Longhorn will have been less than many of her peers, Hervey has made the most of her time as a student. Hervey currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Orange Magazine, the university’s student-run online magazine. Whenever she’s not reporting on local happenings, Hervey serves as a campus ambassador for KIND Bars, fuels peers’ procrastination by writing quirky posts for BuzzFeed and sings her heart out at the Love Goat. Hervey manages multiple projects at once all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Talk about girl power.
On top of being a busy bee, Hervey’s passions lie in many causes. Professor Gene Burd is retiring at the end of this school after serving the university for 42 years. Burd is the oldest and longest serving professor at the university. The journalism department doesn’t have any formal plans to recognize him for his service, so Hervey took it upon herself to cook up something for the deserving and beloved Burd.
To honor Burd, Hervey is organizing a walk from his Barton Springs Road apartment to campus. For those who don’t know, Burd makes the three-mile trek from his home to the Belo Center for New Media everyday, rain or shine. The walk is open to students and faculty as a way to join him in a daily ritual and show their appreciation for his work and dedication to the university.
“The journalism department as an entity has no intention of doing it as a whole, which I think is kind of sucky. He’s been here for 42 years and I just don’t think he’s gotten any credit he deserves. So, that’s where the walk came in,” says Hervey.
When she was younger, Hervey struggled with self-esteem issues. With her confident demeanor, that may come as a surprise to many. Her self-esteem issues stemmed from her weight, which at times hindered her from believing in herself and her abilities. It was in her junior year of high school that Hervey took control of the reins and began to get her life back. She focused on herself and her well-being and it was in that moment that she rose. After rising, Hervey never came back down.
“If I’m going to get somewhere, I’ve got to do it myself,” says Hervey. “Do I sleep a lot? No, I don’t sleep very much. I’ve been blessed with certain abilities and talents and if I’m not using them to help others then I’m wasting my time.”