RGK announces Spring 2022 CONNECT cohort | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

The CONNECT program has announced the 18 organizations and 21 student fellows participating in the spring 2022 cohort. This cohort marks a milestone moment in the CONNECT program’s journey as they welcome their first for-profit client, BB Imaging.

"We are tremendously excited for this opportunity to connect such a socially conscious organization with UT talent," said Ethan Tenison, project manager for data initiatives at the RGK Center.

Now in its third year, the CONNECT program has been working internally and in collaboration with UT graduate students, faculty, and the program's funders to develop a sustainable funding model. Dedicating a project to a for-profit client allows for not only an alternative revenue stream for the growing program, but also provides an opportunity for more varied project types for students across campus.

BB Imaging is an Austin-based organization whose mission is to provide ultrasound services to rural and underserved communities. The project's CONNECT fellow, Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. candidate Geethu Jacob, will use artificial intelligence to analyze sonograms to increase the detection of disease and birth defects.

Geethu Jacob, Ph.D. candidate in the aerospace engineering department
Geethu Jacob, Ph.D. candidate in the aerospace engineering department


"I'm thrilled to be working on a project that could help pregnant women in underserved communities. The project will involve working with medical imaging data, which is new to me," said Jacob. "I'm very excited to see how my skills and experience with geospatial/remote sensing data can be adapted to this new domain."

Returning organizations in this cohort include Good Apple, a program developed by RGK Center faculty fellow Dr. Michael Hole, that is collaborating with CONNECT fellow Grace Chiu on a project to better understand the impact of their Stay Home, Stay Healthy program.

Grace Chiu, two-time CONNECT fellow and master's candidate at the McCombs School of Business.
Grace Chiu, two-time CONNECT fellow and master's candidate at the McCombs School of Business


"For this spring cohort, I look forward to analyzing new data and communicating the insights found with my stakeholders," said Chiu, who is scheduled to graduate this spring with a Masters of Science in Information Technology and Management.

"Being part of the CONNECT program is one of the most valuable experiences in my academic career in which I got to sharpen my data skills while providing outreach to local communities," she said.

More on the CONNECT Program:

This semester, CONNECT is providing $34,400 in student funding to recognize participation in the program. Four of the organizations participating this semester have been awarded scholarships through the CONNECT program to improve the equity, diversity, and inclusivity of the program.


Spring 2022 CONNECT Cohort

* Denotes an organization that has multiple projects with CONNECT this spring