The Ramshorn Scholars Program is dedicated to student success at the Cockrell School.

Ramshorn Scholars Program

Congratulations on joining the Ramshorn Scholars Program! The program is dedicated to student success in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, and we are excited to have you in the Texas Engineering family.

We aim to create a community that promotes and helps students achieve academic excellence. In fact, the Ramshorn is a symbol with deep roots in the Cockrell School that has defined academic achievements for our student engineers for decades.

The mission of the Ramshorn Scholars Program is to create a network of academic support, encouragement and build community during your college transition. This program is dedicated to connecting engineering undergraduates with University resources and assisting academic goals and achievements.

Ramshorn Scholars Program components:

  • Reserved seats in select first-year courses
  • Engineering first-year interest groups (FIGs)
  • General Engineering (GE) supplemental instruction courses
  • Spatial Visualization supplemental course
  • Engineering Student Services academic advisors
  • Mentoring and tutoring with an Academic Coach
  • Community building events

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ramshorn Scholars Program?
The Ramshorn Scholars Program is a first and second-year retention program in the Cockrell School of Engineering that is dedicated to helping engineering undergraduates transition to college. The Ramshorn Scholars Program advising team is committed to building community within engineering and helping engineering students succeed in their academics.
Why was I chosen to participate in the Ramshorn Scholars Program?
The Cockrell School of Engineering, in collaboration with the University’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, identified engineering first-year students who established excellent academic and leadership skills in high school to be identified as a Ramshorn Scholar. As a Ramshorn Scholar, students receive services such as tutoring, peer mentoring, GE supplemental instruction, and First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs). Ramshorn Scholars are strongly motivated to maintain the Ramshorn definition of excellence as students eager to be engineers.
What is required of me as a Ramshorn Scholar?
Ramshorn Scholars must participate in a FIG and meet weekly with an assigned academic coach. There are no other additional academic requirements in the first academic year. However, there are other community-building events that Ramshorn Scholars must attend: community events in fall and spring semesters, an etiquette dinner workshop and additional workshops such as EXPO 101 and leadership seminars (with priority registration given to Ramshorn Scholar students).
Who are my advisors? 
The Cockrell School of Engineering is full of resources to help students succeed. Every engineering major has academic advisors in their respective departments to seek guidance for course selection, registration procedures and reviewing degree progress. Ramshorn Scholar students will have an additional assigned advisor in the Engineering Student Services office located in the Engineering Student Services office located in EER  2.848. Students will meet with their assigned advisor during new student orientation, followed by a meeting with their engineering departments.
What is a Ramshorn? 
More than a century ago, T.U. Taylor, UT Austin’s first engineering faculty member and the first dean of Texas Engineering, began drawing an elaborate check mark — a “Ramshorn” — on his students’ best papers. Over the years, it became known as a symbol of excellence in engineering education at The University of Texas at Austin.

Meet Your Advisors

kristen kessel

Kristen Kessel, M.Ed

Director of the Ramshorn Scholars Program, Engineering Student Services

Phone:  512-471-4321

Kristen oversees all components of the Ramshorn Scholars Program (RSP) and provides student-centered advising to RSP students for all engineering majors. Kristen earned a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences from Concordia University Texas and completed her master’s degree in educational psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys spending time with her family, trying new foods, and reading.


Mary De Sopo

Mary De Sopo, M.Ed

Academic Advisor, Engineering Student Services

Phone:  512-471-4321

Mary is an Academic Advisor in Engineering Student Services and provides support for all students in the Ramshorn Scholars Program (RSP). Mary earned her bachelor’s in Sociology from Rutgers University and completed her master's degree in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texa at Austin. While out of the office, Mary enjoys camping, traveling, and live music.

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