United in Pursuit of Learning AND Friendship

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

or four alumni, the Honors College provided more than just academic challenges and intellectual growth, it presented the opportunity for lifetime friendships. Laura Dominguez ‘05, Kelly Doley ‘06, Vivek Jain ‘06, and John Riewe ’05 have remained friends despite time, distance, and differences in political and religious views.

Four friends standing together on a viewing platform

Laura Dominquez ‘05

Career: Senior Program Officer at FHI 360, Washington D.C.

Major: B.A. International Studies and Spanish with a minor in Peace Studies

How did you guys meet? I met Kelly in a Sociology class that we were both in as part of our International Studies major. I met Vivek through the Honors College and an international student group called the Committee for International Peace (CIP). John and I met also through the Honors College and through Kelly, who was at one point roommates with John.

Share how your friendships affected your time at UNT: I was actually closer with Kelly and Vivek during undergraduate although I also knew John. Kelly and I had the same double majors and were fortunate to receive Rotary scholarships so our paths overlapped a lot. I was grateful to have a kind and generous friend who also understood many of the academic and related challenges that were part of our particular trajectories. Vivek and I were close colleagues in CIP and were allies in that advocacy work. I always admired his broad intellectual interests that extended from engineering to human rights. I knew John as another really bright and friendly colleague in the Honors College and who was also a friend of Kelly's.

“What ended up happening, however, is that the friendship among the four of us grew stronger after we left UNT.”

Four friends sitting together on a water ferry.What ended up happening, however, is that the friendship among the four of us grew stronger after we left UNT. Kelly moved to D.C. for grad school, and I followed for a work opportunity. We made efforts to get the four of us together when we could, but sometimes it was three or two at a time, and we made it a tradition to share a photo of whomever was there with the person/people who wasn't/weren't able to make it. We had a wonderful 5-day adventure together in Seattle in 2011, where we took the photos I shared. What I appreciate most about our friendship is that despite sometimes significant political and/or religious differences, we all share a love of learning, debate, and adventure, and we stay respectful of one another's perspectives. We also have fond memories of UNT and still stay in touch with a few other friends and professors. I couldn't ask for a nicer, cooler group of people to have stayed friends with.

Favorite thing about being in the Honors College: Both the people I met and the variety of really interesting courses I was able to take, ranging from a course about science and ethics to a course about 20th-century popular music. I also met a mentor whom I still consider a friend, Dr. Cox.


Kelly Doley ‘06

Career: Program Officer at MERATH, Beirut District, Lebanon

Major: B.A. International Studies & Spanish

Share how your friendships affected your time at UNT: At UNT's Honors College, I met lifelong friends who continuously challenged and encouraged me - both inside and outside the classroom while at UNT - and even to this day. I am very grateful for all of the amazing friends and faculty I met at UNT! 

Favorite thing about being in the Honors College: Small class size, amazing access to professors and scholarship opportunities, tickets/access to concerts and other fun activities, developing lifelong friendships with other Honors College students.


Vivek Jain ‘06

Career: General Manager/Senior Manager at Amazon Web Services

Major: Electronics Engineering Technology 

Share how your friendships affected your time at UNT: I have always cherished my time at UNT especially for the friendships I got to make. They both enriched and informed my college experience, and often stretched late through after graduation. These friendships which were varied and diverse, truly “immersed” me into the American (and Texan) culture (me being an international student), and helped me grow tremendously as a student of human nature and society. 

Favorite thing about being in the Honors College: the research track, the honors council and most of all honors professors (including Drs. Duban, Cox and Eve).


John Riewe ‘05

Career: Business Solutions Account Executive at Northland Communications  

Major: Political Science