Jesús A. Botello-Esquivel sitting in front of a garden full of yellow flowers.


University of Texas, Austin, TX

Major: Physics BS

Jesús Botello, a rising 4th year student, attends the University of Texas located in Austin, Texas. Jesús’s parents are from Michoacan, Mexico and immigrated to Georgia, where he was born, and relocated to Houston when Jesús was young. With two Spanish speaking parents, Jesús is fluent in Spanish—primarily speaking Spanish while at home. He and his siblings were the first in the family to go to college. His siblings are psychology and music education majors, and he feels he rounds out the disciplines focusing on the sciences – specifically physics.

Jesús’s high school teachers encouraged him to go into the sciences, beginning when he took chemistry, but his interest in physics came to the forefront. During his senior year in high school he took calculus and saw the connection between math and physics, which led to a goal of studying experimental physics to ultimately help his community in any way possible. He would like to pursue a teaching career and convey his passion to others.

Working with Dr. Ben Zwickl during the REU summer research program, Jesú​s is, along with another REU, Molly Griston, interviewing theoretical physicists from different universities to understand their skill levels and cognitive processes in relation to how they perceive themselves. In the eyes of a physicist, one might say that "this is why I do it, how I do it," etc. and in the eyes of a student one would ask what it means to be a physicist. Theoretical physicists, in comparison with computational or experimental physicists extends the research beyond what is done in the lab.

Jesús plans to teach after graduation, as along with a BS in Physics he will have a high school teaching certificate through the University of Texas UTeach program. He is considering going on to graduate school for education research as he has grown fond of the pedagogical aspect of teaching.​