Editor's Note: The second paragraph of this story has been adjusted to better reflect the inspiration behind Initium.
Public health freshmen Joshua Lattao and Neha Dronamraju hope to bridge the gap between science and art within the College of Natural Sciences with their new literary and arts publication Initium Magazine.
Lattao and Dronamraju, who works as an opinion writer for The Daily Texan, were inspired to create Initium through their work with the non-profit organization The Final Acts Project, which teaches people about end-of-life care and death through the arts.
“I guess my experiences in that (non-profit) kind of gave me the inspiration of being like, ‘Oh, one tool to disseminate humanitarian information is like magazines and literary art,’” Lattao said. “Then it kind of snowballed into these ideas about wanting to bridge the gap between science and humanities.”
The literary magazine’s title is the Latin word for “start” and its overall theme is the life cycle. Through this theme, student writers and artists can delve into what Initium’s website calls “the narrative aspect of every thought, item and action.”
In addition to exhibiting creative writing and visual art from students, part of Initium will include articles from magazine staff members about efforts to connect science and art in the community.
“There was a student who came up to me and was telling me about how she was kind of excited about what we were doing because she didn’t know of any real … creative outlet they had within CNS,” Lattao said. “I definitely feel like there is a place for this magazine within CNS.”
Initium is a part of the Apricity Pilot program run by Apricity Magazine, UT’s official literary and arts magazine.
“Since inception, we’ve walked through how do you create your website, what is the importance of creating a prototype website and how do you … pitch to different students and administrators on your projects,” said Margaret Siu, founder of Apricity and Plan II junior.
Caroline Rock, editor-in-chief of Echo Literary and Arts Magazine, a student-run publication in the Liberal Arts Honors Program, said communication, organization and passion are essential to founding a magazine.
“I think there has to be some part of the endeavor that you’re really passionate about, and I mean hopefully you’re passionate about amplifying student voices through literature and art, but even if it’s not that, you need to be passionate about leading an organization or … communication or just leadership,” said Rock, a Japanese and design senior. “It is a bit of work, and so it’s really not worth it unless you really care about it in some way.”
Submissions for Initium will open in September, and although the magazine appeals to CNS majors, all students can send in their work. Lattao and Dronamraju hope to publish work on the Initium website in December, and they hope to physically print the magazine after their first year.
“I’m very excited to see where they go,” Siu said. “I think Initium is one way of really getting to know the students at the College of Natural Sciences and really getting to know their creative side of things.”