Christine Cepelak

"Focus on the reason you chose your degree/field and look for opportunities to put what you’ve learned in action. Look for intelligent ways to engage and build a relationship with professors and staff—they are a resource that is not so easily found after graduation!"

Home: Plano, Texas

UT Dallas Degree: BS - International Political Economy , 2013
Profession: Sustainability Coordinator, ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas

My Work

As a Sustainability Coordinator, I manage environmental data for the entire Americas business unit for annual reporting. Additionally, I manage sustainability initiatives related to product developments, such as Life Cycle Assessment, Health Product Declaration, and Environmental Product Declaration.

The Value of My Degree

A critical revelation during my studies was the great value of ‘context’ in problem-solving. International political economy coursework often centers on the ramifications of seemingly obvious answers to important questions: How does a country respond to genocide? Why does generational poverty exist? Why can’t religious groups come to a peaceful consensus in society? —and how a gamut of more complicated consequences must be considered for progress.

Now I experience business and sustainability entirely as the discovery of value-based answers to pressing issues. Understanding the inherently complex nature of problems has helped me become productive in working towards a solution.

Additionally, the many opportunities in Dallas and at UT Dallas to apply what I was learning to solving real-world problems have contributed to my success.

My EPPS Success

  • Undergraduate Research Scholar Grant winner (2010), for original project on homelessness
  • Canvasser for environmental legislation with Texas Campaign for the Environment (2008)
  • Intercultural Leadership Award, Danish Institute for Study Abroad (2012)
  • MVP Women’s Comet Cross Country (2010)
  • Intern, UTD Office of Sustainability (2013)

Advice for EPPS Students

Focus on the reason you chose your degree/field and look for opportunities to put what you’ve learned in action. Also, look for intelligent ways to engage and build a relationship with professors and staff—they are a resource that is not so easily found after graduation!

Other Interests

Photography, travel, endurance sports, CrossFit, and, of course, continuing to volunteer and work towards sustainable change in social issues.

 

Posted February 2014