“Under a certain GPA threshold, companies won't consider you. Maintain the highest GPA possible; don't 'skate.'”
Home: Shavano Park, Texas
UT Dallas Degree: MA - Political Economy
Profession: Assistant Professor of Economics, Northwest Vista College
I've been teaching economics at Northwest Vista College, which is part of Alamo Community Colleges, for the past eight years. Last year I was elected to the college's Faculty Senate, representing the business and government departments. In the past, I've served as faculty advisor to the college's Phi Theta Kappa chapter. I'm also an adjunct economics instructor for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, teaching night students out of the Randolph Air Force Base campus.
Prior to joining the faculty at Northwest Vista College, I taught high school in San Antonio, including AP courses in economics and government. From 1988 to 1999, I served in the U.S. Navy as a medical service corps officer in Texas, California and Italy. I'm currently a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Inactive Ready Reserves.
The Value of My Degree
I couldn't have taught college without my master's degree from UT Dallas. My graduate degree also helped with me being selected for a commission in the U.S. Navy and furthered my advancement and promotion in the Navy.
My EPPS Success
What contributed to my success in EPPS were small class sizes. Most of my classes were well under 20 students, so we had individualized attention and developed a sense of camaraderie. The night classes also provided excellent synergy among those in a myriad number of different career fields.
Securing a position as a teaching assistant in the School of Business and Public Administration also helped tremendously. The salary I earned permitted me to pay my own way through graduate school without having to moonlight at other jobs.
Advice for EPPS Students
Because I'm a college professor, I regularly provide advice to students, as well as my daughter who currently attends UT Dallas. This advice includes:
- Grades count! Under a certain GPA threshold, companies won't consider you. Maintain the highest GPA possible; don't "skate."
- If eligible, join an academic fraternity (e.g. Phi Beta/Theta Kappa).
- Network by joining professional organizations. These organizations thrive on student members and want to help you succeed - you are the future of their profession.
- Do your best to obtain an internship in your profession. If unavailable, volunteer with a group such as Junior Achievement.
- Visit your professors during their office hours. Ask them for opportunities to improve, suggestions for your own plan of action, milestones to obtain an "A" in their course, input on your academic strengths/weaknesses, etc.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my daughters, reading the Wall Street Journal from cover to cover, watching news programs and reality shows, going to estate sales, and admiring classic cars and architecture.
Posted August 2011