“Look for opportunities to dive into the work you think you want to pursue. There’s no better way to determine if you’ll truly enjoy a particular path than actually walking it.”
Home: Richardson, Texas
UT Dallas Degree: MPA - Public Affairs, PhD - Public Policy & Political Economy
Profession: Research & Evaluation Analyst, Educate Texas
I began my career in the financial services industry after earning a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Texas at Austin. After working for five years as a consumer finance manager and a financial analyst, I then decided to pursue my graduate degrees at UT Dallas.
As a student at UT Dallas, I worked as a research assistant at the Texas Schools Project, where I developed insights into the complexity and depth of education data and how it can and should be used to inform education policy. Upon completing my graduate studies, I accepted a full-time position at the Texas Schools Project as a research associate where I applied my new skills, evaluating a variety of PK-12 educational programs.
In 2010, I went to work for Educate Texas, a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas. As a leading catalyst for progress, Educate Texas is an innovative alliance of public and private groups that share a common goal: improving the public education system so that every Texas student is prepared for success in school, the workforce, and life. In my role as a researcher, I collaborate with our team to answer key strategic learning questions that inform the direction of the work within our core focus areas of postsecondary readiness, access and success.
The Value of My Degree
The knowledge and skills I developed at UT Dallas have given me a strong foundation in research and evaluation methods, as well as education policy and data. My graduate studies and work at the Texas Schools Project well-prepared me for role at Educate Texas.
My EPPS Success
I attribute my success in EPPS to the quality of teaching provided by PPPE faculty and to the hands-on opportunities to conduct research. The faculty is truly committed to their students’ success, both while in school and in pursuit of a particular career path.
Advice for EPPS Students
Look for opportunities to dive into the work you think you want to pursue. There’s no better way to determine if you’ll truly enjoy a particular path than actually walking it.
With two teenage boys, my free time is typically spent cheering them on in various sports and activities. I am an active volunteer in my community and church. Beyond that, I enjoy reading, watching movies with my husband and spending time with friends.
Posted February 2013