“There is no question that my doctorate studies and work on my dissertation has given me a valuable perspective on my work and business relationships.”
Home: Richardson, Texas
UT Dallas Degree: PhD - Public Affairs
Profession: Executive Director, Texas Coalition for Affordable Power
I manage the functions of the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP), which is a non-profit government subdivision that is comprised of over 160 local governments, primarily cities. On behalf of its members, TCAP negotiates the acquisition of electric power that totals over 1.4 billion kWh annually. TCAP also employs legal and electric power consultants to assist members with issues or problems related to their use of electric power. TCAP has also assumed the role as consumer advocate to ensure that Texas’ deregulated electric power market is structured and operated in such a way as to provide dependable and competitively priced power to Texas cities, residents, and businesses.
The Value of My Degree
I obtained my BA and MPA degrees in my twenties. While I certainly enjoyed the college experience during that time, the education I received was not placed in context with life experiences. When I began pursuing my doctorate at UT Dallas, I had over thirty years of experience in government and I discovered that the study materials and class discussions were of much greater benefit to me when I could compare what I learned with what I experienced. There is no question that my doctorate studies and work on my dissertation has given me a valuable perspective on my work and business relationships.
My EPPS Success
I was pleased with the quality of teaching of all the EPPS professors for the courses I took. Their curricula were directly tied to the objectives of their courses, and I found the assignments were rigorous without being excessively demanding. I was also pleased with the fact that most of the assignments involved academic research and writing that greatly assisted me on my dissertation.
Advice for EPPS Students
Participate in class! The value of your classes is greatly enhanced by the questions and comments posed by you and your classmates. As for undergraduates, my advice may not be what UT Dallas counselors may advocate, but I encourage students to not pursue advanced degrees until they have had an opportunity to gain some experience in the careers of their choosing. Also, in this job market, you cannot afford to be overly selective in your job search. A career is much like a moving train. Getting on the train is the most difficult challenge, while it is relatively easy to move from car to car. In other words, take a position that is offered to you if it matches your long-term career goals even if it does not pay what you think you are worth. Once you start gaining experience and making professional contacts, you can progress up the career ladder.
I play tennis, swim, run, and travel.
Posted January 2013