Laura Gorecki

"I learned early on that the more I put into a class, the more I get out of it."

Hometown: Babbitt, Minnesota

Degrees: BA - Environmental Studies
Current Academic Pursuit: MPA - Public Affairs
Expected Graduation Date: May 2014

UT Dallas Achievements & Activities

  • Archer Center Graduate Fellowship, Summer 2013 - Government Affairs Intern for United Nations Environment Programme
  • The Larry D. Terry Emerging Leaders Scholarship Award, Spring 2013
  • Working with the Comet Cupboard on-campus food pantry
  • Summa cum laude and Major Honors for BA

Deciding on Public Affairs

While working on my BA I took a couple of Social Policy electives and I got hooked. Studying Public Affairs felt like a natural fit for helping me reach my goal of using the policy process to solve environmental problems. I wanted to understand how policies shape the world around us, how policies are put into action, and how to work within the policy process to bring about change, and I am learning that through the MPA program.

My EPPS Success

I learned early on that the more I put into a class, the more I get out of it. I treat school like my full time job. My primary job responsibility is to do the best I can on every assignment and exam. My paycheck is not only the grade I earn, but also the knowledge and perspective I gain. In addition, the EPPS professors and staff are true champions for their students and several have helped me a great deal along the way.

Plans for the Future

I plan to stay in Dallas for the next few years, working in local government management to gain experience and hone in on an area of expertise.

Advice to Prospective EPPS Students

The professors in EPPS make all the difference for the program. They bring a great deal of practical experience to the subjects they teach, which makes the class meetings more interesting and engaging. Get to know your professors outside of class—not all of their experience comes up in the classroom. If you are still in undergrad and considering a master's, look into the Fast Track program.

Other Interests

I love adventurous nature travel, off the beaten path. My upcoming trips include a river cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow and a trek into the Peruvian Amazon. I am also interested in animal welfare and spend my free time volunteering in animal rescue.