Public and Nonprofit Management — Students

  • pnm-alumni-conference-0417
  • Battaglio Editors-in-Chief
  • UTD Visitor Center
  • classroom meghna
  • Harrington

"...public service is a stimulating, proud, and lively enterprise. It is not just a way of life, it is a way to live fully." — Lee H. Hamilton

We take great pride in our students and alumni many of whom are passionate leaders and agents of change in the public sector. We invite you to become part of a growing community of our students, graduates, and faculty by joining us on social media. We also invite you to stay connected with the PNM community by attending public lectures, colloquia, and conferences that we advertise on this website and on social media. If you would like us to continue building a stronger network of students, alumni, and a broader North Dallas community of public servants, consider co-funding some of our initiatives in this area.

Current Students

Undergraduate Students

Tiffany Nguyen

Greg Conn

Master Students


Mackenzie Hunter

Aysha Khan

Archie Dean Nettles, Jr

Alexandria Jenks

Daniel Salazar

PhD Students

Katerina (Aikaterini) Anestaki

Rashmi Chordiya

Jiwon Suh

Participate in the Student Conference Travel Crowdfunding Initiative


MPA Alumni

Pamela Burns (UTD MPA, 2012) is a Communications Supervisor in the Transportation Department at the North Central Texas Council of Governments. In this role, she serves as coordinator for the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition, a US Department of Energy program that seeks to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector, primarily through the use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. Under her leadership, fleets in DFW contributed to reducing over 23 million gallons of petroleum in 2015 alone. Pamela and her team are also responsible for marketing, outreach, and advertising efforts related to transportation programs, including Air North Texas, Try Parking it, and Look Out Texans. Additionally, she oversees multiple grant projects and multimillion dollar budgets.

"I always wanted to go back to school and obtain my masters degree. What brought me to UTD was the caliber of faculty. Practitioners give an entire different perspective to the curriculum. Having worked in the field uniquely poises faculty to understand the real world challenges government employees face on a daily basis."

Monika Arris (UTD MPA, 2001) is the Director of the Budget and Finance Department of the Collin County. Monika's work offers her unique and fulfilling opportunities to serve her fellow Texans. Monika oversees multimillion dollar operating and capital budgets, coordinates municipal fiscal policy on tax incentives for economic development purposes (tax abatements for development corporations and tax increment reinvestment zones), and provides financial and performance analysis for the Commissioners Court and the County Administrator to facilitate effective decision-making. Monika also co-chairs the Collin County's Investment Committee. Reflecting on her experiences as an MPA student at UT Dallas, Monika says, "The knowledgeable instructors helped me to see the value in research and attention to detail. Understanding the process is just as important as getting to the desired end result."

Eric Matthews (UTD MPA, 2012) is the Director of Information Technology at the City of Allen. "Government can be a confusing business. On a daily basis we struggle with conflicting demands. We are asked to improve service levels while cutting costs. We are asked to work a plan but respond at a moment's notice to a new initiative. We are asked to innovate but to be careful of rapid change. We are asked to run like a business but are required by law to often provide unprofitable services. These can all be frustrating aspects to working in government, but it is this balance between priorities and the decisions a community makes about its priorities that makes public service so engaging. I enrolled in the Master of Public Affairs program at UT Dallas to prepare myself for career advancement. The real benefit I found in the coursework and degree was a firm understanding of the role of the public sector in society. The insight gained from the MPA degree allows me to believe in what government can do when governing is done well."

Trudy Lewis holds a Master's of Public Affairs degree with a concentration in Public Management and a Certificate of Non-profit Management from the University of Texas at Dallas. Mrs. Lewis began her career as a budgeting intern at the City of Irving during her third semester of the master program at UT Dallas. She worked in different positions with the City of Arlington and the City of Irving, eventually becoming a City Manager of Glenn Heights.

"I credit my success in the field to the strong quantitative skills required for the UT Dallas MPA program as well as the practical application of theory through internships, open dialogue/discussion with fellow students, public sector case scenarios for debate, and diversity of thought in my professors. I went from being an entry-level graduate student with no previous government experience to a City Manager in 10 years," Trudy said.

Laura Gorecki holds a Master's of Public Affairs degree with a specialization in non-profit management from UT Dallas. Before joining UT Dallas, Laura worked for Bank of America but always knew that she had a public service calling. After becoming an MPA student, Laura focused on developing skills for working in the non-profit sector. In 2013, Laura was selected as a UT Dallas Archer Center Graduate Fellow and spent the summer in Washington, D.C. working as a Government Affairs Intern for in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Currently, Laura works as a consultant and grant specialist for non-profit organizations that seek to maximize their effectiveness, increase funding, improve overall management, and leverage their unique non-profit strengths.

Raini Layne decided to pursue her Master's degree in Public Affairs to learn more about non-profit organizations and economic development in Dallas. After completing her MPA required internship with the Budget and Research Department of the City of Plano, Raini has continued working for the City of Plano as a Budget Analyst and as a Staff Liaison for the Cultural Affairs Commission. Currently, Raini works a Communications Manager at the City of Plano. Thinking back of her decision to work as an intern in a completely new field, Raini said "My motto is that we are all beginners at different stages of beginning. There are always things I don't know and can learn from others."

Recent Academic Placements of PhD Graduates

2016 Assistant Professor North Carolina Central University, North Carolina
2016 Assistant Professor University of Texas at Permian Basin, Texas
2016 Assistant Professor University of North Texas At Dallas, Texas
2016 Assistant Professor Drake University, Iowa
2016 Postdoctoral Fellow Bocconi University, Italy
2015 Assistant Professor King University, Tennessee
2015 Assistant Professor University of Texas at Tyler, Texas
2015 Assistant Professor U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York
2014 Assistant Professor University of North Texas At Dallas, Texas
2014 Assistant Professor Austin College, Sherman, Texas
2011 Assistant Professor University of LaVerne, California (now Associate)
2009 Assistant Professor University of Texas at Arlington, Texas (now Associate)

Dissertations Defended by Public Affairs Students in 2005-2016 PDF