Alumni Profiles

Marc Velez

Marc Velez, MPA 2012

He and his father Luis both graduated from the School of Public Affairs and were both taught by Dr. Mark McConkie.  "The way my MPA helped me the most is my writing skills. When I started, writing was my greatest weakness; when I finished I left with strong writing skills that serve me well in all aspects of my life," states, Marc.  Now that Marc has graduated he intends to stay active with the alumni group because "I invested time, energy, and effort in my education and it is a great way to reconnect with the stellar people I studied with and to meet new people as well.

Luis Velez

Dr. Luis Velez, MPA 1989

"In my case, it was intuitive to go into public affairs," states Dr. Luis Velez, MPA 1989. "I felt that my career was going to remain in the public sector and that was why I gravitated to the Graduate School of Public Affairs."   Earning his MPA, according to Luis, has had a number of positive effects on his career:  "Academic rigor prepared me to produce work that was direct, to the point, and I was able to incorporate statistical data to bolster a position.  I realized that I had to put in a great deal of work in order to achieve an outstanding outcome.

Dr Sherry Kasper

Dr. Sherry Kasper, MPA 1978

"I chose SPA to obtain a professional degree that would enable me to manage people in the nonprofit sector and discovered an interest in economics along the way."  Her master's education has benefited her in at least two ways:  "1) I served as Chair of the Division of Social Sciences for 6 years and in that role drew on the management classes taught by Dr. McConkie. 2) I have always been a political economist and understanding public policy was key in bridging the divide between economic theory and economic policy."

Marv Adams

Mr. Marv Adams, MPA 1990

"The MPA was my capstone and prepared me for the final phase of my professional journey as an ombudsman."  Like so many other UCCS School of Public Affairs alumni, Mr. Adams advises students and alumni to "get involved, if you can, in any capacity as time and energy permits." 

Katie Williams

Ms. Katie Williams, MPA 2007

Katie would love to have UCCS Alumni Chapters across the country so that UCCS grads would have more opportunities to stay in contact with fellow alumni no matter where their careers or lives are taking them, but she is also first to admit that starting alumni chapters  takes a commitment!  Katie advises students and alumni to get involved with the Alumni Association.  "Just do it!" she says, "You won't be disappointed. Networking is so important and being involved in the alumni association is a great way to do that. You would be amazed at who you will meet and what you can learn from them.  If I hadn't stayed involved somehow and stayed in contact with Terry, I would have missed out on teaching for SPA, which would have been a huge loss for me."

Karen Brown

Ms. Karen Brown, MPA 2002

"I decided to take advantage of available educational benefits to start a master's degree at UCCS. I briefly considered getting an MBA but found the MPA program more compelling in rounding out my BS in Math and CPA certification. I prefer not-for-profit and government work and found the MPA to be a better fit for my future plans."

Laurie Buchanan
Ms. Laurie Buchanan, BACJ 2011/MCJ 2013

" After looking at several other schools in the area, I found that UCCS had the most challenging curriculum for Criminal Justice even though the program was only a few years old," states Laurie Buchanan.

Rafael Cintron
Mr. Rafael Cintron, MCJ 2000

 "Earning a Master of Criminal Justice degree has greatly contributed to my proficiency as a police commander, while preparing me to manage in the criminal justice system.  It has provided me with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage organizational change, foster and encourage innovation, develop and challenge employees, while establishing and maintaining an environment with a sound foundation in ethics."

Heather Kling

Ms. Heather Kling, MPA 2013

 As program manager of the Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Heather represents OVMSA,  at orientations, graduate fairs and the numerous military job and education events throughout Colorado Springs.

Jay Anderson

Mr. Jay Anderson, MPA 2010

He worked as the Waldo Canyon Fire's social media coordinator during the Waldo Fire. From his experience, he has become a consultant to other local and federal agencies on how to apply social media in disaster situations. 

Scott Hopkins

Mr. Scott Hopkins, MPA 1981

Scott Hopkins, Class of '81 Scott Hopkins received his Masters in Public Administration (MPAD) from the School of Public Affairs at UCCS in 1981.
Scott recently became Vice President of Professional Services and Architecture for Par 4 Technology Group, a leading provider of infrastructure technologies and services to companies regionally in New England.

Ken Dowlin

Mr. Ken Dowlin, MPA 1981

Ken Dowlin is a librarian and a public administrator who believes that a key event in his career, was working on his MPA at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Leigh Jordan

Ms. Leigh Jordan, MPA 2004

In 2001, Leigh Jordan began to seriously consider the idea of returning to school for a master's degree. Through professional circles, she interacted with community leaders for whom she had respect, and noted that many of these individuals had graduated from the UCCS School of Public Affairs. Her interest was piqued.
With a little investigation she discovered that the program examined leadership and systems change from the macro level, and that courses were geared to develop each individual's unique leadership qualities within this framework. She has never been disappointed in her decision to attend UCCS SPA, and admits that she has kept notebooks from several of her courses.

Kristal Canterbury

Ms. Kristal Canterbury, BACJ 2010 & BACJ Student of the Year!

 

Kristal was born in Salida, Colorado and lived in Howard, Colorado for 19 years on a small ranch. During her senior year, she was unsure about where she wanted to go to college or even if she wanted to go, but at the last minute she decided she needed to go to college.