You Can Get There From Here

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Where is ‘there’?

Where your interests and passions take you.

The classroom, a surgical suite, or the C-suite; a playing field or fields of data. Meet professionals who started their careers in the College of Education.

Photo of Matthew Camarillo, M.D. B.S. ’04, Kinesiology and Health Education

Matthew Camarillo, M.D., B.S. ’04

Surgeon and Assistant Professor
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Sport Medicine
McGovern Medical School, UT Health

My bachelor’s in kinesiology with a focus in athletic training laid the groundwork for the basic science of anatomy and physiology as well as the foundation for the mechanics of how the human body works. The introductory athletic training courses made an impact because they laid a clear path and desire for me to go to medical school and pursue a career in orthopedic surgery with a sub-specialty in sports medicine. The practicum hours allowed me to take the classroom teachings into clinical application.

Alexandria Smith, M.Ed, ’17

English I Educator, English Department Chair
LBJ Early College High School, Austin ISD

My program encouraged the use of a teaching journal, in-depth lesson planning, and provided me the opportunity to work with and teach students often. Having this kind of hands-on experience made my transition into the classroom a very smooth one. Within my first year, I was able to become the English Department Chair and the 2018 Teacher of Promise at my school. The College of Education provided me with the tools I needed to become a successful educator from the very start.

Alexandria Smith, M.Ed, ’17, (Urban Teachers Program) Curriculum and Instruction
Photo of Lynn Mellor, Ph.D. ’95, Educational Psychology

Lynn Mellor, Ph.D. ’95

Principal Researcher, Deputy Director
REL Southwest
American Institutes for Research

Everything about the Quantitative Methods and Statistics program in educational psychology prepared me for my career. While I enrolled at UT with the intent of becoming a psychometrician--someone who practices the science of educational and psychological measurement or testing)-I took what I learned and became an education policy researcher instead. Measurement is still a big part of my work as I truly believe we can’t determine the impact of what we do in education, or any field, unless we can measure it.

Guadalupe Chavez, M.Ed. ’06, Ph.D. ’14

Bilingual Teacher, Heart of Texas Writing Project Teacher Consultant
Cedar Creek Elementary, Bastrop ISD

The courses that were grounded in social justice influenced me the most. I was excited to find strategies to become more effective in integrating social justice in curriculum for young students. I believe this is the important beginning of my students’ education, and I want to help them develop a love of learning. My students challenge me to be better, to keep growing. I have high expectations for them, too.

Photo of Guadalupe Chavez, M.Ed. ’06, Ph.D. ’14, Curriculum and Instruction
Photo of Paul Cruz, Austin ISD superintendent and Education Alumnus

Paul Cruz, B.S., ’87, Ph.D., ’95

Austin Independent School District

There was an expectation that carried throughout all of my classes that we as teachers were going to support all students. I still draw on what I learned about science and scientific methods. When I talk about developing curriculum and teachers, I still carry and draw on these lessons today. In the end, we all want the same things—that kids learn, excel and that they are ready for their college careers and life. Agreeing on what those things are and working collaboratively to make Austin better for our community is very rewarding. It’s both hard work and heart work.

Megan Wehrle, B.S. ’12, M.Ed. ’19

4th Grade Teacher
Elgin Elementary School, Elgin ISD

The intentional focus on equity in my graduate program provided a rich vocabulary and relevant research. A key component is the ability to conduct equity audits. I’ve run reports to identify opportunity gaps, overrepresentation or underrepresentation of particular student groups, and current areas of concern that could be addressed to produce more equitable outcomes.

Photo of Megan Werhle, College of Education alumnus
Photo of Hanson Yang, Athletic Trainer for the Dallas Cowboys and Education Alumnus

Hanson Yang PT, DPT, ATC, LAT

Assistant Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist
The Dallas Cowboys

The most rewarding aspect (of my job) is seeing individuals go back to doing what they love to do because you helped them get there. As a PT/ATC, the staff and I cover more than 60 athletes. We do all the rehabs as well as provide coverage for practices and the everyday workings of an NFL football team. I just got lucky, had an interview, and got hired. Luck plays a role in all our lives but it’s what you do with that luck that counts the most.

Brett Valdez, BS '06

Entrepreneur and Co-Founder

The college made me aware of the challenges and complexities in the teaching industry as far as credentialing and having the right pieces to fit a teacher to the right ISD and school. Mixing and matching certifications and experiences can be extremely difficult. That’s what led me to create Sophosi—a software tool to match teachers and coaches with schools.

Photo of Brett Valdez, College of Education alumnus
Photo of Christie Layton Petersen and Brandy Windham

Christie Layton Petersen, and M.Ed. ’08, Brandy Windham M.Ed. ’14

Founders, Building BLOCS
Austin, Texas

I learned early on in graduate school that the professor was not going to teach us "what to do." Instead, they were teaching us how to read the research, evaluate situations, and be scientific in our decision making. This approach has helped me stay on top of current research, and modify my practices for clients, families, and therapists.