(Alumni) Ken Stackpoole, PhD, is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. After attaining his PhD in Public Affairs from the University of Central Florida in 2003, his career has yet to stop its upward trajectory. Immediately after graduating and adding the PhD credential to his name, he quickly moved into the role of Vice President for Government Relations at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and shortly thereafter increased his responsibilities to the leadership of the entire University Relations team. After a year in that role, he was recruited to serve as Dean of the College of Aeronautics at the Florida Institute of Technology. After a year of successes as Dean, he was invited to take on the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer. Dr. Stackpoole attributes this rise to not only his perseverance and dedication to "doing what you have to do when you have to do it," but especially to the attainment of his PhD. The interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum and the rigor of the academic and dissertation phases of the program were prime factors in setting the stage for success. Dr. Stackpoole strongly recommends this program for people interested in rising through the ranks and leading government or not-for-profit organizations.
(Alumni) Carole Zugazaga, PhD, is the Associate Professor of Social Work in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Auburn University. She received both her Master’s Degree in Social Work and PhD in Public Affairs from the University of Central Florida. She received her BSW from Florida State University. She has 12 years of experience in professional social work practice, mostly in the medical field. Dr. Zugazaga’s research interests include homelessness, poverty, women’s issues, and program evaluation. She was named a Fahs-Beck Fellow in 2007 and was the recipient of a research grant from the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation to support her study of the fastest growing subgroup of the homeless: women with children. She was the recipient of a grant from the Alabama Women’s Commission and was the Principal Investigator of a study designed to better understand barriers and issues that affect women in Alabama with children age one and below. She has also been awarded with the College of Liberal Arts Engaged Scholar designation in the College of Liberal Arts for 2008-2011. This award recognizes exemplary faculty who engage students in civic engagement/service learning. Dr. Zugazaga serves on the board of directors for Alabama Arise and the Alabama Poverty Project. She is a consulting editor for the journal, Families in Society.
Dr. Zugazaga credits the UCF PhD program in Public Affairs with preparing her for a career in academia. She references the strong research component of the program, opportunities to work directly with faculty on research projects from conceptualization to publication, and the “amazing” faculty in the program, many of whom continue to serve as mentors to her in her professional development. She is grateful to the program for providing her with a foundation for a successful academic career.
(Alumni) Jeffrey Goltz, PhD, is currently the Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Valencia Community College in Orlando. While finishing his PhD in Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida in 2006, he was promoted to Captain at the Orlando Police Department and served on the police chief’s executive staff until he retired in June of 2008 after 20 years of dedicated law enforcement service. Since graduation, Dr, Goltz has published five journal articles and one book from his dissertation. His research and professional interests include the study of police organizational performance and other areas of police management and administration. In his current position as the Director of Valencia’s Criminal Justice Institute, Dr. Goltz is the top administrator for basic recruit and advanced/specialized training and education for regional law enforcement and corrections officers. He is also an adjunct professor at Troy University in the Master's of Public Administration Program.
Dr. Goltz believes the comprehensive research and strategic public administration concepts in the Public Affairs PhD Program have provided him with contemporary knowledge that has lead to his success as a high-level manager in public safety, and now in the criminal justice training and education field. He highly recommends the program to any public employee who wishes to excel in their organization while contributing new knowledge and processes to the public sector.