Christine Cepelak BS’13

Focus on the reason you chose your degree/field and look for opportunities to put what you’ve learned in action.

Home: Plano, Texas

UT Dallas Degree: BS – International Political Economy , 2013
Profession: Sustainability Coordinator, ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas

My Work

As a Sustainability Coordinator, I manage environmental data for the entire Americas business unit for annual reporting. Additionally, I manage sustainability initiatives related to product developments, such as Life Cycle Assessment, Health Product Declaration, and Environmental Product Declaration.

The Value of My Degree

A critical revelation during my studies was the great value of ‘context’ in problem-solving. International political economy coursework often centers on the ramifications of seemingly obvious answers to important questions: How does a country respond to genocide? Why does generational poverty exist? Why can’t religious groups come to a peaceful consensus in society? —and how a gamut of more complicated consequences must be considered for progress.

Now I experience business and sustainability entirely as the discovery of value-based answers to pressing issues. Understanding the inherently complex nature of problems has helped me become productive in working towards a solution.

Additionally, the many opportunities in Dallas and at UT Dallas to apply what I was learning to solving real-world problems have contributed to my success.

My EPPS Success

  • Undergraduate Research Scholar Grant winner (2010), for original project on homelessness
  • Canvasser for environmental legislation with Texas Campaign for the Environment (2008)
  • Intercultural Leadership Award, Danish Institute for Study Abroad (2012)
  • MVP Women’s Comet Cross Country (2010)
  • Intern, UTD Office of Sustainability (2013)

Advice for EPPS Students

Focus on the reason you chose your degree/field and look for opportunities to put what you’ve learned in action. Also, look for intelligent ways to engage and build a relationship with professors and staff—they are a resource that is not so easily found after graduation!