Don Magner BA’96
Vary your course work as much as possible. Doing so will expose you to the many different functional areas of government and complexities of politics. If you do, you just might find a new passion.
Home: Richardson, Texas
UT Dallas Degree: BA – Political Science, 1996
Profession: Assistant City Manager, City of Richardson
I currently have administrative responsibility for Public Services, which includes the Utilities, Streets, Facilities and Solid Waste Divisions; Community Services, which includes the Building Inspection, Code Enforcement and Environmental Divisions; Information Technology/GIS; Franchise and Regulatory Affairs; and Emergency Management. I also serve as liaison to the City of Richardson’s nearly 70 homeowner and neighborhood associations, which play a key role in our community.
The Value of My Degree
The research, planning and operations expertise I developed while working on my degree has helped me assess issues, evaluate alternatives and implement solutions in the superior manner the Richardson community expects. The written communication skills I developed have also been a great advantage to me. Perhaps most important is the confidence I developed during my studies, which has caused me to seek out countless new opportunities and meet many, many challenges.
My EPPS Success
There were many factors that contributed to my success. Most important was the dedicated faculty of the school. My professors always encouraged me to challenge existing explanations and were committed to helping me achieve my academic and professional goals. The City of Richardson was also a major factor in my success. The City Manager’s Office encouraged me to pursue my graduate degree and the City provided financial assistance for the duration of my graduate studies.
My professional honors/accolades, degrees received and/or previous positions held:
- Master of Arts from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1999
- Graduate of the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service’s Leading, Educating and Developing (LEAD) Program in 2006
- Honored by the Collin County Business Press as one of its 21 Leaders of the 21 Century in 2009
- Recognized by the Richardson YMCA as its 2009 Volunteer of the Year in 2010
- Received the Outstanding Service Award from the NETWORK of Community Ministries in 2010
- Serve on the Board of Directors of the Richardson YMCA, on the St. Paul the Apostle Parish Pastoral Council, and on the Board of Directors for the Richardson Kiwanis
- Graduate of Leadership Richardson Class XX and Richardson Citizens Police Academy Class XXVII
Advice for EPPS Students
Vary your course work as much as possible. Doing so will expose you to the many different functional areas of government and complexities of politics. If you do, you just might find a new passion. I also recommend an internship if possible. The practical experience will benefit your greatly; the relationships you develop with be invaluable.