Friday, December 8, 2023

Commencement Spotlight: Army veteran Clinton Dean developed a passion for public service at UTSA

Commencement Spotlight: Army veteran Clinton Dean developed a passion for public service at UTSA

Army veteran Clinton Dean applied his public administration education from UTSA to internships in the community and is looking toward law school once he graduates.

(Dec. 15, 2017) -- Meet Clinton Dean. This transfer student is using his public administration degree at UTSA to prepare for a career in law.

Dean comes to UTSA from Jacksonville, Fla. and nearly four years in the United States Army.

During his time in the military, he served as a human intelligence collector and was responsible for information collection operations, screening sources and preparing intelligence reports. His service in the Army took him to Afghanistan for a year and brought him to Texas in 2011.

After leaving the Army in August 2014, Dean began taking courses at San Antonio College. In 2016, he transferred to UTSA and enrolled in the UTSA Department of Public Administration.

“I’ve learned so much from faculty members in the UTSA College of Public Policy. They have extensive knowledge about the field to share with their students, through their work experiences and professional connections,” said Dean.

Dean credits UTSA faculty member, Gina Amatangelo, lecturer and internship coordinator in the College of Public Policy, with helping him land amazing internship opportunities.

During his first internship in the Spring of 2016, Dean worked in the administrative office of State Senator José Menéndez. As an intern, he worked with the state senator’s staff to address the needs of the constituents they served.

“Through this internship, I learned a lot about the importance of public service and being attentive to the needs of the community,” said Dean. “From my classes at UTSA, I learned about public budgeting, administration management and public policy and all of those lessons applied directly to my internships.”

Dean also interned with TJ Mayes, who at the time was a UTSA public policy lecturer. He currently serves as chief of staff for Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

“TJ Mayes has been an excellent mentor during my time at UTSA. He taught me about the public administration process in a real-life setting,” said Dean. “I was able to not only witness the process firsthand but also be an active participant.”

During his Bexar County internship, Dean worked with Bexar County Precinct 3 Commissioner Kevin Wolff on a pilot program aimed to serve veterans transitioning into civilian life. As a student veteran, the project hit close to home.

“When you first transition out of the military, you are kind of lost. I got lucky because I had friends and family to support me, but some veterans aren’t as fortunate,” said Dean. “This program is will give veterans the support they need to find housing, receive health care services and learn about employment opportunities.”

While Dean was an intern in Wolff’s office, staffers asked for his insight, recommendations and suggestions to develop an effective program.

Once he graduates in December, he’ll draw upon his coursework and internships to build a career as an attorney.

“I plan to go to law school for administrative and regulatory law and feel like the public administration degree program at UTSA has prepared me, because I now know the administrative processes for both federal and local governments,” said Dean. “I hope to incorporate meaningful public service in my life no matter where my path may lead.”

Kara Soria

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University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

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