By Tara Gomez, M.A. student in the Department of Communication Studies
How can a doctoral degree in Public Policy advance a career? Just ask Dr. Stephany De Scisciolo, who earned her doctorate from UNC Charlotte in 2014. She serves as the Vice President of Knowledge, Impact, & Strategy at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to building communities by providing affordable housing to low- and moderate-income people.
De Scisciolo uses her doctoral degree daily, especially with regard to exercising her quantitative and qualitative research skills. “Understanding the rudiments of statistics and big data have been really helpful to me” stated De Scisciolo.
The goal of Knowledge, Impact, & Strategy team (KIS) is to develop tools for practitioner use to help organizations understand what influences and affects those within a community. Opportunity360 is Enterprise’s initiative to provide those tools to community development partners to help them make smart community investment decisions. Speaking about her multidisciplinary team of specialists, Dr. De Scisciolo stated, “we bridge that gap between the investment numbers and the impact that this has on people.”
When asked what advice she would give to students considering the Public Policy Program, Scisciolo responded: “Take advantage of the multidisciplinary nature of the Public Policy Program and take some classes outside of your area of interest, simply because there may be something you’ll learn from a different field of discipline that you can apply to your own in a way that you couldn’t have imagined without having taken that sideline to your journey.” She added that Ph.D. students shouldn’t feel restricted to a career in academia. “The qualities that Ph.D. students have, that desire to learn, think broadly and out-of-the-box, and problem solve – those qualities are so important in a more applied work place than just in research,” stated De Scisciolo.
To read about Dr. De Scisciolo’s book with Dr. Teresa Scheid about pharmaceutical advertising in magazines, click here.