Texas Tech University

Distinguished Alumni

We are proud of the success of our alumni! Below are just a few alumni of the MPA program and their accomplishments.

Roger Cardenas. MPA, 2003

In July, 1998 Roger joined the South Plains Community Action Association as a program director. While he was working on his MPA degree, he was promoted to Center Director in Lubbock. After receiving his degree, he was promoted to Workforce Division Director with responsibility for overall work-force development activity in a 15-county areas with a staff of 120. In 2004 he was Transportation/Housing/Community Services Division Director and Agency Deputy Director responsibility for services in an 11-county area and a budget of $4 million. In May of this year he was made Health Services Division Director with a $6 million budget and responsibility for delivery of health services in a 20-county area. He also continues in his position as Deputy Director of the agency.

Tommy Gonzalez. MPA, 1995

Tommy Gonzalez graduated from the Texas Tech MPA program in 1995. He has been city manager of Irving since 2006. Under his leadership, Irving became the first city in Texas to adopt the use of Lean Six Sigma to find breakthrough improvements in the services. Irving has saved more than $44 million and greatly improved productivity through the use of Lean Six Sigma methodologies.In 2011, Irving made history by becoming the first municipality to receive the highly esteemed Texas Award for Performance Excellence from the Texas Quality Foundation. In 2012, Irving was named a recipient of the 2012 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—the nation's highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. Irving is the largest city to ever receive the Baldrige Award, and is only the second municipal recipient in the program's 25-year history.

Tom Martin. MPA, 1977

Mayor Martin began his career as Public Information Officer for the City of Lubbock in 1970. In 1974, he joined the Lubbock Police Department and served until 1990 when he was appointed Chief of Police in San Marcos. He became Chief of Police in Grapevine in 1992, where he served until his retirement. Tom retired in 1998, completing 28 years in municipal government. After his retirement, he became involved in politics. Tom was elected in May 2002 to serve on the Lubbock City Council as the District 5 Representative until 2006. During the last two years of his term on the Council he served as Mayor Pro Tem. He was elected on May 10, 2008, to serve as the mayor of Lubbock. He has taught political science and criminal justice courses at Wayland Baptist University, Lubbock campus.

Maria Elena Quintanilla. MPA, 1995

Elena worked for the city of Abilene as Community Development Specialist upon graduation. It wasn't long before she returned to Lubbock and obtained a position with the city as Management Analyst. In 1999 she moved to the South Plains Association of Governments as Director of Regional Services, a position she still occupies. Elena is active in many organizations including serving on the United Way of Lubbock and American Red Cross board of directors, Vice Chair of the West Texas City Manager's Association, Vice Chair of Legal Aid Society, and Vice President of Hispanic Association of Women.

Jeffrey Snyder. MPA, 2010

As Jeffrey went through the MPA program he also managed the responsibilities of the City Administrator for Idalou, TX for a little over four years. He recently he took on a new position as the new Assistant City Manager for the City of Plainview, TX.

Chris Stansbury. MPA, 1990

Chris completed his MPA/Health from Texas Tech University. Chris began his career as a Public Health Advisor with the Centers Disease Control & Prevention Headquarters in Atlanta, GA and went on to gain 22 years of experience both as a civil servant within government and as a profes­sional consultant to government. Chris Stansbury is currently a Senior Managing Director and Public Sector Sales Leader for Pricewater­houseCoopers' (PwC) US Public Sector Practice (PSP).

Chris Stansbury Honored by MPA Program

The MPA program at Texas Tech University wish to bestow the honor of Distinguished Alumnus on a select few graduates of the program with truly exemplary careers in public service, who make a distinct contribution to the betterment of society.