Follow the leaders: Danielle Georgiou
A matter of policy
Danielle Georgiou studied ballet as a preschooler and has performed and choreographed for modern dance ensembles. She's equally passionate about the French language and chose her university because it offered a unique degree with a concentration in French. Her goal is to work in national policy as it relates to the arts.
Not your typical background for a business major.
"I could have gone to college anywhere I wanted," said Georgiou ('06 BBA), who graduated in the top 10 percent of her class at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton. "But I visited UT Arlington during a Preview Day, and I never even considered any other school."
She was impressed by the campus, the Honors College and the way the professors seemed to genuinely care. But the real "sell" was a degree offered by the College of Business and the Department of Modern Languages in the College of Liberal Arts: a bachelor of business administration in international business with French concentration.
"The French is not just the language," she said. "It's culture, business, economics—the whole spectrum."
The French business class taught by Lecturer Blake Carpenter, for example, involves more than business vocabulary.
"The students learn about government regulations, kinds of corporations and all the aspects of doing business in France that are different than in the United States," Carpenter said. For their final project, the students research a French corporation and make a presentation. In French, of course.
So Georgiou, who loves French and the arts, became a business student.
What's more, she was among the first Goolsby Leadership Academy Scholars graduated by the College of Business Administration. Retired business executive John Goolsby, for whom the academy is named, admits that Georgiou doesn't fit the usual Goolsby Scholar model. The academy was set up to develop business leaders who would be expected to follow traditional business paths.
"But one of the great things about the program is that we look for outstanding students with broad interests, and she is a perfect example," he said, adding that he's confident that the leadership skills gained through the academy will be a tremendous asset with Georgiou's less-traditional career goals.
Georgiou says that has already proved true in her role as a public policy intern at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).
"I am the only business major there," she said. "My research is done with a strategic organization approach that I learned in business school."
Apparently, it works. She has already written three research publications for the think tank.
Most of her research deals with taxes, primarily excise taxes. Her papers include "Charter Schools and Urban Development" and "Killing the Death Tax." She explored teacher salaries in "Teachers: Cost of Living Matters More," which identifies the 10 best and worst states for teachers. (Her research found Texas among the best.)
Born in the United States of Greek parents from Cyprus, Georgiou has spent many summers on the Mediterranean island republic and made frequent visits to South Africa, where her paternal grandparents and uncle live. She says that bringing business leadership skills to work in the public policy arena is the best of all worlds.
"It shocked everyone when I decided to study business. But by using my education in a nonprofit environment, everything falls right into place. It's in my blood," she said, explaining that her grandparents were active in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Her father taught upper-level math in middle schools and is now an assistant dean at Richland College. She'd like to stay with the NCPA and eventually move into researching public policy and the arts.
Georgiou credits the academy with building a foundation.
"My favorite classes were the Goolsby classes where we discussed leadership and ethics and learned how to set and measure goals. The Goolsby professors are just wonderful."
She graduated in May and is pursuing a master's degree at UT Arlington—this time in political science.
Back to her liberal arts roots.
— Sue Stevens