Celina senior planner obtains a doctorate | Celina’s Record
For Raha Pouladi, working as a senior planner for a blank canvas like Celina is a blessing.
“I have the privilege to see all the changes and all the decisions that we make on a daily basis on this web,” she said.
Celina’s senior city planner defended her doctorate on April 30, guaranteeing her ability to graduate from the University of Texas at Arlington on Friday with a doctorate in philosophy in urban planning and public policy.
The degree process consisted of obtaining 48 credit hours and completing a thesis process. Pouladi said the dissertation process is what has provided the most value in regards to his current work with the town of Celina.
“Over time, I realized that I had to be a better listener and be both humble and strong,” Pouladi said.
Hearing committee members’ comments on her work taught her the need for humility, she said, but there were also times she learned the importance of holding on. It’s very important for what she does for the city, she said.
“The developers bring in plans, and we have to review them and give feedback,” Pouladi said, “and because of all the orders we have, sometimes we get denials.”
Her college journey turned out to be a six-year process that involved moving from Iran to the United States with her husband, who graduated with the same degree, and getting a job in the city of Celina in 2018, where she is now working as a senior. planner.
“Raha’s commitment to excellence is unprecedented,” said Director of Development Services Dusty McAfee. “She has a real thirst for knowledge and for solving difficult challenges. While doctorates are relatively rare in city governments, it’s no surprise that Raha is finding new ways to bring value to the organization. The only area she hasn’t shown mastery in is the “Mod Squad,” which is The Annex’s fantastic football team, although they try their best. “
On April 30, she defended her thesis and was able to do so without any revision, a feat she was told only 3-5% of students achieve. All the while, her colleagues in Celina Town watched the proceedings live online and cheered her on at a surveillance night.
“Raha’s PhD brings transferable skills to Celina and shows attention to detail, confidence, persistence, hard work and determination,” said Madhuri Mohan, Celina’s planning manager. “In addition to that, it gives her, the planning department and our city, global credibility and validates one of our core values of excellence.
The main part of Pouladi’s study focused on public policy and outreach, a topic she saw in action as the city worked on developing its comprehensive plan and the city center master plan.
“Honestly, my eyes were shining when we were doing these meetings and the audience was showing up,” Pouladi said. “It was amazing.”
Since getting her doctorate, Pouladi said many people have asked her why she doesn’t want to teach.
“My response would be, ‘Because this position I have is so rewarding, and at this time of year I’m reviewing a plan and I’m able to see results next year. It’s not something you get when you teach. “