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Dak Kopec

Welcome to the “Alumni Spotlight” monthly series. Learn how our UI&U graduates are living the UI&U mission of engagement, enlightenment, and empowerment.
Featured this month: Dr. Dak Kopec

Education: UI&U Ph.D. graduate (2002), master’s degrees (Architecture and Community Psychology), and an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences.

Profession: Expert in human-focused design, award-winning author, consultant, designer, lecturer, former director of Design for Human Health in the School for Design Studies at Boston Architectural College, currently Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Q. What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?

A. My Ph.D. has meant more opportunity to do what I enjoy; teaching and writing.
For a person who never really liked being a student, getting a Ph.D. was never on my radar. The Union model prepared me for success because it was all about being self-directed. This skill has enabled me to write books, and to remain focused on the development of a career in academia.

Q. What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?

A. It allows people like me who see and interpret the world in a more unique way. I think a more traditional setting might have stifled my creativity, and my ability to problem solve through innovation. Because Union offers a more interdisciplinary approach to education, I was able to identify and understand overlap and integration of assorted factors that contribute to the myriad of problems that our society faces.