Commencement Close-up: Daniel Watford knows he has lots more to do
By Alison Beshur
Public Affairs Specialist
(Dec. 15, 2005)--When Daniel Watford receives his master's degree in public administration Saturday, December 17, it won't serve only as a reminder of what he has accomplished, but what he has left to do.
Watford plans to use the skills and knowledge he has acquired through his studies at UTSA to boost the level of sophistication and professionalism of the nonprofit sector.
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"Nonprofits fill the gap between what private sector or corporations and government agencies or the public sector can do," Watford said. "I feel the third sector is advantaged when nonprofit leaders have a broad-based education in a field of study."
Watford, a 54-year-old retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Finance Corps Regiment and School, earned a bachelor's degree in political science from UTSA in 2003.
Sandie Palomo-Gonzalez, senior program coordinator for UTSA's nonprofit management program, said Watford is seeking American humanics certification at the graduate level through UTSA, one of 10 universities in the country to offer it at that level.
Some of the UTSA course work Watford expects to be especially meaningful includes lessons in strategic planning, organizational management, recruiting and retaining volunteers, understanding stakeholders and intergovernmental relationships.
He already has applied some lessons in his position as executive director of the Community of Churches for Social Action and as administrator of the Childress Memorial Church Of God In Christ.
Through his existing nonprofit affiliations, Watford helped raise approximately $100,000 for Katrina evacuees during religious worship services and has helped coordinate mobile health and mammography unit visits to under-served African American communities.
Francine Romero, one of Watford's professors at UTSA, said he "has enriched our classes through the varied background and experiences he brings with him to the classroom."
Looking into the future, Watford said he hopes to not only share what he has learned, but to encourage and find ways for others to participate in the same educational and training opportunities he has had at UTSA. Ultimately, his goal is to improve services for those who fall through the cracks.