Forbes has recognized UTSA alumnus Corey DeAngelis, ’12, M.A. ’15 among its list of 30 Under 30—the magazine’s annual nod to young trailblazing entrepreneurs, activists, scientists and entertainers who are making the most significant impact.
DeAngelis is the director of school choice for the Reason Foundation and executive director for the Educational Freedom Institute—both libertarian think tanks based in Washington, D.C.
He’s also an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and has written or cowritten 32 peer-reviewed studies. He has also published over 100 op-eds in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and he recently cowrote the book School Choice Myths: Setting the Record Straight on Education Freedom.
DeAngelis’ passion for education reform began during his K–12 experience at a magnet school in San Antonio, Communications Arts High School, which he feels gave him an additional long-lasting benefit. He couldn’t help but compare his experience at the magnet school to the public school he had been assigned according to his zip code.
Realizing how fortunate he was to have attended a school that fit him as a student, he wished others could have the same opportunity to choose the option that’s best for them. While obtaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics at UTSA, his thoughts about school choice started to make more sense. He credits John Merrifield, a retired economics professor at UTSA who inspired him to pursue a Ph.D., for sparking his future success.
With newfound encouragement, DeAngelis sought a program that specialized in education reform. He went on to become a distinguished doctoral fellow and a graduate research assistant for the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, where he obtained his Ph.D. in education policy in 2018.
He lends much of his professionalism and preparedness to the programs at UTSA. “The Center of Student Professional Development helped me a lot with writing my résumé,” DeAngelis said. “I figured out how to illustrate my accomplishments.”
The mock interviews he was provided helped him with his final interview for the Forbes 30 Under 30 recognition and other interviews throughout his career. Hoping to set a good example, he encourages all students to take advantage of UTSA’s student programs.
“Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can go through the motions and that only getting a degree will lead to meaningful career opportunities,” DeAngelis said. “Getting a piece of paper is helpful, but you have to take advantage of all the university gives you access to throughout your time there.”
Corey DeAngelis recommends that students seek internships as early as possible and take advantage of career-focused curriculums.