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Tulsa Sooner Stories: Ryan Gentzler

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Tulsa Sooner Stories

Ryan Gentzler, MPA

Ryan Gentzler, MPA
Ryan Gentzler, MPA, Director, Open Justice Oklahoma, Oklahoma Policy Institute

What are some of the best things about your job?

I use data from public records to produce new and interesting research about our justice system. Public court records are a treasure trove of information that can be used to inform both policy and nonprofit interventions, and it's thrilling to be on the front edge of the field. I get to work with amazing, justice-focused people everyday, both inside and outside of OK Policy. I can't imagine a cooler job.

Why did you decide to get a degree at OU-Tulsa?

I wanted to gain the skills and connections to do exactly the sort of thing I'm doing now. I quickly went from an entry-level service provider position to where I am now largely in thanks to my experience at OU-Tulsa.

Share an experience at OU-Tulsa that has helped you with your career.

My first statistics course in the MPA program introduced me to the programming language R. Without that introduction, I don't think I would have started down the path of scraping and analyzing bulk court records.

What are some of your favorite moments as a Tulsa Sooner?

Coming back to teach a weekend Criminal Justice Policy class was a highlight of the last year. Seeing how the program has grown, while the quality of the students has risen, is really rewarding and exciting to watch.

Tell us about some of your favorite classes at OU-Tulsa.

Besides the statistics course with Drs. Ripberger and Gupta, I frequently think back to my Program Evaluation course with Dr. Morgan and my Agenda Setting class with Dr. Krutz. They all provided knowledge and context that I draw on in my work researching and advocating for public policy change.

What would you tell someone thinking about going to OU-Tulsa? 

It's a lot of work, but it's a great way to advance your career by gaining skills and connections. There's no replacement for a solid graduate education.