BA 1984, Political Science
Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) Team Leader, United States Department of Education
Eric Schulz became a Boilermaker in the fall of 1980. He excelled in politics, history, philosophy, and anatomy while at Purdue, was a four-year work-study student, and an active member of Pi Sigma Alpha-- the national political science honorary. After graduation, Schulz was chosen from over 250 applicants as one of eight Dunn Memorial Fellows by Illinois Governor James Thompson. He served rotations in Springfield, IL with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Bureau of the Budget, and the Governor’s Legislative Office.
Schulz has been in Washington, DC, since early 1987. In February 1989, he landed a position on the DC staff of U.S. Senator Alan Dixon of Illinois. In a little over three years on staff, Schulz held three positions of increasing responsibility: staff assistant, deputy economic development director, and office correspondence director. Following Dixon’s unsuccessful campaign for a third term in the Senate, Schulz accepted an offer to become chief editor for Sen. Paul Simon in May of 1992.
In July 1995, Sen. Simon announced his intention to retire after two Senate terms, and Schulz obtained a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a Writer-Editor in the USDA Rural Development correspondence branch. He rose to the position of Correspondence Branch Director, which he held until October 1999, when he joined the USDA Congressional Affairs team.
Schulz moved to the U.S. Department of Education in 2003, where he joined the ED Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs. He handled education-related agriculture, economic development, and disability issues for just over a year there, and after a brief stint with the ED Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Schulz landed in his present position in the ED Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.