A native of East Texas, Starkes earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in May 1999. Shortly afterward, she accepted a position at TxDOT in the Tyler District’s Central Design Office.
Starkes obtained her Professional Engineering license in 2003 and served as the Tyler District Maintenance Engineer from 2011 until 2016. She then transferred to the Maintenance Division, based in Austin, where she was instrumental in raising the level of customer service at safety rest areas across the state.
No stranger to emergency operations, Starkes was among those working long shifts in TxDOT’s Emergency Operations Center as Hurricane Harvey swept ashore in 2017. In 2019, she joined TxDOT’s Atlanta District as the Maintenance Engineer. She has served as the Marshall Area Engineer since May 2020.
Headquartered in Austin, TxDOT is organized by administration, districts, and divisions. TxDOT's workforce is made up of engineers, administrators, financial experts, designers, architects, sign makers, accountants, purchasers, maintenance workers, travel counselors, and other professions.