Graduate Programs

Blogs from students, faculty & staff

David Luke

Embarking on a journey to graduate school comes with its own set of successes and challenges. The path to achieving success in graduate school is seldom a straightforward one. In this enlightening conversation, we sit down with Dr. David Luke, the chief diversity officer at the University of Michigan-Flint, to delve into Dr. Luke’s experiences and insights on navigating the world of graduate school. Aspiring and current graduate students can gain invaluable knowledge from Dr. Luke’s journey, including his motivations for continuing his education, the pivotal experiences that shaped his graduate school experience, and the essential tips for finding success.

Motivation and Transition:

Dr. Luke’s journey began at Grand Valley State University, where his early academic path was rooted in business and accounting. However, it was his experiences in sociology and the impactful support he received from the Office of Multicultural Affairs that sparked a shift in his educational trajectory. He describes his realization that he wanted to be the one facilitating the meaningful experiences he encountered in the classroom as a pivotal moment. This realization prompted him to pursue a career in higher education, leading him to the decision to continue his education beyond his undergraduate years. For aspiring graduate students, this underscores the significance of self-discovery and finding a genuine passion as key factors in shaping one’s academic journey.

Preparing for Graduate School:

Dr. Luke candidly shares the challenges he faced as he transitioned from the structured world of undergraduate studies to the more intellectually demanding and self-directed nature of graduate school. His experiences in accounting had not fully prepared him for the rigors of graduate-level coursework, presenting a steep learning curve. To navigate this transition, he emphasizes the importance of self-discipline, time management, and a clear understanding of the commitment required for success in graduate school. Additionally, he advises prospective students to thoroughly research potential advisors and faculty members to ensure a good fit, highlighting the pivotal role that an advisor plays in a student’s academic journey.

Nurturing Resilience:

Dr. Luke’s journey was also marked by significant life events, including the birth of his first child, which taught him the importance of resilience and adaptability. Despite facing setbacks that delayed his progress, he advises students to embrace life’s unpredictability and its impact on their academic journey. Given the marathon-like nature of graduate school, Dr. Luke emphasizes the significance of having a clear understanding of one’s purpose and motivation, serving as a constant source of drive throughout the challenging years of study.

The Impact of Graduate Education on Career:

As Dr. Luke progressed through his master’s and doctorate programs in sociology, he gained deep insights into race and racism, equipping him with the tools to address systemic issues of inequity. His academic background in sociology profoundly influences his work as the chief diversity officer, allowing him to apply the principles of the sociological imagination to address equity issues within his institution. For aspiring graduate students interested in careers in diversity, equity, and inclusion, Dr. Luke’s journey serves as a testament to the profound impact of a rigorous graduate education in shaping one’s approach to effecting meaningful change within institutions.

Evaluating the Campus Culture:

Graduate school aspirants often grapple with the challenge of identifying institutions with a strong culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Luke underscores the need to thoroughly assess the structure and resources devoted to diversity, equity, and inclusion within prospective institutions. He emphasizes the importance of evaluating the outcomes of these efforts, as well as the sincerity of the institution’s leadership in fostering a truly inclusive environment. Additionally, he advises students to engage with current graduate students to gain insight into their experiences and the level of support and encouragement available within the academic community.

Dr. Luke’s candid reflections provide invaluable insights for individuals considering or currently navigating the terrain of graduate education. His experiences underscore the significance of identifying intrinsic motivation, fostering resilience, and aligning one’s academic pursuits with a clear purpose. As students embark on their own journeys to graduate school, they can draw upon Dr. Luke’s wisdom to navigate the challenges and triumphs inherent in the pursuit of advanced education.

Dr. David Luke’s journey serves as a beacon of inspiration for prospective and current graduate students, providing a candid account of the trials, growth, and triumphs experienced on the path to advanced education. By embracing these insights, aspiring graduate students can better position themselves for success, armed with the wisdom and guidance shared by Dr. Luke.

By incorporating Dr. Luke’s invaluable advice, you can chart a course that honors their passions, nurtures resilience, and aligns with their long-term aspirations, ultimately laying the groundwork for a successful and impactful journey through graduate school.


Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:00:01]:
Welcome to the victors in grad school, where we have conversations with students, alumni, and experts about what it takes to find success in graduate school.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:00:11]:
Welcome back to Victor’s in Grad School. I’m your host, doctor Christopher Lewis, director of graduate programs at the University of Michigan, Flint. Really excited to have you back again this week. Every week, I love being able to sit down, talk with you, to work with you as you are walking through this journey that you’re on, this journey that may lead you to graduate school. You may already be in graduate school. You may see the light at the end of the tunnel because you’re in graduate school, and you see the door down the road, and you’re getting ready to graduate. No matter where you are, you are on a journey. And for me, the biggest thing that I want for you is for you to find success in this journey that you’re on.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:00:51]:
That’s why every week, I love being able to sit down, talk to you, bring you different hints, tips, resources, things that you can think about that can help you to add some tools to your own toolbox that will provide you with some perspective and offer you some opportunities to be able to learn and grow. That’s also why I love bringing you different guests every week that have gone before you, people that have had different paths that they’ve walked on, different journeys that they’ve gone through to lead them to where they are today, but all of them have gone to graduate school in the past. This week, we got another great guest with us today. Doctor David Luke is with us, and and David is the chief diversity officer at the University of Michigan Flint. And he did his undergraduate work at Grand Valley State University, but then went on from there and got both a master’s and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky. So we’re gonna be talking to him about his journey, and I’m really excited to have him here with us today. David, thanks so much for being here today.

Dr. David Luke [00:01:54]:
Thank you, Chris. I’m excited to be here.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:01:56]:
Well, I’m really excited to have you here. And I guess first and foremost, I wanna I wanna turn the clock back in time. I’m gonna go back to those days at Grand Valley State University when you were studying business and accounting as well as sociology. And at some point during your time at Grand Valley, after your time at Grand Valley, something was sparked in you. Something was sparked in you that made you decide that you wanted to continue your education. Talk to me about that. And what made you decide that you wanted to continue that education and go further?

Dr. David Luke [00:02:30]:
So I went to Grand Valley. I graduated high school, went to Grand Valley. I’m from Grand Rapids, so I was basically going down the street, although Allendale was never really a destination for me. I hadn’t actually been to the campus that I would end up being at until the summer before I started. And as a 18 year old college student, I didn’t have the clearest vision for what I intended to do. So I knew that one of the outcomes that I should have with college is to get a job. So I went into college with a general business major and was persuaded by some accounting faculty to go into accounting, and then was persuaded by them even though I didn’t do that great relatively in the intro to accounting classes, but then was persuaded by them to get a CPA license. All of these are good things for job prospects, So that was appealing to me.

Dr. David Luke [00:03:23]:
Part of the requirements for being a CPA include 150 college credits, and it doesn’t really matter what the discipline is. And so I had in undergrad in my general education taken some sociology courses. The first one I took was the sociology of the civil rights movement because in the general education, at the time, there was a civil rights, you could pick a theme. You take 3 classes within a theme, and the theme that I chose was the civil rights movement. And so I took that class. I took intro, and I thought, I like this, and I would like to major in this. But even more so, these experiences that I’m having in this classroom are things that I might like to reproduce someday. I would like to be the person facilitating some of this.

Dr. David Luke [00:04:03]:
Specifically, sociology gave tools and language and a structure to organize thoughts that I had sort of abstractly in my mind, especially as pertains to race and racism. And so helped me to develop a more sophisticated understanding and and really then think about what are ways we could do to intervene to disrupt systemic racism. And cocurricularly, I received a lot of support through the office of multicultural affairs at Grand Valley. And there was a person there at the time, the late dean Oliver Wilson, who was the dean of multicultural affairs, who was over that office. And I wanted his job, essentially. I thought, oh, I could really find fulfillment out of that. So I graduated. We were heading into the great recession at the time.

Dr. David Luke [00:04:45]:
I had my accounting degree. And my plan was I would work 10 or 15 years in accounting, earn some money, and then transition at some point to a career in higher ed, whether it was as a sociology professor or in sort of multicultural affairs, diversity, equity, and inclusion work. I lasted two and a half years in public accounting. I did 3 busy seasons, and that was enough for me to want to study for the GRE. Now along the way, also, I was taking the CPA exams. I had to take and pass 4 parts of this big exam within a calendar year. I did that, But so my my life from January through end of March was consumed by busy season work. And then for the 1st year outside of that time, when I would come home at 5, I would eat, and then I would study for 3 to 4 hours a night for the exam.

Dr. David Luke [00:05:35]:
So there was no balance for me for work life balance. And and in retrospect, I think had there been, I would have probably lasted longer in accounting. I could’ve left public accounting and gone somewhere where the hours are a little bit more reasonable. But I don’t regret my choice to apply for graduate school. But even, you know, as I mentioned, you know, going into undergrad, not really knowing what I was doing and and choosing business, I knew disciplinarily that I wanted to study sociology, but the process for applying for graduate schools and understanding how to do that kind of in a thoughtful, deliberate, intelligent way was not something that I was super familiar with, especially given that I was not coming from academia. Right? So I I’ve been a couple years removed. I had a lot of support from sociology faculty at Grand Valley who helped walk me through the process and write recommendations and all of that. But I still, in retrospect, think some of the students that I work with at U of M Flint that are pursuing grad school are much more well prepared than I was in many ways.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:06:33]:
Now you ended up at the University of Kentucky, and you probably could have gone many different places to be able to study sociology. There’s many graduate programs across the country. Talk to me about the thought process that you went through and what ended up leading you to the University of Kentucky for sociology?

Dr. David Luke [00:06:56]:
One of the primary reason that I went to Grand Valley for undergrad was financial. I was offered the best scholarship package there. I was able to go there and graduate without incurring debt. I applied to 10 different schools for sociology PhD programs. The strategy was have, like, 3 maybe reach schools that, you know, you might not get in, but if I did, it’d be great. 3 or 4 kind of I’ll probably be able to get in in their quality, and then a few that you’re sure you’ll get in. What ended up happening in that process was and I had applied to Kentucky in part because I I knew someone that moved down there, and I had some familiarity with the university. And part of the choice was, again, financial.

Dr. David Luke [00:07:38]:
I was a funded graduate student at at UK. But, also, I I went on a visit there and met with the person who would be my adviser, and I was a bit overwhelmed by him. He has a very intense intellectual curiosity and a breadth of knowledge and, you know, so I I met with him and he’s rattling off all of this stuff that, you know, is kind of making my head spin. But I knew that I could learn a lot and grow a lot there and that, I would be well supported. And interestingly enough, the director of graduate studies at the times had had some interesting connections to Michigan. She was a grad student at Michigan State, but had done undergrad at Aquinas College, which is in Grand Rapids, and had a professor there who was one of my professors at Grand Valley when I was in undergrad. So it was a small world thing, But there were a few couple other programs, and I and I actually think in many ways I was an odd fit at Kentucky. They have strengths in Appalachian sociology, rural sociology, and then they were kind of as I was leaving in 2018, the areas of emphasis tended to be more criminology and medical sociology, and none of those really fit with me.

Dr. David Luke [00:08:42]:
My interests were in race and racism and also in work and organizations. So I had some experiences from my time in public accounting that sort of informed more of an interest in in work and organizations. And so I did some research and and work around that also and taught that class while I was in grad school too, sociology of work and organizations. But, yeah, it was a practical matter of getting a a funded assistantship. And and I was a research assistant on NSF funded projects for the 1st 3 years that ultimately resulted in a coauthored book. And then I also having met some of the people down there kind of solidified things.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:09:20]:
Now not everybody may understand because you did go from a master’s to a doctorate. And as you said, just a second ago, you were applying for a doctorate program. And we’ve talked about this on the show in the past, but that there are some graduate programs that are out there that are lockstep, where you’re applying for a PhD, but along the way, you’re getting a master’s degree. Talk to me about how that worked for you and the difference between what you were doing in your master’s and your doctorate, just to add some clarity for what that experience was like for you?

Dr. David Luke [00:09:57]:
Yeah. It’s an interesting question because the program that I was in changed in that regard while I was there. So I applied thinking that I was a PhD student. I remember at an orientation saying I was a PhD student and a faculty member correcting me and telling me that I was a master’s student. So at that time, you would do 2 years of coursework and your master’s thesis was sort of the culmination at the 2 year mark. And at that point, you would do a sort of application to get into the PhD program. What changed probably 5 years into my time there and I was I was on there for a little over 7 year 7 and a half years. The program changed so that people would apply for the PhD program, and if they left early after, like, 2 or 3 years, there there would be a master’s paper, something they would write sort of in the middle of their towards the 2 thirds through their coursework.

Dr. David Luke [00:10:55]:
And if they completed that, they would get sort of a terminal masters as a parting gift if they decided not to complete the PhD for whatever reason. And and grad school is a marathon. There are a number of reasons that people don’t don’t finish a PhD when they initially intend to, but I essentially I I did my 2 years, my master’s, thesis, defended it. The director of graduate studies at that time was my MA adviser, and she wrote a letter to herself to recommend me for the PhD program so that they would have that record on file because the adviser would recommend to the DGS. And so in my case, it was someone writing a letter to themselves. The coursework was basically 3 for the program as a whole, it was basically 3 years of of structured coursework, then you do your qualifying exams, your proposal, and then your, dissertation. And those 3 years, you’re taking classes with masters and PhD students. So the 2 years of masters coursework and then the thesis, a masters is supposed to represent, content matter, mastery.

Dr. David Luke [00:12:00]:
Right? You you are as a master’s someone with a master’s in sociology, you know and understand the field at a very high level. The PhD is supposed to be adding knowledge to the field. So my master’s thesis isn’t necessarily something that adds knowledge to the field, but my PhD, the dissertation should be something that creates or adds new knowledge within the field of sociology. So that’s kind of the bigger difference. And then, you know, people once they finish their coursework, people do their dissertation from all over the place. So you’re kind of with this cohort moving through, and then everybody’s finding their ways differently. So for me, I was in my PhD program at the dissertation stage, and a position opened up in the Martin Luther King Center at the University of Kentucky. And I knew that if I wanted to get my foot in that type of work, I had to have some experience, and this was my chance.

Dr. David Luke [00:12:53]:
And so I was able to get a job. So my last couple years in grad school, I was also working full time and working on my dissertation. And I had a very supportive supervisor who was trusting giving me autonomy and trust that I could carve out time to write during my work day as long as I was doing what I needed to for the job to. So that was really helpful.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:13:13]:
Now earlier, you talked about that you left Grand Valley. You worked for about 2 years in accounting and then made that transition into graduate school. So there’s a little bit of time between your undergrad and grad work. And we’ve talked about this on the show as well, that there is a big difference between the way that you’re educated typically in undergrad and in in the expectation in graduate school. And there’s so so there is a transition that you have to go through. Can you think back to your time transitioning into graduate school because you were able to find success? You got through both the master’s, the doctor degree. What did you have to do to set yourself up for success? And what did you have to do to maintain that success throughout the entirety of your graduate school experience?

Dr. David Luke [00:14:03]:
Yeah. It’s a good question. So I’ve been working and going to school since I was 14. So I get to graduate school and they’re telling me I had a RA ship that was 20 hours a week, but I had a fellowship that would cover 10. So I would work 10 hours a week, and then they told me that I would take 3 classes. So I said, can I take 5? And they said, no. 3 is full time in graduate school. And I was like, okay.

Dr. David Luke [00:14:27]:
I could take 4. And then can I work a little bit more? And they’re like, no. You don’t know what the workload is here. I come in thinking a credit is a credit. Right? I’m I’m not gonna take 9 credit hours and work 10 hours a week. I’m not gonna have anything to do. That was incorrect. Right? You’re given a 120 pages to read for each class in a 5 to 7 page paper a week.

Dr. David Luke [00:14:49]:
That consumes time. And I know for undergrads, they say it’s 2 to 3 hours outside the classroom of work per hour in the classroom, and many students find that it takes them less time than that. I don’t know what the amount is for graduate school, but it’s much more. And the classes are structured so much differently. You know, I’m in a class with 8 people. We’ve read something that gave us a headache, and now we’re all supposed to try to talk about it and figure it out. And so for me, coming from accounting where it’s very much here’s the rule, here’s the I remember I took a sociological classical sociological theory class my 1st semester, and that was a major struggle. The professor kept saying, well, let’s take it to the next level of abstraction.

Dr. David Luke [00:15:30]:
And I’m like, why would we do that? Let’s apply it to something so that I know what we’re actually talking about. Right? So my 1st semester, I got 2 b’s and an a, and that I didn’t really realize was not very good. Right? You need to get a b to pass in the program. And so 2 b’s was, hey. You just made it past those two classes. Now after that, I didn’t get any more b’s. And I don’t really think the grades matter that much, but I think it requires a lot of, you know, self discipline, time management, especially when you get past coursework. I mean, the coursework, the workload is different.

Dr. David Luke [00:16:11]:
The style of course seminars are different, more discussion. But you’ve been doing classroom stuff at that point in your life. You’ve done 20 plus years of of class stuff. So you we kind of understand most graduate students kind of understand how to do that part. It’s afterwards I mean, for me and the structure of the program changed slightly, but understanding what qualifying exams were, that wasn’t made clear to me up front. So I had to read a bunch of books to become an expert. And, really, that’s where when I was working on my qualifying exams, that’s where I felt that I gained enough expertise to consider myself a scholar of race and racism because those the coursework didn’t cover it. It was when I worked with my advisor.

Dr. David Luke [00:16:53]:
I had an independent study where we read books for my qualifying exams, and I did little summaries of each book, prepared myself. Qualifying exams came in. That sort of became a large chunk of the literature review for my dissertation project, and that was where I saw things building. But that’s the part too where it is so much a marathon. I would remember thinking about the scope of what I was trying to do and being completely overwhelmed by it. It, like, paralyzed by it. I go into a meeting with my adviser and to his credit, as he broke down, you gotta work on this, this, this, they became manageable chunks. And I would leave the meeting knowing, okay, I can do this.

Dr. David Luke [00:17:32]:
I’ll take these steps and go forward and progress in that way. And I think that’s something that I’ve carried forward a lot also. You know, I think the scope of work of diversity, equity, inclusion on campuses like the University of Michigan, Flint and many others can be very daunting. We have a lot of work to do, and there are some manageable chunks and pieces and things that we can do that I can point to and say, we’ve been able to do these things, and they’ve made the university better, and we’ll keep at it. We still have a lot to do, but we’re making a difference. Right? So I think a lot of that translates. The other thing I’ll say too is life happens during graduate school. I and my wife planned and intended to have children.

Dr. David Luke [00:18:13]:
Our first born was born. I had a full time job. She did too. We had a home. We had a bedroom prepared, a crib, all that stuff. I didn’t know what it was like to have a newborn in the house. I’m the youngest in my family, and that put me back 1 year. And so I’ve said that to students.

Dr. David Luke [00:18:31]:
I’ve had students that have had children in undergrad and said, oh, I’ll be back in 6 weeks. And I said, you need to look into medical withdrawal because that is a lot. And I did feel we were very well prepared to do that. And so I had several colleagues that also had children, got married, other major life events happened during graduate school. And so it is some of it is things you can control. There’s some things that you can’t control. You do the best you can to control what you can, and but it is definitely a marathon. And that that’s where I think my biggest thing that helped me is I knew why I wanted this.

Dr. David Luke [00:19:04]:
So I wanted a PhD so that I could be a credible expert to teach and to facilitate some of those experiences I had in undergraduate or to be able to be in a leadership position on a on a, university campus where I could influence positive change. In both of those instances, that’s what a PhD would do for me. So that that helped me motivate. I had friends and colleagues that didn’t have a good reason why they were there, and most of the time for those folks, they wouldn’t finish. So I don’t indiscriminately recommend people to go to graduate school. I I recommend people to think very clearly about what they need and why they need it and help that motivate them to complete what they’re trying to start in graduate school.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:19:46]:
So you have a degree now in a master’s degree in sociology, a doctorate degree in sociology. You are a chief diversity officer. You got to that position that you were aiming for when you knew the person from Grand Valley that was a mentor for you. Talk to me about how that graduate education informs the work that you do on a daily basis.

Dr. David Luke [00:20:11]:
I mean, in a lot of ways, formal and informal, I think it informs it. You know, I’m a sociologist, so I have to talk about socialization. Right? So being a graduate student, working directly with faculty, and I was selected by my peers to be president of our graduate student organization. As such, I was attending department faculty meetings and representing the student voice at those meetings. That was very valuable to me as now I’m sometimes in similar meetings, and I have a sense for sort of how those how those function, how those run. You know, the specific content that I studied in graduate school is directly related to the work that I’m doing now. Obviously, I have a substantive focus on race and racism, and diversity, equity, and inclusion is much broader than that, but much of that translates to other systems of oppression and understanding different social identities. And I think my disciplinary background in sociology is an advantage to institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion work because what we are trying to do is address the structural underpinnings of inequity within organizations, and that’s what sociology does.

Dr. David Luke [00:21:17]:
So sociologists, the big learning outcome in intro to sociology classes is that students will understand the sociological imagination, which is the connection between one’s private troubles and public issues. So if we have a student that encounters an issue relating to inequitable treatment or in some way, We don’t view that just as an isolated instance. Certainly, you first attend to that student’s need, but then you look at how do we prevent that same issue from happening from to another student in the future? What is it about our policies, practices, norms, that are producing this outcome for this student, and how do we make sure that doesn’t happen for others? And so that’s how I’m constantly thinking. I want to get less and less busy. I would hope that as we address the things that we’re doing as an institution that are producing inequitable results, that then we have less and less to do. And it’s a different conceptualization than a lot of times when people think about racism, sexism, homophobia, they think about an individual bigot and their actions. And there certainly are consequences if we have people that hold very prejudiced views and position the power, and and they can they can cause harm. But the bigger problem is when those harm causing behaviors, patterns are encouraged institutionally in some way or supported institutionally in some way.

Dr. David Luke [00:22:35]:
So to the extent that we can normalize inclusive equitable behaviors and practices, people who behave in ways that run contrary to those norms will face informal sanction. We don’t do that here. It doesn’t have to be a formal sanction necessary. There’s there’s tense amount of pressure from informal sanctions based on social norms within an organization. So we’re saying that we care about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and that needs to be felt by everyone.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:23:00]:
You know, one of the questions that, I guess, that I would ask is that as individuals are looking at graduate school, they will see different organizations. They’ll see different individuals like yourself that are working with people on the campus to create a culture of inclusion and creating an atmosphere that would be welcoming for all. What should students be looking for to identify the culture of a campus when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion as they’re looking at graduate schools?

Dr. David Luke [00:23:34]:
If you look at the structure of the institution’s DEI offices, the resources going towards those efforts, and and it’s relative to, right, to the size and the budget of the institution, the outcomes that they’re able to talk about from those efforts, what university leadership is saying. I mean, one of the big challenges and especially for folks that are considering working in diversity, equity, inclusion roles, there’s a plethora of chief diversity officer jobs. Although there’s fewer now given some of the political opposition to it, but many of these roles are constructed to be figureheads that do not have any authority to make change within the organization. So they check a box, they might offer a nice salary, and their hope is that you will just kind of do some trainings and workshops that are maybe not that consequential that we know from research are not the most impactful practices. But we can say we did them, and we can say we have this person, and we can say that we’re we’re doing something good versus places that are trying to make measurable change in key areas where it’s not just the diversity officer and the DEI roles that are held accountable. But throughout the organization, folks are being held accountable and expected to contribute to DEI efforts. These are the things that I would look for. And, also, I mean, graduate students, if you get a chance when you’re considering a program to talk to some of the graduate students there, talk to folks there about what they’re experiencing.

Dr. David Luke [00:25:00]:
Are they feeling a result from the professor efforts? But yeah. I mean, those are those are a few ways I think that that could help get a sense for.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:25:08]:
Now you’ve given a lot of pieces of advice, things that you’ve learned along the way. As you’re thinking about students that are coming up now and that are thinking about going to graduate school, what are some tips that you might offer them that would help them find success sooner?

Dr. David Luke [00:25:24]:
First thing is why. Why are you doing it? Have a have a good reason. So next, I would say, I’ll think of things that I could have done better. It would have been advantageous for me to do more research on research within the fields to understand faculty that I might like to work with. Right? This is a thing that a lot of PhD students do, is you would apply to a program and in your application materials, say, I would like to work with this person on this type of research that they’re doing. Right? I didn’t do that. And I thought about that after my finished my masters. I could have applied somewhere else, perhaps and would have been much stronger application.

Dr. David Luke [00:26:03]:
But, I I had a pretty good experience at UK and a and a pretty good situation there, so I decided to stay. And then I think I was fortunate. I have some colleagues from grad school that I’m still very close with. Some programs are very cutthroat and competitive, and others are much more collegial. And that’s really important because you’re going through something that is usually pretty long, pretty challenging. And when you have other folks that are going through that experience with you that you can count on each other and encourage each other, that makes a world of difference. So those are some of the things that I would recommend. And, you know, when you’re looking at faculty advisors and stuff, you know, look people up.

Dr. David Luke [00:26:43]:
Google them. See what folks are saying. Talk to other graduate students. But your advisor can have a very strong impact on your success within that program and how you do in the field. So it’s it’s that’s a very important if you get the wrong adviser switching, there’s a lot of politics involved in those decisions too. So, yeah, be very judicious and and thorough with deciding where you wanna go and who you wanna work with.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:27:10]:
Well, David, I just wanna say thank you. Thank you for sharing your journey today, for being a voice that is helping others to make that transition, to identify the next steps for themselves. I truly appreciate you sharing your journey with us today, and I wish you all the best.

Dr. David Luke [00:27:29]:
Thank you.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:27:30]:
The University of Michigan Flint has a full array of masters and doctorate programs if you are interested in continuing your education. Whether you’re looking for in person or online learning options, the University of Michigan Flint has programs that will meet your needs. For more information on any of our graduate programs, visit to find out more. Thanks again for spending time with me as you prepare to be a victor in grad school. I look forward to speaking with you again soon as we embark together on your graduate school journey. If you have any questions or want to reach out, email me at [email protected].