Student Spotlight: Luke Greeley

Luke Greeley’s (Ph.D. student, Educational Theory, Organization, and Policy) interest in a career in higher education stemmed from the guidance and mentorship he received as an undergraduate student at Bucknell University. Luke developed personal relationships with various faculty and staff members through his experiences as a research assistant and as president of his fraternity. By the time he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in sociology, Luke realized he wanted to make a similar impact on university students, prompting him to pursue his Master of Arts in higher education at the University of Maryland.

Upon completion of his master’s degree, Luke sought opportunities at Rutgers University because he was eager to return to the Garden State. Over the years Luke has held various positions at the university and is currently an Assistant Dean at Rutgers Business School (RBS).

Luke realized he wanted to continue his education when he found himself reading academic journals and texts for pleasure. He was impressed by the progressive work being done by the faculty at Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) related to citizenship, identity, and educational policy. Luke decided to pursue his Ph.D. with a concentration in Educational Theory, Organization, and Policy at the GSE in hopes of fully understanding educational theory and challenging the growing perspective of education as a private rather than a public benefit.

“I enjoy the depth and quality of feedback given on my coursework and outside projects,” states Luke. “Between the breadth of topics covered by faculty and the backgrounds and interests of my peers, I feel that I am benefitting from exposure to diverse perspectives on education. Professors like Dr. James Giarelli fundamentally expanded my perspective on what education means while helping to reaffirm my purpose in the educational field.”

While doing some light reading, Luke stumbled across a dissertation written by a Rutgers Ph.D. student, Nicholas Beckstead, entitled “On the Overwhelming Importance of Shaping the Far Future” that won the Thesis Prize competition at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University in 2012. Luke submitted a response piece into the Thesis Prize competition titled, “Increasing Compassion to Reduce Existential Risk: A Global Initiate” in the summer of 2014. His thesis, which stated that increased levels of compassion across humanity would reduce existential risks and that it was possible to increase compassion though education, received an honorable mention in the competition and a monetary prize.

“At the GSE I’ve encountered, and now subscribe to, a philosophy that equates education to growth and change,” notes Luke. “As my goals of growth and development don’t necessarily have an end point, I’d say the GSE is successfully preparing me for a life committed to education.”

After completing his Ph.D. Luke hopes to have an impact on improving the educational experience of university students, whether in a behind-the-scenes role, like his work as Assistant Dean now, or in something more personal, such as teaching.

Luke enjoys spending time outdoors during his free time. He also spends a lot of time with his fiancé Jenny and their families. He and Jenny met at Bucknell University and have been together ever since.

To learn more about the Ph.D. program in Theory, Organization, and Policy, please visit the program webpage.