Brian A. Burt
Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education with a Concentration in Academic Affairs and Student Development
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Undergraduate Institution: Indiana University - Bloomington
Masters: University of Maryland - College Park
Michigan was my top choice because of the cutting-edge research currently taking place, as well as the legacy CSHPE alums have contributed to the field of higher education. I wanted to further my training where leading scholars in the field were trained - Michigan! Needless to say, coming back "home" to attend Michigan was a very easy choice for me. After completing my master's degree I worked a couple years as a coordinator for scholarships and special programs. Like many people returning to school, I had reservations about transitioning back into the academic routine. However, knowing that Michigan had countless resources available on campus made my decision to return to school less daunting. Another major draw for me was the opportunity to engage in research with CSHPE faculty members on day one. In addition, the supportive community of scholars in CSHPE is second to none. My CSHPE peers are among my greatest sources of inspiration and support, all of which I was looking for in a doctoral program. Being socialized within this intellectual culture, I know that achieving academic success is a reality. Since being here I can sincerely say that CSHPE (and Michigan as an institution) have far exceeded my expectations. I am confident that I made the right decision and I hope that you will strongly consider joining our family!
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I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan. While a student, I received a number of research grants, domestic and international travel grants, and private scholarships -- for example, from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Grand Rapids Community Foundation (GRCF), departmental fellowships, Rackham fellowships including the prestigious KCP Fellowship and Rackham One Term Finishing Grant, and Candidacy Tuition Fellowships. I also worked as a GSI and GSRA, which provided full tuition, a monthly stipend, and health and dental care.
I learned about Michigan's funding opportunities largely from reading weekly emails from the School of Education News, then following up with colleagues. Most colleagues were very supportive in talking to me about their application processes and offering strategies to be a competitive applicant. Other than my peers, when I was interested in particular opportunities, I researched the opportunity "well in advance," and usually put together a success plan (read: strategy) to complete the application. After I felt organized with my strategy, I presented the idea with my advisor or dissertation chair; it was important that my advisor and dissertation chair were on board with all of my decisions to pursue funding opportunities so that they would be available (and willing) to provide a strong supportive letter of recommendation. Finally, I let my close friends in the program know of my intentions to pursue funding. They helped with accountability and encouragement to not stop working on applications, generally while I was simultaneously working on equally important academic tasks. , and they never let me stop pursuing these opportunities.
Last edited by Daniel Bodene on Wed, July 23, 2014 - 3:27:05