September 19, 2023

Lucas English (he/him) ’22

Lucas English ’22 entered the Student Affairs Program with plans to ultimately become a lawyer. A conversation with a faculty member set him on his path towards a PhD instead and helped him discover the work that was truly meaningful to him.

Lucas English '22 Lucas English ’22
Credit: Nina Johnson
MA Student Affairs Administration ’22

Current Position

2nd year PhD student and Research Assistant


University of Utah


Salt Lake City, UT

I’m working with Dr. Paul Rubin on his research around Higher Education State Governance and currently am working on a project with a focus on state coordinating boards.

When you joined the SAA program at Lewis & Clark, what career path did you plan to pursue?

I was planning on completing the program and attending law school to pursue a higher education general counsel role.

By the end of the program, did you have a different career outcome in mind? What either reinforced your original goal, or sent you in a different direction?

Yes, I completed a practicum that changed my interest in being a lawyer and that pathway. I spoke with a previous faculty member at Lewis & Clark and she suggested thinking about pursuing a PhD instead since I was motivated to make a difference for practitioners and research could be an area where I could do that.

Where did you complete your practicum and what was that experience like?

I completed my first-year practicum with the Lewis & Clark general counsel. It was a fine experience, but it did not feel like a role where I personally would be doing what I wanted with the outcome leading to better outcomes for student affairs practitioners. My second-year practicum was at Linfield University, located in McMinnville, where I was fortunate to cover the director of student conduct position, as they were on medical leave, and gain independence as practitioner where I could use the scholarship learned in class in actual praxis environments.

How do you apply what you learned at L&C to your daily work?

While I do not do praxis work as often as I used to, I do use the scholarship skills I gained in the SAA program daily in my research and in my classes that I am taking during my doctoral journey.