David hails from Mexico, where his dad met his mom when he was on a study abroad program in Mexico. He was born in the beautiful mountains an hour inland from the gulf coast of Mexico and moved to Cleveland when he was four. (He’s quick to make a non-Buckeye fan disclaimer here.) He’s at Michigan under the positive influence of a family friend who was a dentistry student here and spread maize and blue love down in Ohio. He says, “When it came time to apply to undergrad, I only applied to two schools: Michigan and my safety net school, Case Western Reserve. I didn’t get into Case.”

Nearing the end of his undergraduate degree, David cold-called some faculty, sending them solicitation e-mails discussing his interest in higher education and was able to secure a job at the National Forum for Higher Education for the Public Good in the School of Education. He was unsure whether or not to pursue a Master’s or Ph.D., and one course naturally led to another, as he completed his Master’s in Higher Education and moved to Sociology for his doctorate. He says, “During the time I was a master’s student here, I took extra Ph.D. level classes in higher ed and really pushed myself to see if I could handle the workload. I had already done about a year and a half of coursework that a Ph.D. student would have done. That made me a really good candidate when I applied to doctoral programs, and I was admitted to many programs. My offer at Michigan was really nice though. I had a Rackham Merit Fellowship here and a position as a Population Studies Center Trainee at the Institute for Social Research.”

Go to Rackham's Website to read the rest of David's story, his dissertation work, and experience in graduate school.