Pay it 1964ward – A Union degree opens career doors

Union’s Pay it 1964WARD campaign is underway to make a difference in the lives of our students. At UI&U, 100 percent of funds designated to scholarships goes directly to the student. Throughout 2020, we will feature a number of Union donors – alumni, trustees, friends, and others – who support Union and our goals to transform lives and communities. Please join them through Changing the Faces of Education – Pay it 1964WARD today.  

In the interview below, alumnus Dr. John Fluke discusses why he supports Union and asks fellow alumni to reflect on this question, “If Union weren’t available, could you have achieved what you have in your career?”Read more about Dr. Fluke and his career advancement, including the release of his new book, Decision-Making and Judgment in Child Welfare and Protection in the Q&A that follows.

Q. We are launching the Pay it 1964Ward campaign to raise $1,964,000 to support our students achieve their dreams. You have been a longtime giver. Can you tell us why you give to Union?

A. My Ph.D. was the achievement of a lifetime goal. I had initiated a process with another university for a Ph.D. when I was much younger. but then I found Union. I knew Union would work well for me and my family and my professional commitments. When I actually enrolled, it was clear to me that Union’s philosophy of adult education was a philosophy I could relate to. The model is a good one.It is very rigorous and many students can benefit from it because it is uniquely suited to their experience. The model is self-directed and students must be motivated. These are not options that are readily available elsewhere.

Q. Does your gift represent your desire to pay your degree forward by investing in Union and its students?

A. Yes, I am honored to help other students. I also support students’ scholarships internationally.

Q. Tell us what your degree and your Union experience have enabled you to do in your profession, in your life. How did it impact your dreams and your career?

A. The main thing my Union degree did for me was open doors that would not have opened without a Ph.D. My career is tethered to research studies and projects. My Ph.D. leant academic credibility to my work.

For example, I was one of several professionals to edit the just released book, Decision-Making and Judgment in Child Welfare and Protection that provides scientific research to key stakeholders in child welfare protective services.

Q. Union is known for its commitment to social justice. Does that aspect of the

A. Professionally, social justice is a big part of my work and my research. I study bias in decision making, my research addresses how decisions impact underserved populations, populations of color, those in poverty, etc.

Q. Union’s goal is to transform lives and communities. Can you share how this may have impacted you when you were a student and how it might impact why you give now?

A. I would ask that my fellow alumni and current students ask themselves the question, “If Union weren’t available, could you have achieved what you have in your career?” I urge others to recognize the uniqueness of Union.

Support the next generation of leaders with your donation.
Changing the Faces of Education – Pay it 1964WARD today. Click here to donate.

About Dr. Fluke 

Dr. Fluke is Associate Director for Systems Research and Evaluation/Professor

Department of Pediatrics; Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse & Neglect University of Colorado School of Medicine; Research Professor

Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health.

The Kempe Center is the first of its kind, established to better understand and prevent child maltreatment and to serve affected children and their families. At the Kempe Center, Dr. Fluke pursues ongoing research in the area of child welfare decision making, administrative data analysis, and the implementation and scale up of evidence supported interventions. He also pursues the ongoing development of child maltreatment epidemiology including applications to international monitoring and evaluation activities. He holds a senior position as a research faculty member, and as a member of the executive team for the Kempe Center. His portfolio includes responsibility for the systems level service delivery research related to child maltreatment including a focus on public health, child welfare, and children’s mental health systems. Responsibilities include helping to set overall strategic directions for the center, research and evaluation design, research management analytic consultation, and oversight of other research and evaluation performed by the center. The position is also responsible for specific supervision of grants and contracts as well as research and evaluation staff. The work scope includes research and evaluations related to publicly funded services systems and community-based program evaluation for state social service agencies across the country, for the Federal Government, as well as work in other countries.

Dr. Fluke has studied and has co-authored numerous papers on the effects of abuse and neglect on children, and has studied child welfare organizations and child protective services, as well as child welfare workers and their conditions. He has worked collaboratively on several projects that include the study of children in Saudi Arabia and Canadian aboriginal children in need.