"What made Luther stand out was the feeling I got when I stepped on campus. Luther's beautiful surroundings and kind faculty immediately made me feel at home."
As a high school student, Dallas enjoyed many topics and wanted to go somewhere that embraced a broad curriculum. “To help me decide, I visited several private colleges in Iowa during Iowa Private College Week,” he says. “What made Luther stand out was the feeling I got when I stepped on campus. Luther's beautiful surroundings and kind faculty immediately made me feel at home. I also felt a stronger sense of community than I did at other places I visited. The impression was so strong, Luther was the only college I applied to.”
Since graduating, Dallas feels that pursuing a liberal arts education was one of the best decisions he ever made. “I’m a more thoughtful person than I was prior to attending Luther, and I feel that I am now a better consumer, citizen, and human because of it,” he says. “In some ways, I feel the true distinctions between the different academic disciplines are not subject matter, but perspective. To me being broadly educated translates into an improved understanding of multiple viewpoints, and therefore a heightened awareness of the complexity of the world.”
Dallas spent two summers on campus doing research and he found that it was crucial for realizing that he wanted to go to graduate school to study physics. “It was the nature of doing basic research that helped me recognize what I valued in a job and in life,” Dallas says. “I learned that my primary motivation is to satisfy my curiosity through solving problems that I find interesting and sharing my findings with others. I know it sounds cheesy, but it was the first job I had that didn't feel like work.”
At Luther, Dallas was a tutor for the TRIO Achievement Program (then called Student Support Services), SASC (Student Academic Support Center), and the physics department. “They were my first experiences with teaching,” Dallas says. “Not only did I learn a lot of pedagogical skills from tutor trainings, but I realized my passion for working with students. Working with undergraduates continues to be an important part of my job as a graduate student, both in the classroom and the laboratory.”
Since graduation, Dallas has been a graduate research assistant with the X-ray astrophysics group in the physics department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed a master's degree in physics last year and is currently working on a Ph.D. in physics.
Try as many activities/clubs as your schedules will allow. Some you will only do for a semester (or less), but others will become a big part of your college career. It was these sort of activities where I spent most of my free time, made my closest friends, and learned skills and hobbies that are still important to me.
—Dallas Wulf '12