Inspiring Graduate: DJ Walker, B.S. Applied Social Science

‘The training provided by Stout has done a stellar job of making me into a dynamic, flexible person.'
May 30, 2023

Inspiring Graduate: DJ Walker (’23)

Throughout his four years at UW-Stout, DJ Walker often questioned whether he should be here. As he pursued his degree, he sometimes had serious doubts about whether he would or even could stay.

“I overcame this through encouragement from my family and time spent in conversation with God about whether this was what he had planned for my life. Through his answers, I found the energy and determination to stay the course and finish at Stout,” Walker said.

DJ Walker, 1
Inspiring Graduate DJ Walker with Chancellor Katherine Frank at commencement / UW-Stout

Walker earned his B.S. in applied social science from UW-Stout on May 6, along with 1,173 graduates. He will be interning this summer in Washington, D.C., with the Family Research Council and is considering policy work.

“I am excited that through the tough years at Stout I am coming out of college with the initial skills needed to make an impact in the way that God directs me towards. It is being able to serve him that I am proud of,” Walker said.

“DJ has excelled in his program and as a student in ROTC,” said Program Director Tina Lee. “He has presented his research at NCUR, Research in the Rotunda, and other events and was the runner up for the outstanding undergraduate researcher of the year in the College of Arts and Human Sciences.”

Applied Social Science spring 2023 grads
Spring 2023 applied social science graduates / UW-Stout

“I would like to thank my mother, Joanne Walker, for the super-human support – financial, academic and personal – without which I would never have completed my undergrad. She is a true testament to a loving mom with the strength of iron,” Walker said.

“Most importantly, I thank my lord and savior, Jesus Christ, for providing me with salvation, without which I would never have had the hope and strength to push through difficulties in college. To him be the glory for all I have accomplished,” he added.

How has UW-Stout prepared you to work in your field?

The training provided by Stout has done a stellar job of making me into a dynamic, flexible person who is able to enter a job and adapt quickly to whatever the requirements of the position may be.

I believe this comes from the way the social science department pushes students into becoming a Swiss Army Knife of a host of disciplinary subjects.

The department cultivates a mentality of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and quickly learning something new.

What stands out about your UW-Stout experience?

The professors are what will be memorable about my time at Stout, giving me memories I will take with me into the rest of my life.

Dr. Tina Lee provided support and opportunities that come only from someone who is dedicated to the advancement of students into professional life. Dr. Marshall, as a historian, was unbelievably flexible and open to allowing me to explore areas of interest and allow me the independence to stumble and pick myself back up during my research efforts. Dr. Zagorski, as a political scientist, challenged and pushed me on my beliefs that allowed for healthy debate and my own growth in those principles that I believe in.

Student’s research examines attitudes toward vaccine among Dunn County residents

DJ Walker has a big-picture outlook on life. He is in the Army ROTC program and is interested in politics and constitutional law.
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How have your UW-Stout education and experience changed you?

I have become far more resilient in facing challenges that occur in difficult circumstances. I have learned to be vocal and stand up for what I believe and to not be so easily swayed by the opinions of a larger group. I have gained independence in my life to be able to make decisions and conduct my life according to that which God calls me do.

How did your involvement impact your experience? 

I received the Funds for Wisconsin Scholars Grant, which is $2,000 a semester for tuition. This generous tuition assistance made my undergraduate career far more affordable, and I would like to thank the organization for such an incredible gift.

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