From pizza delivery driver to ASU honors student


Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2024 graduates.

Lucas Glick was delivering pizzas when he decided that wasn’t the life he’d ordered; he wanted more. 

Although the Rowlett, Texas, native hadn’t been the best student in high school, low grades wouldn’t stop him from pursuing his dreams. He had a plan to turn his academic career around.

Lucas Glick stands inside a bull fighting ring in Barcelona, Spain
Lucas Glick inside a bullfighting ring in Barcelona, Spain. Courtesy photo

Thanks to his hard work and dedication, this spring, Glick will be earning a Bachelor of Arts in global studies from The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He will also be graduating with summa cum laude distinction and recognition from Phi Beta Kappa, an honors society.

Glick started his college journey by taking online courses at a community college, intending to work in the information technology field. He quickly realized that field of study wasn’t the right fit. 

He decided to transfer to Arizona State University, taking advantage of ASU’s earned admission program, which allows learners to explore first-year college courses and only pay if they pass the course. The boost to his GPA set him up for success.

“I really liked that earned admission was an option as I wasn’t sure my transcript was ideal for transferring and ultimate acceptance,” he said. “Following acceptance, after achieving earned admission, I opted for the global studies program and never felt compelled to switch majors again.”

He poured his energy into his classes, focusing on his love of international studies and a lifelong dream of traveling abroad. The online format allowed him to work, care for family and finally make his study abroad dream a reality.

“I completed my study abroad in Barcelona, Spain, during spring break of this past semester,” he said. “It was part of the class titled 'Sport, Place, Politics, & Identity’ with Professor Jeffrey Kassing. We had three modules to prepare ourselves for this intensive week where we had a lecture, multiple tours within the city and three separate day trips.”

The memories from that trip were everything Glick could have hoped for. In particular, going to an FC Barcelona match surrounded by people from multiple countries and continents and touring the facility where the Ciudad Deportiva female team and youth academy train and play. 

“It was an incredible honor,” Glick said. “These two memories showed the power of their global marketing and the benefits of investing in women and youth for sport.”

We sat down with the new graduate to learn more about his experience with ASU Online and his advice for students looking to start their own college journey.

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I was building a computer for the IT program I was in at Iowa Central Community College when I became super frustrated with a couple of components that weren’t working, and that was the moment I realized that this wasn’t the field I envisioned for myself in the future. 

I finished the semester and immediately started looking for online programs related to international studies. Throughout my life, I’ve always had an affinity for learning about other countries and cultures, becoming familiar with flags and linguistics. I wanted to embrace this part of my personality and see what could become of it. 

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU Online — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: Many of the global studies courses had a part in nurturing my passion for a greater understanding of the world we live in. I challenged myself to do projects on countries that I didn’t know much about, other than what their flag looked like. I was able to truly understand important concepts crucial to global dynamics, like the resource curse or why governments support dictatorships and/or democracies. 

Moreover, I took advantage of some of the courses that concerned religions I was unfamiliar with. Before I studied abroad in Barcelona, I had to take a course in preparation for this exciting chapter: We were required to put ourselves in a situation where we were the outsiders. I chose a local Vietnamese Buddhist temple in the neighboring city of Garland. This was a fascinating experience as I toured the buildings on the property, observed a service, sat down for a conversation with a monk from Thailand and learned about his life journey. I left with a changed perspective on religion and how people from the Eastern Hemisphere interact with spirituality.

Q: Why did you choose ASU Online?

A: I chose ASU Online because I wanted to go for the next step in my academic career, which was transitioning from community college to a university. Through my research at the time, ASU stood out for its success in online learning, which was imperative for me as changing situations with my family required me to be close to home to help out my father. 

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU Online?

A: School of Politics and Global Studies Associate Professor Charles Ripley is a fantastic professor who stresses the importance of discourse and respecting the opinions of others even if you disagree with them. It was in his classes that I was able to see a large spectrum of opinions on topics that before I might not have known had more than two sides. Here I was able to better appreciate the broad variety of ideas that people have and why they hold these thoughts and opinions.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Get it done, even if it means sacrificing things you enjoy doing in your free time, like hanging out with friends or watching sports/shows. For me, I spent a lot of nights staying up late and then waking up four hours later to go to work just so I could get assignments done efficiently. 

Even more importantly, finish strong, because you owe it to yourself for getting this far.

Q: What was your favorite spot for power studying?

A: Everything I’ve ever done for college has been in the extra room in my house. I have a couch behind my desk, so I would get comfortable there and watch lectures and assigned films, but most of my reading/studying was done at the desk in my comfortable office chair.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I plan to apply for a master’s in sport management. Ideally, I would like to work as an international/community relations coordinator with a sports club/franchise. I’m also expecting to become a father to a baby boy towards the end of August, so there will be a lot of diaper changing as well.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: Apart from the obvious, like food and water security, I would really like to work on achieving a higher rate of youth sports involvement. It’s important for future generations to realize the value of sports. Sports can be monumental in building character development, teamwork and discipline, among other qualities. 

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