Student Testimonials

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Excerpts from Teaching Evaluations

“I thought this class was well structured and presented. I learned a lot of valuable information from this course, and believe I will be able to apply it to my future professional life. I thought this professor truly cared about the well-being of the student and wanted us to succeed in the classroom and life after it.” Fall 2015

“The class was phenomenal and I learned a tremendous amount about comparative higher education and appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this learning experience. Dr. Luedke is an asset to the Whitewater Higher Education Leadership Program and was able to contribute her own personal experiences and how her understanding of Latin American culture has influenced higher education in the world.” -Winter 2016

“The breakout group discussions and the videos by Dr. Luedke were beneficial in my learning throughout the course.” -Summer 2016

“Dr. Luedke does a good job breaking up the class with activities and discussions. I like that we’re not always doing the same thing and that there are different ways of learning the material besides just discussion.” – Fall 2016

“Dr. Luedke provided a detailed syllabus and rubrics, was always well-prepared for class, encouraged meaningful discussion and collaboration between students, and offered thoughtful and thorough feedback on the work I submitted.” – Spring 2017

“Dr. Luedke offers excellence not just in the classroom, but also lends authentic academic and career guidance as the program coordinator. She has provided me with an incredible graduate program education and experience. Not to my surprise, Dr. Luedke pushed me to go above and beyond my own exceptions as I prepared to complete the program and graduate this fall—granting me validation that I can be a scholar-practitioner, too. Acting as a research assistant for her this semester, Dr. Luedke equipped me with a sense of belonging in academia, as I had the opportunity to analyze and apply research questions to practice by critically reviewing qualitative case studies, identifying themes, making connections to theory, and preparing a literature review. In addition, I was able to deliver a mock “conference presentation” in the classroom related to my research findings. That entire process was empowering, and I am just getting started. This was all made possible with her instruction, guidance and mentorship. Dr. Luedke is the epitome of a leader in higher education.” -Fall 2018

“This class was wonderful, Dr. Luedke is a great facilitator and instructor. Her syllabus was extremely helpful and well thought out (maybe just don’t make it pink next time lol). It’s difficult to have a class regarding these tough topics but she handled with professionalism and passion.” -Spring 2019

“Dr. Courtney L. Luedke is a wonderful person, professor and faculty member here at Whitewater. My time in this program, the successes and everything would not be possible without her assistance and ability to bring out the best in me. I owe these two years to her for keeping me motivated and challenging me to overcome any and everything.” – Spring 2019

“Dr. Luedke does an excellent job of setting up a co-learning environment and making class a safe space to discuss difficult topics. She is thorough in explaining her expectations, reviewing and enhancing content from readings and multi-media, and providing feedback on all work as well as class contributions. She also did an exceptional job of transitioning the course fully online for the second half of the semester and made adjustments that made the workload doable.” – Spring 2020

“Dr. Luedke has been quick with the turnaround time for feedback. She consistently makes sure we are on the same page and makes everyone’s ideas and opinions fee valid. Dr. Luedke asks questions that help us dig deeper into our thoughts and provokes more meaningful conversations. I am thankful to have had her for the course.” -Spring 2020

“I haven’t had a ton of experience with other professors outside of the program, but I can’t imagine there are many program heads who are better at their job than Dr. Luedke” -Fall 2020

“I think this is the best class I’ve ever taken. The course is very well thought out and intentional. There should be an undergraduate course in similar means to start these conversations and thoughts at a younger age to create more agents of change.Or at least make others more aware to change the campus climate.” – Spring 2021

Excerpts from Dr. Luedke’s nomination for the McClellan Endowed Teacher of Distinction Award:

“Dr. Luedke is the epitome of an effective educator. Perhaps more than anything else, she emphasizes the importance of critical thinking and co-learning – the concept that not only will students learn from her, but that she learns from us, and that classmates should learn from each other as well. Dr. Luedke demonstrates the values of critical thinking and co-learning by encouraging students to challenge the status quo and engage content with an open-mind through reflection and critical discussions. She encourages this sort of thinking and dialoguing through both large and small group discussions and activities, carefully selecting literature to incorporate into her courses, taking classes on mini field trips around campus, and offering several different options for students to meet learning outcomes – for example, in the Diversity & Equity in Higher Education course, she allowed students to complete an action project, traditional research essay, personal journey experiment, or proposal for policy change. In general, the assignments she mandates vary in helping students build different skills. For example, I enjoy writing assignments; however, I had to leave my comfort zone to complete several oral presentations and incorporate the use of technology into a few projects. Dr. Luedke’s commitment to excellence, flexibility, intentionality, and respect for students’ various learning styles helps break down educational barriers in the classroom, which makes students feel safe and empowered.

In addition to making students feel comfortable and confident, Dr. Luedke regularly provides a healthy level of challenge. It is evident that she is knowledgeable in her field, and she holds students to high standards, all while doing the best she can to ensure that students meet these standards… Dr. Luedke does not shy away from difficult discussions, and I believe she does not waver in order to ultimately aide her students in becoming the best future scholars and practitioners of higher education that they can be. Another way that Dr. Luedke demonstrates her concern for the success of her students is the great detail of feedback she provides on assignments; the level of guidance she provides – whether this be through extensive comments on essays or in person-meetings – is a testament to the fact that she never misses an opportunity to help students learn and grow. Finally, it is rare that Dr. Luedke facilitates a class period without exposing her students to opportunities for academic and/or professional development outside of the classroom, whether this is a workshop being hosted on campus or potential employment opportunities. It is apparent that Dr. Luedke values students, holistically, and is constantly examining the role she plays in aiding in our success in the HELEAD program and beyond.”


“An aspect I really came to appreciate in Dr. Luedke’s classes was that we as a class could have difficult conversations regarding race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc. During my undergraduate years, I never took a course where the professor pushed their students to think critically about these identities and to discuss oppression, power structures, and intersectionality. As most of us in the Professional Development program will be future student affairs professionals, Dr. Luedke has been very adamant about us being aware of individuals’ salient and non-salient identities, as well as privileged and marginalized identities, as by being aware, we can utilize the necessary tools to best serve our future students as Dr. Luedke has done with us.”


“Dr. Luedke’s teaching style is innovative and focused on learning through immersion. This is one of the aspects that distinguishes her from other professors that I have had in my undergraduate and graduate careers. One of my favorite immersion activities she developed was in HELEAD 700: Introduction to Higher Education when she had us create a job search account on We researched job requirements for positions we would be interested in and had to list things we could do in graduate school to prepare for the job market. As someone already working in higher education, I thought this activity was brilliant. Most of my peers had not thought to look up job descriptions before so this activity was their first exposure to really learning about employer expectations and how early they need to apply to positions in higher education. In the same course, students learn about higher education institution types. Fortunately, the learning did not stop with an online search about tribal or women’s colleges. Instead, conducted site visits at different institution types in small groups including visiting a two-year college, women’s college, tribal college, and predominantly black institution. Dr. Luedke had us incorporate technology into our final presentations which meant students were intentional about looking beyond official messaging and marketing to take in how the campus looks and feels. We were able to teach each other about the institutions using images and videos of student success centers, cultural artifact libraries, and interviews with higher education professionals.”

Photo credit: Dr. Mia-Ching Liu