Sitting in Terminal C at New York’s LaGuardia Airport six months ago, I opened an email from a policy institute where I had applied for a fellowship. For months leading up to the day I submitted my application, friends who were already fellows in the program told me there was no question I would be accepted. Combining my military and work experience, I, too, felt as though I were a great fit.
When I transitioned from the Air Force to community college in 2005, I didn’t know the difference academically between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. I thought of Michigan State as a basketball school and Michigan as a football school, but that’s about it.