February 20, 2023

‘Why not now?’: Returning student completes undergraduate degree, pursues master’s

Julien Godman

For Julién Godman, the pandemic — coupled with Wayne State University’s Warrior Way Back program — provided an opportunity to reassess his educational journey. 

“I had the time, and it was possible, so I thought, ‘why not now?’” he said. 

Godman started at Wayne State in 2007. He completed two semesters before transferring to another institution for a year. He transferred back but stopped out after his financial aid fell through and the resulting institutional debt prevented him from re-enrolling. Through the Warrior Way Back program, Godman returned in 2020 to complete his undergraduate degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a dual concentration in linguistics and African American studies in May 2022. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in linguistics

“My Wayne State experience has been long, and at times, unclear,” he said. “I had sort of dismissed the idea of going back — I was doing okay, and there was this debt blocking me. But since I’ve come back, though, it’s become more clear.” 

Godman has spent the last decade working in organizations within the Detroit nonprofit sector focused on arts and culture. He plans to continue growing his career with his additional credentials. 

He said the experience as a returning student was smoother for a variety of reasons, including a better advising experience with direct support and the accessibility provided by online courses. While he had not initially planned on pursuing a master’s degree, Godman was accepted into the university’s AGRADE program and is now on track to complete a second degree in 2024. His research interests focus on digital communications, specifically the use of emojis. 

“Between the scholarship and the running start on classes, a master’s suddenly felt very feasible,” he said. “I had a break in both time and money.” 


To learn more about Wayne State’s Warrior Way Back program, visit wayne.edu/warriorwayback 

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