Prairie Stars on The Move: Luke D’Elia


“Your past doesn’t limit you to where you are now, you have to work for a better future.” That is what Luke D’Elia said. That is the creed by which D’Elia seems to live his life.

D’Elia did not begin his academic career at UIS. He started at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He was not studying political science at the time. Rather, he was studying international business. But as he said in the above quote, the past does not limit one to their current position, and it did not for him. He came to UIS, and as the university does not have an international business program, he enrolled in the global studies program. While pursuing this, he also began taking political philosophy classes and discovered a passion for the material, which led him to include a second major in political science. He graduated with degrees in political science and global studies in 2018 and is currently enrolled in the political science master’s program at UIS. He is also a graduate assistant for the Office of International Student Services. He is currently considering whether the pursuit of a doctorate in French philosophy after finishing the master’s program.

But that is only the work that D’Elia has done to better his own future. Ever since coming to UIS, he has also worked tirelessly to better the futures of others. He is currently the vice president for the International Student Association, an organization for which he previously served as public relations spokesperson. He is currently the vice president and one of the founding members of the Hostility Elimination Liaison Program (HELP), an organization dedicated to combating discrimination and protecting minorities.

He also serves on the Green Fee Committee, which helps develop projects to make UIS more environmentally friendly and sustainable. On top of everything, he serves as a senator-at-large with the Student Government Association, where he has advocated for the student body through such various measures, including seeking to change the rules banning student organizations from bringing outside food to events held at the Student Union. “If you want to change the world, you have to start with yourself.”