Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
School of Criminal Justice
Mark Luftig had always dreamed of becoming a writer. But when he enrolled in Kaplan University, he had no idea he would leave as a published one.
A criminal justice student, Mark always had a strong interest in science fiction. Several years ago, he began writing his first sci-fi novel. It seemed a daunting task. He had all these great ideas, but how could he get from A (ideas) to Z (finished book)? The answer was hard work, creativity, and more than a few late nights. Mark plugged away at his computer, developing characters, creating plot twists, and finishing chapter after chapter. Finally, nearly 2 years ago, he completed his first draft.
But as any writer knows, there is a long path between a first draft and a published novel. Mark says he felt overwhelmed, not really sure where to turn next.
Throughout his time at Kaplan University, Mark had forged strong relationships with his professors, whom, he says, had a huge impact upon his progress as a student: “From day one, almost every professor was great both inside and outside of class. I maintained contact with several professors after completing their courses and even became friends with some of them.”
So that is where he turned—to fellow science enthusiast Dr. Eugene de Silva. Dr. de Silva was Mark’s SC 300: Big Ideas in Science professor the previous year, and they had maintained contact after the course ended. He says Dr. de Silva had become one of his favorite professors “due to his willingness to talk to students outside of class about their ideas, experiences, and even problems.”
So he took the plunge and asked Dr. de Silva if he’d be willing to review Mark’s manuscript—to point out errors and help him improve it. Never in a million years did Mark imagine that Dr. de Silva would help him to take it all the way to publication.
But that is exactly what Dr. de Silva did. “He loved the book,” says Mark. “And after advising on revisions, he helped me publish the book through his nonprofit organization, the Virginia Research Institute. As I approached my graduation in May 2012, with a 3.97 cumulative GPA, my book was finally and officially published!”
The book is titled Into the Glare of the Shadow and is available in Amazon.com’s Kindle section. He credits Dr. de Silva with giving him both the moral and practical support needed on his novel writing quest—and says the moral support is what made the biggest difference in his life as a whole.
Since graduating, Mark continues writing novels, encouraged by the inspiration of a professor who helped him fulfill a dream.
“Mark's book Into the Glare of the Shadow will bring a new generation of fans that will surpass the Twilight series! His style of writing takes the reader through a series of fast pace actions in outer space. Mark has delivered a meticulously planned fictional story with all probable technological developments. Once you begin to read the story, you don't want to put the book down until the end. I can foresee this book, being the first of a series, becoming a TV series or a movie.”
—Dr. Eugene de Silva, School of General EducationRead more about Professor Eugene de Silva.
This testimonial was solicited by Kaplan University. Views and opinions stated herein are the individual’s and not necessarily those of Kaplan University. Individual student experiences may vary. Kaplan University's programs are designed to prepare graduates to pursue employment in their field of study, or in related fields. However, the University does not guarantee that graduates will be placed in any particular job, eligible for job advancement opportunities, or employed at all. Additional training or certification may be required.