Student Spotlight – Shaka Dukes, MSED in Sport Administration
A senior profile of Shaka Dukes on the Michigan State Spartan’s website from 2012 describes the talented track and cross country runner’s speed, endurance, and adaptability. Those characteristics have continued to serve him well in the ensuing years after graduation.
After earning B.S. degrees in food industry management, Shaka and his twin brother, Menachem, also an athlete, both worked as dieticians for the Department of Education in New York City. In 2017, the brothers launched a fitness and nutrition company called Zulu Fitness.
“Having such an athletic background and being adamant about my health, I decided to take it seriously,” he says of building their fitness and health brand. The first step: going back to school. The Dukes brothers enrolled in the University of Miami’s online MSED in Sport Administration program last year.
“We felt if we were going to run a global athletic company we needed to develop more knowledge about the industry.”
In the short time Shaka has been in the master’s program, his hopes are already being fulfilled. “The classes have been awesome. All the professors are great. Sports law has been especially helpful with trademark issues we were having with my company. I have been taking everything and applying it to our business.”
Shaka, who was born in Detroit, raised in Northern California, and moved around a lot growing up, has had no problems getting to know his fellow students. “I was able to build a great rapport immediately by attending the on-campus orientation. I have met a lot of people in the program and been able to build relationships within a short time.” He adds that group projects have helped foster friendships with his classmates and enhanced the overall course experience. “Everyone has something unique that they contribute.”
He would recommend the program to other working professionals because of the flexibility of the online format. “I travel throughout the country to do training camps. It allows us to continue to build our own company and be able to pursue higher education. We can stay mobile and still have the same experience as an on-campus student.”
The MSED in Sport Administration—combined with the talent, stamina, and adaptability that Shaka exhibited as an undergraduate—will undoubtedly help him reach his lofty goals.
“I see my company building a strong presence in the United States and within ten years we will make ourselves become known internationally.”