Major: Criminal Justice
Minor: Political Science
Current Residence: South Bend
I have been employed since 2009 as an Indiana Conservation Officer. I also have responsibilities as a River Rescue Instructor, Honor Guard Member, Media Spokesperson/Recruiter, and many more.
Indiana Conservation Officers enforce all laws of the State of Indiana and federal wildlife laws. We serve the public and protect Indiana’s natural heritage for future generations.
I patrol by boat, ATV, snowmobile, jet-ski, and 4x4 trucks to reach all areas of the state. Our motto is “Our patrol begins where the blacktop ends.”
In my time as a conservation officer, I have received the District One Officer of the Year Award and have taught numerous outdoor education classes.
Not only have I graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, but I have successfully completed the 16-week long ICO recruit school in which typically 50% drop out. I am a river rescue instructor and have been requested to respond to natural disasters across the county. I sincerely love my job and wouldn’t do anything else at this point in my life. I credit, in part, my success to my education I received at Saint Joseph College.
Why did you choose SJC?
I chose Saint Joseph’s College for many reasons. When choosing a college to attend, I did my research. SJC has a great reputation and is well respected across the country. The Core Curriculum was important to me as well and has proved to give me an advantage over other college programs.
Another great thing about SJC was the opportunities I was provided to be involved. I was recruited by Prof. Robb Thiel to participate in the College Band. Prof. Thiel, along with other professors, made me feel welcome on campus. Lastly was the small size of SJC. I was a person with a name, not a number.
As a student, what was your experience like at SJC?
As a student, I was happy to be involved on campus and SJC offered plenty of opportunities. I was president of the Criminal Justice Club, vice president of the College
Republicans, a member of the Student Association, Band, student security, and the list goes on. There was never any shortage of extracurricular activities. The small size of SJC helped to create some lasting friendships that I am still thankful for.
What experiences did you appreciate most in the department of your major?
While I was a student at SJC, I could appreciate many things that the Criminal Justice Department provided. One experience that stands out is the internship with the Indiana Conservation Officers. The internship made me even more confident in my career choice. It also strengthened my resume and helped me to obtain my current career in one of the most sought- after law enforcement positions in the country.
How were the faculty members in your department helpful?
All of the faculty members in my department were always willing to help. I remember Sr. Pat, my faculty advisor, was always checking up on me and encouraging me to pursue my goals. Prof. Greene was my law professor, and like most professors at SJC, knew me by name.
Dr. Greene was critical in developing the knowledge I use today to be successful in court. Prof. Hartley was instrumental in setting up the internship that opened the door for me to go straight from college into a career that I knew I would enjoy. I still speak with Dr. Hartley today on a regular basis.
How did the Core Program integrate with your major?
The Core Curriculum afforded me the opportunity to get started right away with my major. Core not only integrated well with my major, but also integrated into many aspects of my life. It helped me shape my perspective on life. Core gave me the skills needed to make educated decisions after analyzing all sides to an issue.
These skills are not only important to my career and major. They are an important skill to master for all segments of life.
What advice would you give to a prospective student?
The advice I would give to a prospective student majoring in Criminal Justice is to take advantage of all of the opportunities available. Take a variety of classes—like Forensic Science. Become a member of the Criminal Justice Club.
Definitely explore your career with an internship or field experience program. Get to know your professors and communicate your goals to them. Saint Joseph College offers so much more in the field of Criminal Justice, and it is up to you to get involved.
I am proud to be a Puma, and I have no regrets that I attended Saint Joseph College.
Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.
Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.
The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.
You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.
Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.