Department of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies & Social Work

Alumni Profiles

I graduated with degrees in Legal Assistance and Criminal Justice, which laid an excellent foundation for me to obtain employment as a paralegal and to continue my education in law school. Having both degrees and work experience with the law gave me a definite advantage in law school and in my career.”

Diane Hook, Class of 1990

The education I received at Missouri Western went beyond the classroom. As a young adult, I was exposed to new perspectives on issues and society, and was presented with other viewpoints to consider. “The outdoor classroom at Yellowstone National Park is my ‘golden’ memory. What a great experience; I still have the diary of my trip.”

Sergeant Sheldon A. Lyon, Class of 1984
Missouri State Highway Patrol Public Information and Education Division, Troop H

In one of my Social Work classes a partner and I had to start a program and take it to a group of students in the community and implement it. That experience helped me tremendously. I recently started a mentoring program, and having that experience at MWSU was the foundation I needed on how to begin a program.”

LaVell Rucker, ’03, MSW
School Social Worker

The class sizes at Missouri Western are small enough to promote a closeness and collaboration with peers but large enough to provide diversity and an opportunity to learn from a variety of perspectives. My experience at Missouri Western presented me with challenges to conquer which allowed me to walk across the stage at graduation feeling like I was truly ready to change the world.”

Lisa Seiberling, BSW, ’04
Social Worker

The Social Work program at Missouri Western was an excellent preparation for both my career and for graduate school. The professors and curriculum were challenging, and the professors were exceptionally helpful and supportive.”

Blue Cochran, ’04
Graduate Student, University of Kansas

Missouri Western prepared me very well for law school and for a career in the legal profession. The professors, being lawyers themselves, gave me a real world view of what law school and the practice of law would be like. I would recommend Missouri Western to anyone!"

Melinda A. Troeger, Class of 2001
Attorney at Law

"After spending over a year in a general practice law firm handling a great deal of family law and traffic matters for a single attorney, I have now joined a firm closer to home. This two-attorney firm mainly specializes in personal injury, although one partner does estate planning, too. As I am their sole employee, they needed a competent individual whom they could trust to do anything. Without my emphasis in Legal Studies from MWSU's CJ/LS Department, I'd be so lost!"

Lyn Rossi, Class of 2006
Mook & Mook, P.C.

“My education at Missouri Western helped me develop skills that I use in the workplace every day. I completed an internship with my present employer, and that helped me secure this job.”

Chad Higdon, Class of 2002
Field Representative
Congressman Sam Graves

“The professors were very experienced in their fields. The Criminal Justice Department professors always went above and beyond with their dedication and assistance. I don’t think I could have found a better college education or experience anywhere else.”

Derek Conard, Class of 1982
Chief Deputy Juvenile Officer
Fifth Judicial Circuit Juvenile Division, State of Missouri

"Over the years, I have come to appreciate the focus of Missouri Western instructors on student needs. Also, the professors were all very connected to the community and to local criminal justice agencies, and that was a great benefit to all of us. Now, as the administrator of one of those local criminal justice agencies, I still see that connection 25 years later."

Laura Hibbs, Class of 1979
District Administrator Missouri Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole

“The teachers took an interest in my education by encouraging me to work harder, and not accepting any work except my best. I was so prepared for the Social Work field that I ‘hit the ground running’ in my career. The Social Work program not only gave me an education, but enabled me to become more confident, mature, and self-sufficient.”

Melody Grier, ’04
Service Coordinator for Division of Youth Services


Melinda Troeger, MWSU Class of 2001

Diane Hook, MWSU Class of 1990

Emily Benitz, MWSU Class of 2005 and Kansas State University School of Law Class of 2010

Jennifer McKinley, MWSU Class of 2005 and University of Dayton School of Law Class of 2010

David McDonald, MWSU Class of 2006 and Washburn University School of Law Class of 2010

Brenda Rose, MWSU Class of 2008 and University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law Class of 2012

Angela Tatro, MWSU Class of 2008 and Washburn University School of Law Class of 2011