Major: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Bethany, Missouri
Rick Dierenfeldt was working full-time as a police officer. He recognized the best way to a promotion was getting a degree, so he enrolled at Missouri Western to study Criminal Justice.
What Rick discovered was that he loved learning. Dr. Greg Lindsteadt, associate professor of Criminal Justice, encouraged Rick not to stop at an associate degree. Rick took Dr. Lindsteadt’s advice and continued his research and education.
In 2016, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and in the fall began his career as an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University Wilkes-Barre.
“I will always miss police work, because of the opportunities to make meaningful, positive changes in people’s lives,” he said. “But now as a researcher and a teacher, I can have an effect not just in a particular jurisdiction, but regionally and nationally.”