Cooper Maher, AS '16, BS '17, MS '19
Jail Operations Specialist, Davis County Sheriff's Office
"Weber State University’s Master of Criminal Justice faculty offer a range of engaging courses that address real-world issues faced by contemporary criminal justice professionals, such as terrorism, criminal justice policy analysis, and contemporary policing, and in doing so offer unparalleled insight into a range of subjects based on their both their prior experience as law enforcement and corrections officers and legal professionals, as well as professional academic researchers. Furthermore, Weber State University’s Master of Criminal Justice program’s low student-to-faculty ratio allows for unique hands-on mentorship and career development opportunities through student partnership with faculty, which encourage students to participate in academic research and conferences, receive academic funding, and to prepare for careers in various criminal justice industries or future academic progression. Pursuing my master’s degree at Weber State University has prepared me for both my current career serving as a county-level corrections employee, and has put me on a path to future success in pursuing further graduate-level education in the field of criminal justice."
Marc Miller, BS ’06, MS ’10
Corrections Deputy, Weber County Sherriff’s Office, specializing in inmate programming and in-house gang investigation.
“The more educated our law enforcement and corrections officers become, the better they can do their jobs, especially in regard to connecting with individuals on a level that will allow them to initiate change in people’s lives.” In the early 2000s, Marc Miller, serving as a missionary in El Salvador, witnessed a fair amount of criminal activity — individuals crossing the border to deal drugs, for example. “That is what really pushed me to study criminal justice.”
While earning his bachelor’s degree, Marc received a broad overview of the criminal justice system. For someone who wanted to initiate change in people’s lives, it was a stepping-stone. “I had all of these ideas. The master’s degree helps you point them in a direction that will allow you to become more of a change agent for the system.”
Today, Marc is responsible for inmate programming, helping people get their lives back on track.
Marc also works, collaterally, as the in-house gang investigator, a step toward his ultimate career goal: working counterintelligence against gangs. He knows his master’s degree will help him get there. “From managing money to people and divisions, the master’s degree program taught me how to see the overall goal of an organization. That’s what helps you move up.”
Sandra Ladd Grogan, BS ’02, MS ’04
Supervisor, Weber Metro Crime Scene Investigation Unit.
“The professors know what they are talking about; they don’t just teach theories from a book. For example, when learning how to budget, we had a professor who had created and directed budgets in the real world, from the field.”
In 2003, Sandra Ladd took a chance. With the encouragement of a former professor, WSU’s 2002 Outstanding Criminal Justice Student moved back to Utah from California and enrolled in the new Master of Criminal Justice program at Weber State University.
Upon graduation, she earned a part-time job with the Weber Metro Crime Scene Investigation Unit — exactly the field she wanted to be in — which led to a full-time job, which led to her taking yet another chance in 2009: applying to be the unit’s supervisor.
Looking back, the since-married Sandra Ladd Grogan is glad she took both chances.
“I know specifically from the interview board and my superiors that my dedication to education was one of the factors they looked at when making their decision. I now supervise the best crime scene investigators in Utah. I would never have been offered this position had I not come back to Weber State for the Master of Criminal Justice program.”