Are you an alumni? Want to share your story with other criminal justice students? Email sandy.mckeown@usd.edu.

Jackson DienertOn Oct. 16, 2015, USD alum Jackson Dienert graduated from the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy. He graduated with the top overall officer award based on his success in physical fitness, academics and firearms. He began work at the Pinal County Sheriff’s office shortly after graduation.

Jackson tells us, “Obviously USD’s Criminal Justice program is doing something right for me to be lucky enough to finish first in the class for the State of Arizona’s Law Enforcement Academy.”

Congratulations and good luck Jackson.


Sami Zoss"College is a difficult yet rewarding transition to independence."

Sami Zoss - Beresford, SD
Major: Criminal Justice
2016

I chose USD because it has the best criminal justice program and faculty in the region.

My favorite class was Justice and Compassion with Prof. Roche. It was the most inspiring class I have taken on campus, constantly renewing my decision of dedicating my life to this field of study. I can't even put into words the life lessons I'll hold dear to my heart because of Prof. Roche and the nine other students who took it with me.

In addition to my studies, I did internships at the South Dakota State Penitentiary, and No Labels --a bi-partisan political lobbying group. I was also involved in the Student Government Association (SGA). SGA definitely helped me learn the ropes quicker and helped me understand what goes on behind the scenes and why things are the way they are. 

Don't underestimate USD. The size adds many more opportunities that will look much more impressive on a resume than going to a bigger school. My advice to students is to remember to take what you can out of every experience - from the mundane to extraordinary. Your experience can be whatever you want it to be here. There are limitless opportunities to get involved during your time at USD.


"Every professor I have had at USD cares about the students and to me, that is something pretty rare anymore."

Austin Printz - Wright, WY
Major: Criminal Justice
2013

I chose USD because of their excellent criminal justice program. Mock trials with Professor McKeown made a huge impact on my college experience. Not only did I learn litigation skills from her, but I had fun acting as different roles, be it police officer, witness, or attorney.

The professors are my favorite part about USD. Every professor I have had at USD cares about the students and to me that is something pretty rare anymore. Professor Schorn has had the most impact on me. He got me interested in international relations and encourages students to try new adventures.


Noah Umscheid"Go to class, take notes, find an internship in your field and make the most of it."

Noah Umscheid - Mitchell, SD
Major: Criminal Justice
2012

I have always wanted to be in law enforcement and I chose USD because it has the best criminal justice program in the state.

My favorite part about USD has to be the smaller class sizes which allowed me to get the help and guidance I needed to excel in my major. Having knowledgeable professors in the criminal justice program helped me focus on additional classes to take to further my understanding of the criminal justice system.

In addition to my studies, I was able to complete an internship with the United States Marshals Service.