Graduating Class: 2016
Major: Human Services-Justice Studies
Hometown: Sheridan, WY
Current Town: Newcastle, WY
Profession: Caseworker, Wyoming DOC
What is your current professional role?
I am working as a Caseworker for the Wyoming Department of Corrections at the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp. I work with minimum security male inmates and on a daily basis I meet with them to ensure they are following their set case plan. Their case plans are made up of measurable goals specific to each individual inmate. On a daily basis I also conduct classification reviews, help with security aspects such as scheduled counts, I update and maintain our substance abuse treatment list, and help the inmates with any issues/challenges they may be facing. On any given day I can have anywhere of 15-20 inmates in my office throughout the day. As a caseworker I am responsible for teaching programming to the inmates. This programming ranges from parenting to cognitive behavior to substance abuse. I am also responsible for preparing and presenting in front of the Wyoming Parole Board and then once inmates are granted parole, helping them with their reentry plans. This can be anywhere from getting them placed at a halfway house to helping them locate a rental and/or a family member to which they would like to live with. Included in reentry planning is finding employment for them as well as meeting their treatment needs.
How did the BHSU Human Services program help to prepare you for your career?
HMS helped me prepare for my position by opening my mind up to the fact that just because people screw up and end up in prison, doesn’t mean they are the scum of the Earth. It helped me understand the different pathways that lead people to crime and that there are so many different reasons people act out. HMS also helped me know that through programming I can help be the difference the inmates need to make life changes.
What is one piece of advice you would give current undergraduates?
My biggest piece of advice is don’t just float by. Dig into the reading material assigned. Open up your mind to all the information, even if it seems like too much to handle. And time management. Figure out what works for you and do it. The time management I learned throughout my college years has helped me excel in my position and I get praised from my supervisors for the time management skills I brought with me to this position.
When prospective students are considering their college plans, what do you think makes BHSU stand out among other possible options?
The best thing about BHSU is its location. There is nothing better than finishing your assignments and getting to go out and enjoy the beautiful black hills. And not to mention the staff, without the awesome BHSU staff, I would have never made it to see my diploma, and then be able to score such an amazing professional position.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Make sure to have fun while you achieve your goals!