Michael S. Vasicek, Ed.D. | Criminal Justice
"Leaving high school in Midland, Michigan back in 1974, as with many young students, I was unsure and apprehensive as to what I would do with my life. My high school counselors were not very helpful, did not ask questions or offer support to assist students with possible career choices. I attended a community college and started taking law enforcement courses, which quickly gained my interest, yet I was still hesitant about my future. After obtaining an associate’s degree at the community college, I knew I was not yet ready to enter the workforce. Taking it upon myself to investigate 4-year universities, my choice became very clear that Ferris State College was the place to go if a person wanted to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
That choice was the best decision I had made in my young life. The education I achieved at Ferris was exceptional and in addition to my degree, which at the time was rare in law enforcement, students became certified law enforcement officers. That was a huge selling point for the program and made students much more marketable. Doctors Parsons, Lawson and Nerbonne gave us the education and tools to go into the world and be successful.
Many friends that I made during my time at Ferris remain friends to this day. In 1978, most graduating students wanted to leave Ferris and start their careers with the idea that they would become good police officers and be happy with that. But over the years, most of my colleagues have moved up and into leadership roles, some becoming Police Chiefs, some Sheriffs and Post Commanders among other important and prominent positions. I was blessed to retire as the Undersheriff of Midland County, where I spent 32 good years at the Sheriff’s Office. Who would have thought?
I returned to school during my law enforcement career, completing my doctorate in 2007, all the time, continuing to work and raise my family; not an easy task for anyone, yet one that I often hear about from my present day colleagues.
That is where my testimonial leads…right back to Ferris State University, the place where it started and provided me the opportunity to be successful. After retirement from the Midland County Sheriff’s Office in 2009, I was fortunate to meet Dr. Steve Reifert and Dr. Greg Vanderkooi, and go through the interview process for a teaching position in the School of Criminal Justice at Ferris. I obtained the position and am blessed. I do not come to work; I come and enjoy each and every day that I spend at Ferris. My colleagues are brilliant and the students are filled with anticipation to learn.
Therefore, giving back to the university that gave me so much is not a difficult decision. I know that there are hundreds of stories similar to mine. We, as faculty and support staff, are now in a position in our lives to give back and I hope that you strongly consider giving to the university that provides young people with opportunity for a successful future, Ferris State University."