1. What college or university did you attend after SAAS (or what did you pursue instead?) What did you major in? Did you get other degrees?
After graduating from SAAS I attended the University of Denver, minoring in Judaic Studies and majoring in History. I moved to Chicago about a year and a half into college to get married. I started school again in Chicago, then later got divorced and wound up moving to Arizona to be near my family.
2. What unique experiences have you had since leaving SAAS? Trips, internships, jobs, etc.
Professionally, I travel for different trainings and conferences all over the country which has been really interesting. I attended a week long intelligence training at FBI Headquarters, and spent three weeks with the Department of Homeland Security learning analysis and terrorism prevention, threat and risk analysis, international money laundering and asset forfeiture, among other things.
Personally, one of the best trips I have taken was a solo trip to Hawaii. It was the first time I traveled by myself and it was a great learning experience. I’ve also moved to Denver, Chicago then Phoenix, each time knowing only a person or two; I’ve built and rebuilt my life a few times over already. In 2013 I bought my first house in Phoenix, all on my own at 27. It was scary, exciting and intimidating all at the same time, but I am so glad I did it.
3. What are your favorite memories from SAAS? What programs, teams, extracurriculars were you involved in while at SAAS? Who were your most influential teachers at SAAS?
I have so many good memories from SAAS: Speech and Debate, Mock Trial, Vocal Ensemble and Theatre… The most influential teachers at SAAS have to be Joel Underwood, Tom Hajduk and Mark Hoover.
Joel and Haj were not only great teachers who gave interesting lessons in the classrooms, but they spent many a lunch hour trying to instill life lessons into my stubborn head. They both helped me with my self-confidence and feelings of self-worth, as well as learning what good, healthy relationships were. While I did not heed their advice at the time, the conversations I had with them were invaluable later in my life. Another fun memory with those two was when we were at State for Speech. I, very gracefully, fell down a flight of stairs and Haj had to carry me and take me to the hospital for a sprained knee.
4. Where are you now and what do you do? Where do you see yourself in 10 years? How did SAAS help prepare you for your job today?
I am a Criminal Intelligence Analyst with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (state police), Criminal Investigations Division. I am part of the Vehicle Theft Task Force, but I also work with the Narcotics, Vehicular Crimes and Fugitive Apprehension units on occasion. I have worked on some high profile cases, including one that made national news last September; my research and analysis on that case directly led to the arrest/detention of the subject.
I am the only female and the only civilian in my unit, which can be a challenge all in its own! I do research for the detectives and help them build their cases, as well as go out on search warrants and surveillance with the guys. I absolutely love my job. I’m very thankful that the entry level job I stumbled into for a steady paycheck and insurance, led me to being the only employee to be promoted 3 times within their first 2 years, to a career that I love more than I could have imagined. SAAS helped prepare me for my job in a lot of ways; I use a lot of what I learned in Speech and Debate on a regular basis when I give intelligence briefings. Speaking in front of a room full of cops, who really do not listen very well, would be a lot more difficult if I didn’t have the experience from Speech!
In 10 years, who knows…I have a plan in my head but seeing as how the past 10 years has not gone according to plan AT ALL I find it best now to just wait and see what life brings me.