Spotlight on Criminal Justice Grads

In recognition of Union Institute & University’s recent commencement ceremony in Sacramento, we asked three new graduates of the Criminal Justice Management program “How has your Union Institute & University experience changed your life?”

Learn more about Union Institute & University’s criminal justice management program.

During my law enforcement career, it was always a personal goal to complete my college degree. In November 2011, I submitted an interest card to Union Institute & University’s Sacramento Academic Center. Shortly after, I was contacted by Sandra Lee, director of admissions at the center. After about a two hour conversation, I enrolled in the Criminal Justice Management program.

After just two weeks into my first course at Union Institute & University, I was extremely inspired and motivated to complete my degree. In March 2013, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. Not only did Union Institute & University assist me in reaching my educational goal, but it also assisted me in obtaining the rank of Police Lieutenant. My experience at Union Institute & University has continued to motivate me, as I am currently working on obtaining my master’s degree.

Lt. Frederick H. Bobbitt, Jr. started his law enforcement career in 1985 as a police explorer with the Fremont Police Department. In 1987, he was appointed to reserve police officer and in 1990 he attended Ohlone Community College while serving as a detention technician for Fremont’s city jail. He was appointed to Fremont police officer in 1997 and later advanced to detective, investigating robberies and homicides for eight years. In 2008, he was promoted to police sergeant and assigned to the Patrol Division. Two years later he became a detective sergeant, supervising investigators in Fremont’s Investigative Division.

Lt. Bobbitt is the recipient of Union Institute & University’s Mark Dunakin Award for his extraordinary achievement throughout his undergraduate program. While deeply committed to his studies and earning a 4.0 GPA, he was promoted to lieutenant at Fremont Police Department. Lt. Bobbitt is an excellent student and well-respected in his career. He will be recognized at the 2013 commencement in Sacramento for his outstanding accomplishments.

As a 27-year veteran in law enforcement I realized deep into my career the importance of a college degree. I was determined to earn my bachelor’s, and in 2011 I enrolled in Union Institute and University’s Criminal Justice Management program. In December 2012 I was seriously injured in the line of duty. Even while in the hospital with multiple leg fractures, I continued my academic studies. I was really determined; nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goal of a bachelor’s degree. The hard work paid off and in March I completed the Criminal Justice Management program. I am so proud to be a Union Institute and University alum. When I first enrolled at Union it was with an admittedly narrow focus of obtaining my degree for the purpose of testing for lieutenant. Since being injured I am even more thankful than ever to have my degree because it opens so many possibilities should I not be able to return to full duty.

Right after graduation from high school Sgt. Tony Silva attended Modesto Junior College, but chose to work full-time instead. After working as a grocery clerk and industrial electrician he graduated from Modesto Junior College Police Academy in 1987 and served as a deputy sheriff for San Joaquin County from 1987 to 1989. He joined the Turlock police department and was later selected as a field training officer and SWAT operator. In 2007 he returned to Modesto Junior College and was promoted to sergeant in 2008. Silva earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute & University in 2013. He was selected by the faculty to receive the Mark Dunakin Award in recognition of his deep commitment to law enforcement and his perseverance in the face of adversity.

I was a busy single parent, balancing my career with raising my son during his high school years. (I am proud to say that he now serves in the US Army, as I once did.) When I felt comfortable that my son was on a stable career path, I finally had the opportunity to focus on my lifelong dream of continuing my education. At the age of 48, I decided that I wanted to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management through Union’s Sacramento academic center.

Last year was finally the right time to do it! I had heard great things from many Union Institute & University graduates and was convinced to move forward. I opted for the criminal justice management on-ground site in Placer County because I could study among my peers in the county where I am employed.

As a working person, Union Institute & University met my educational needs and schedule in a convenient location. The educational focus on criminal justice management matched up with my personal focus and I was able to infuse my “real life experience” to meet many of the educational requirements. Most importantly, Union Institute & University was an accredited university.

Earning my bachelor’s degree is the achievement of a lifelong dream. It has made me a stronger positive role model for my son and those I work with. I have been able to apply the things I learned in my classes directly to my job. I am confident that my bachelor’s degree will open doors for future opportunities for me.

John Weaver has been a lieutenant with the Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Office since 1992. He has 22 years of experience serving in numerous military assignments, as part of the US Army and as a reservist with the Air National Guard, in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later transitioned his military skills into a career in law enforcement, working in corrections, patrol, community service officer, search and rescue, dive team, and special enforcement. When he is not working, Lt. Weaver enjoys riding his motorcycle and reading R.A. Salvatore.