Rachael L. VanDeusen
Rachael L. VanDeusen (Farrar) is a member of Marist's online MPA Class of 2008. She received a BS from Marist College in Criminal Justice in 1990 and is currently a New York State Police Lieutenant
Tell us about your work history before Marist, including years of experience, industry, companies, and positions.
After receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Marist, I was accepted in the New York State Police Academy. My degree was a huge benefit during my Academy time as many of the courses I was required to complete were very similar to what I had learned at Marist. After completing 9 years as a patrol Trooper, I was promoted to Sergeant. One of my lifelong goals was to attain my Master’s Degree. Shortly after becoming a Sergeant, I received a notification that Marist College was conducting a cohort class for their Master’s in Public Administration at our New York State Police Academy in Albany. It was a perfect solution for me as I worked close to the Academy and Marist College was my alma mater. I loved my time at Marist as an undergraduate student and wanted the prestige that went with a Marist College graduate degree.
What are your career goals?
I am toward the end of my career, but with the help of my education(s) through Marist, I have attained all of my career goals. My goal was to always obtain my Master’s Degree and attain the rank of Lieutenant in the New York State Police.
Why did you choose to pursue your degree at Marist?
Originally, as an undergraduate, I chose Marist due to its smaller size (both class and overall), its prominent name in education and the closeness of it to my parent’s residence. When I first visited the college, I loved the location and the “feel” of the campus. It was a tight-knit community that I could see myself feeling comfortable at and learning a great deal. For my Master’s Degree, I already knew Marist had a great reputation as well as the cost was a huge benefit to a working mother with a family.
Tell us about a project or course that was particularly meaningful to your professional development.
I have to say that most of the courses during my Master’s Degree education were enlightening and meaningful, but there is one course that comes to mind that I found particularly meaningful. The Non-Profit Organization course really made me realize how different business/organizations both public and private can be. In my class, we had a wide variety of students from all sectors of business. It was fascinating to hear how different the politics were in a non-public/state agency. Learning about non-profit organizations and the struggles and red-tape they have to go through really opened my eyes. The rules and regulations around how they work and hearing stories from peers in my class were a huge help in understanding how the “outside” world works. Working in a state agency things tend to be very stringent with rules, hiring and regulations.
How has a degree from Marist and your course work enhanced your career?
Originally, Marist steered me in the direction of law enforcement. I have accomplished so much in my career and it really started with Marist. As for my Master’s Degree, in my current profession, there was not really any monetary or promotional advantages I have received. The degree was a personal goal that I plan on using as a resume builder and future experience point for my next job (whatever that may be after I retire from my current job). I plan on retiring within the next two years and will be able to use much of the information I attained during my coursework.
What advice would you give to a student considering pursuing their master’s degree at Marist?
Many people feel that after you graduate with your Bachelor’s Degree or really any degree that if you don’t stay in school, you will never go back. I am living proof that is not true. I waited seventeen years before I returned for my graduate degree. Sometimes life gets in the way and you start a career and family and before you know it, you think that it’s the end of your educational life. That does not have to be the case. I held a full-time, stressful job, two young children, a husband, a house to keep and I still found time to further my education. Through the entire process, Marist College and their excellent professors were there to support me. When you get at the point of a graduate degree, instructors know you have a life and family so the learning process changes and becomes more real-time with life and what’s going on in the real world.
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Alumni
Major: MPA - Public Administration
Academic School: Management