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IU Northwest News

Celebrating the Class of 2015: Sean Liesenfelt


Bound for a career in law enforcement, student says college opened his eyes to opportunities

Monday Apr 13, 2015


Sean Liesenfelt, 21, of Munster, graduates this May with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology.

Liesenfelt admits that he came to Indiana University Northwest with a history as a C-achieving high school student and a desire to get college “over and done with.”

Like many young boys, though, he did have an early dream to become a police officer – a dream that only grew with time. So, despite his early lack of collegiate motivation, he headed to IU Northwest with a somewhat open mind and a developing passion.

“My education here has been wonderful,” Liesenfelt said, “It has opened my eyes to a lot more than just books and lectures. I have learned from a lot of different people. I’ve networked with a diverse group of people that may have very different paths than mine, but want to be successful. It’s great to be around people that are very motivated.”

That motivation has been contagious, and has prompted Liesenfelt to seek out as many opportunities as possible to supplement his education.

Working as a cadet at the IU Police Department – Northwest has given him experience as a law enforcement officer. He has taken advantage of student organizations, most notably the Criminal Justice Student Association and the National Society of Leadership and Success, where he has served as president of both organizations. He gained valuable skills working with a faculty member on research about ex-offenders.

After all of these experiences, each providing a different set of skills that have helped shape his education, Liesenfelt is no longer unmotivated.

Now, his boyhood dream of becoming a police officer is only his first career stop. Once he gains experience as an officer, he intends to move into a federal agency. Ultimately, he plans to go on to graduate school and eventually teach at the college level.

Reflecting on his college education, Liesenfelt summed up his entire journey as “absolutely enlightening.” He says he found the motivation he initially lacked because of his willingness to try new things.

“Try new things, because once you find (something you are passionate about), that is what will motivate you,” Liesenfelt said. “Everything I do, I do because I love it. Once you find that one thing, or those several things, you will be great at it because you want to be great at it.”

While the criminal justice field has interested Liesenfelt since childhood, his IU Northwest education helped him carefully devise his long-term goals.

“They have a great faculty and staff here,” he said. “There is no other place I think that I would rather have gotten my undergraduate degree.”

About the Class of 2015: Indiana University Northwest will confer 790 degrees at the 49th Annual Commencement ceremonies on May 14, 2015. The Class of 2015 will collectively receive 75 associate’s degrees, 609 bachelor’s degrees and 106 master’s degrees. Seventy-three percent of this year’s graduating class are women; nearly 40 percent are underrepresented students.

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