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Pictured is Michael Cruse. Submitted photo.

Meet Michael Cruse '20

Job Title & Employer
Clinical supervisor, jail diversion, Columbia Community Mental Health
Major
Criminal Justice Administration-M.S.
Graduation
August 2020
Hometown
Somerset, N.J.
High School
Franklin Township High School
Now Living In
Vancouver, Wash.
Hobbies & Interests
Fishing and spending time with family

"At Point Park, I learned how to manage multiple projects, conduct research and analyze data, utilize history to assist in making decisions and a great deal about the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania."

Michael Cruse '20

How did you find out about Point Park, and what attracted you to the University?

My wife, Dr. Michele Cruse, is originally from Pittsburgh, and I am a die-hard Steelers fan. We decided to move to Pittsburgh to be closer to my wife’s family. I had always wanted to pursue a master’s degree in criminal justice. I researched available programs in Pittsburgh and found the program at Point Park. I was attracted to the program length and the ability to take courses with a cohort, while I worked full-time.

What did you like about the campus?

All of my courses were in the same building. Parking was very close to the campus. I had access to a variety of places to grab food in Market Square. 

What did you like about the criminal justice administration program?

The classes always started on time, and my professors were very understanding if an emergency came up and we had to miss class or extend deadlines. I enjoyed and learned a tremendous amount from each class. After being out of college for 16 years, I learned a lot about technology, writing styles and my classmates' variety of experiences.

How would you describe the coursework and faculty? 

The coursework was a bit difficult for me at first because I had been out of college for 16 years. It felt pretty fast-paced. The faculty were great and engaging, both in person and virtually.

Did you have a favorite professor or class?

Richard Linzer was my favorite. He was my advisor and professor. He provided a lot of instruction and support during our transition to virtual courses due to COVID- 19.

How did the criminal justice administration program help you advance your career?

It taught me a great deal of history and the administrative aspect of criminal justice. I used a lot of what I learned in the classroom in my role as a forensic boundary spanner in Bradford, Pa. 

Describe your role as clinical supervisor of jail diversion.

I provide supervision and support to staff members working in the jail diversion program. I administer mental health assessments to individuals with dual diagnoses that are incarcerated and are scheduled for release. I make recommendations to the courts for the type of treatment needed and referral to services in the community. I also manage budgets, serve as a liaison with community partners and ensure that the program remains in compliance. 

How have you applied what you learned at Point Park to your current work?

At Point Park, I learned how to manage multiple projects, conduct research and analyze data, utilize history to assist in making decisions and a great deal about the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I want to thank Dr. Linzer, my professors and my wife for having faith in me and pushing me to become successful.  I never thought that I could do this.


More About: success story, School of Arts and Sciences, alumni, M.S. in criminal justice administration, criminal justice