Law Enforcement Major Gains Insight through Internship
College of Health and Human Services (Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology)
Wade McElfresh, a Pleasant Plains, Ill., native, is a Southeast Missouri State University student interning with the U.S. Marshals Service at the Central District of Illinois in Springfield.
As a law enforcement intern, Wade accompanies deputy U.S. marshals on fugitive apprehensions, assists in court security and prisoner transports, conducts compliance checks for sex offenders, facilitates auctions and completes daily clerical work.
“This has allowed me an unprecedented look inside the federal law enforcement field with insight that can’t be learned in a classroom. The experience I have gained is invaluable and is adding to my abilities needed for law enforcement,” he said.
At Southeast, Wade has been busy preparing for his career. He is the president of the Criminal Justice Association and the Kappa Phi Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma. He also serves on the All University Judicial Board as the co-associative chief justice and is a student worker for the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology as well as a presidential ambassador.
“I believe my time at Southeast has greatly enhanced my leadership skills in the last three years. I have been fortunate to hold many leadership positions on campus, and the benefits have been immeasurable. This has allowed me to greatly improve my people, communication and organizational skills, all of which are extremely valuable in the law enforcement field,” he said.
Wade said the time he felt most proud to be a Southeast student is when he volunteered during recent flooding.
“It was extremely remarkable to see the number of students who showed up to sandbag and volunteer their time to help our neighbors and citizens of southeast Missouri. It is important to remember that we, as students, are members of the community, and it was awesome to see so many students willing to do their part to serve the area in a time of need,” he said.
In his spare time, Wade enjoys playing sports with his housemates, especially football, hockey, baseball and golf. He said he prefers being outdoors and jumps at the chance to water ski on Lake of the Ozarks, go tubing and ride jet skis.
“Anything that gets us outside and active is always a lot of fun,” he said.
His favorite place to travel is Colorado, where he has hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park and climbed Hallett Peak. He said he plans to attempt to summit Longs Peak in the future.
He also wants to visit Washington, D.C., again. He had the unique opportunity to participate in a think tank there and learn about global issues in business, the environment and politics at the prestigious Center for Strategic and International Studies as a part of UI498, “Senior Seminar.”
“My favorite part of Washington, D.C., was visiting Arlington National Cemetery. It is without a doubt one of the most humbling places in the country and puts in prospective the sacrifices men and women have made to preserve our freedom. I also enjoyed running part of the National Mall one morning. It was great to see all of the monuments at sunrise and when they aren’t so busy,” he said.
Wade encourages future Southeast students, “It is important to remember that the best part about our University is that you get the choice to make Southeast whatever it is you are looking for and expecting from a college. The opportunities the University offers are unmatched and extraordinary. Through hard work and determination, you can accomplish any goal.”