Chris Egan is living proof that achieving your goals often takes a hefty dose of dedication and determination.
His walk across the commencement stage will be the culmination of 26 years of work.
Chris works more than 60 hours a week as a police lieutenant and crisis negotiator. That, couple with his commitment to his family, meant that he completed his education by taking one class a semester.
Chris’ desire to be a better police officer is what initially led him to the classroom. Each class, carefully selected, had an immediate impact on his career. As he grew as a student, he also grew as a law enforcement professional.
In the summer of 2012, Chris completed an internship at First Step, a domestic violence shelter. The work gave him a new perspective on the lives of the people he serves.
“The internship allowed me to step inside the world of the survivors, not as a police officer or student, but as a volunteer,” he said.
Chris was named the 2012 Humanities Intern of the Year for his contributions to First Step.
Of course, Chris didn’t do the work for the personal accolades he received. He wants to use his experiences to help shape the next generation of law enforcement and social work professionals.
“Chris believes that every law enforcement officer of the future needs more training in active listening skills and empathy and a better understanding of complex issues of domestic violence,” said Carolyn Kraus, professor of journalism and screen studies.
Training others is a job Chris already knows well. He’s taught at the police academy and mentored students both there and at UM-Dearborn. Those students have gone on to be police officers, homeland security agents, teachers, nurses, social works and members of the military.
An advocate for lifelong learning, Chris hopes to teach at UM-Dearborn and other institutions in the area while he continues his life’s work in law enforcement.