Alumni Testimonials

Brad Hanson

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
, Class of 2018
brad hanson portrait
I wholeheartedly feel that my Norwich education was one of the final deciding factors that led to my “dream job” with the Vermont State Police.
Brad Hanson, Class of 2018
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Q: “Tell us about yourself, Brad.”
A: I am a native Vermonter and retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2008 after a 20-year career in Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue. As a disabled veteran, I was able to attend Norwich under the VA Vocational Rehab program. Three days after my last class at Norwich I began my new career as a Cold Case Homicide Specialist for the Vermont State Police. I have been married to my wife Larissa for 27 years and we have three adult children, Kaitlyn 24, Jacob 21 and Ben 19. All are currently in college.

Q: “What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?”
A: After retirement, I had several jobs in the Security field and had applied for a couple law enforcement support job but without a degree, I was simply not competitive enough in the field I wanted to get into. It was at that point I decided that if I wanted another “job the that matters’ I would need to have a degree and with the VA’s assistance, I was able to take that huge step of walking into a college classroom, both online and traditional, for the first time at 47 years old.

Q: “Why did you choose Norwich, how did you learn about it?”
A: With relevant law enforcement experience already in my back pocket, I know that was the field I wanted to study, being a disabled veteran, I also knew I would be relegated to a support type position like an intelligence analyst. Norwich offered an online program where I could get my bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in intelligence and security management. That offering, coupled with the longstanding military tradition at Norwich made my decision easy. I never even applied to another school.

Q: “What makes Norwich unique?”
A: To me, Norwich had everything I was looking for: a small school feel, a strong military component and most importantly a high powered and prestigious reputation that comes with the Norwich name.

Q: “Please tell us about any examples where you were able to put your knowledge to work immediately at your job.”
A: As one of Vermont’s first two Cold Case Homicide Specialists, I have been able to use the education I gained at Norwich literally on my first day of work. Interestingly, at the urging of Allison Crowson, the Criminal Justice Program Manager, I took a Cold Case Investigation class as an elective and it was during the first week of that class that the job I ultimately landed was posted. I actually refer back to my textbook from that class and my class on Forensics every week while working on cold cases.

I wholeheartedly feel that my Norwich education was one of the final deciding factors that led to my “dream job” with the Vermont State Police.

Q: “What aspects of your Norwich experience will you carry most strongly with you?”
A: The alumni network from Norwich is short reaching yet global at the same time, I even have a couple of Norwich grads in the State Police unit where I work. It's that feeling of kinship and camaraderie with Norwich Alums that I found most impressive.