Spotlight on 2013 Florida graduates

Florida commencement is May 19, 2013 in Miami. To celebrate, we are highlighting a few of the upcoming graduates. Each participant was asked to write a response, in their own words, to the question “How has your Union Institute & University experience changed your life?”

Detective Sergeant Michael Dodson

B.S. Criminal Justice Management, 2013
Office of Internal Affairs
Ft. Lauderdale Police Department

Michael Dodson

I have worked in the criminal justice field my entire adult life. Entry into the profession required only a high school diploma. For years I was satisfied serving as a rank and file employee, but eventually my career goals changed. I developed a desire to use my experience in a leadership capacity.

Without a degree, I didn’t qualify for many advancement opportunities. Most of the minimum qualifications for promotion required a degree or years spent demonstrating proficiency. Before earning my degree at Union Institute & University, I had to spend time in particular job classifications to qualify for advancement. Now, I proudly qualify for advancement and no longer compete from a position of disadvantage!

The experience at Union Institute & University has also reawakened an appreciation for academic learning. Instead of being “done” with college, I am looking at graduate programs and I am looking forward to building on the Union Institute & University foundation!


Michael Dodson is a native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He began his law enforcement career in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania at age 18, and progressed to a position with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a criminal investigator. He conducted internal and criminal investigations for the prison system, trained as a polygraphist, and eventually retired as the supervisor for investigations of the eastern region of the state.

In 2001 Dodson started a second law enforcement career with the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department in Florida. He has served in the Patrol Division, Community Support Division, Special Problems Unit, and as a motorcycle officer. He is currently a detective sergeant in the Office of Internal Affairs.

Learn more about Union Institute & University's Bachelor of Science in criminal justice management program.