After 17 years in law enforcement, Jeff Roorda was ready for a change. “I was looking to broaden my horizons.” He had already completed an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Jefferson College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice from Missouri Baptist College but he realized he needed something more. This led him to seek a Master’s Degree in Public Policy Administration from University of Missouri St. Louis. He said he chose the program because he liked the classroom emphasis as opposed to an online environment. “I soon realized there is really a science to understanding public policy,” Roorda said.
He credits his degree with helping him become the Chief of Police and the City Administrator of Kimmswick in 2002 as well as being elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004. “Absolutely, no doubt it helped to get me elected and made me a better policy maker,” Roorda said. “It made me more confident with the conclusions you reach in an empirical way.”
He has served on the Boards of Directors of the Antonia Fire District (2002-2004) and the Rock Township Ambulance District (2000-2004).
He is not shy about his admiration for his experience at UMSL. “I have recommended (the program) to many individuals,” Roorda said. And what advice would he give to those individuals? “Work hard and believe that you can make a difference in public policy.”
- Mike Skinker