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Erin Maeder '15, '20 MACJ Headshot

Undergraduate & Graduate Programs

Erin Maeder '15, '20 MACJ

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Climbing the Ladder

Starting at the Area Substance Abuse Council (ASAC) at the age of 18, Erin Maeder ’15, ’20 MACJ was able to climb through the ranks to assistant director with the help of her degree from Mount Mercy.

Maeder started her career as a patient support staff before moving to a supervisory role. After she completed her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice here on the Hill, she took a counseling position and became a certified substance abuse counselor.

Maeder stayed in that role for a couple years, and then was promoted to lead counselor and intake coordinator. Six months later, she was promoted to her current role as assistant director. In an effort to continue moving upward, Maeder decided to attend MMU again for her master’s in criminal justice toe earn the necessary credentials.

“I am enrolled in the MACJ program now in order to be the next person to take over as director of my program once I have completed classes,” she said.

Seeing every step

As assistant director at ASAC, there isn’t a lot that Maeder doesn’t do. She supervises all employees at her location, while also being responsible for intake coordination. Intake includes screening referrals, arranging admission, insurance preauthorizations, financial paperwork, and coordination of care with outside agencies. Maeder also supervises the clinical staff to ensure they are in compliance within their roles for licensure and agency protocol.

“I wouldn’t be able to be in school right now if it wasn’t for the online opportunity," said Maeder. "My career keeps me very busy, and I would never be able to attend regularly scheduled classes.”

I wouldn’t be able to be in school right now if it wasn’t for the online opportunity. My career keeps me very busy, and I would never be able to attend regularly scheduled classes.

Erin Maeder ’15, ’20 MACJ

Making it count

While Maeder’s job is rewarding, but isn’t without stress and obstacles. When patients are in crisis and not responding to their clinical counselor, she is the next person to step in and work on the resolution.

“Working in a residential component with women in substance abuse treatment and having their children on campus can lead to chaos at any moment. We are also working with limited space and limited funding as a non-profit, so navigating those complications is within my role.”

Despite all that, Maeder loves watching patients progress through treatment.

“Working in this field is very challenging due to the population or demographic our services cater to. Unfortunately, when you look at the ‘success rate,’ it doesn’t look very promising—but when we hear back from patients that are successful, it makes everything worthwhile.”

Looking back

Maeder’s advice to current students is to keep their options open in terms of career choice.

“But I’m so happy and fulfilled with the path my career and education have taken me."

“If you would have asked me early on what I would have done with a CJ degree, this certainly wouldn’t have been it,” she said. “But I’m so happy and fulfilled with the path my career and education have taken me. Having education in the correctional/criminal justice field helps me a great deal in the human services field, as they are closely related.”

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