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Steve Smith '08 Headshot

Undergraduate Program

Steve Smith '08

Criminal Justice

Growth because of his Team

Through Mount Mercy’s criminal justice program and being on the basketball team, Steve Smith ’08 was able to gain the necessary people skills and work ethic to be successful in the criminal justice field.

Now he uses those skills in his career as a chemical dependency counselor and mental health worker at UnityPoint Health–St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids.

“Basketball had the biggest impact on me because it gave me the ability to show leadership qualities as well as grow in my development as a person,” Smith said. “Because of sports I feel my people skills have blossomed, which I feel is key in day to day work relationships whether patients or co-workers.”

It wasn’t just basketball that affected him though.

New environment, new skills

“College helped me build a routine in my life that I otherwise wouldn’t have had," said Smith. "I didn’t understand while in school just how important a degree from Mount Mercy was until I did job interviews and people recognized what it meant that I went to Mount Mercy."

I didn’t understand while in school just how important a degree from Mount Mercy was until I did job interviews and people recognized what it meant that I went to Mount Mercy.

Steve Smith '08
Criminal Justice

"It’s a good feeling to know that the hard work you put in is paying off and others notice it.”

After graduation, Smith started working full time at UnityPoint Health on the behavioral health unit as a patient care tech. As a part of UnityPoint, he went on to work at the Anamosa State Penitentiary full time, but returned to the hospital with more experience and a certification as a substance abuse counselor.

Helping others through tough times

Smith job entails meeting with patients admitted to the behavioral health unity under the influence or who have a history of use, consulting with them, and then offering different levels of treatment to the patients.

“The idea is to raise awareness in the patient of how detrimental their substance abuse has been on their daily lifestyle,” Smith said. “I enjoy the hands-on work with patients and to see them leave better upon discharge than the day they walked in.”

Mustang impact

"The work ethic you develop while in school will take you far in your day to day life, as far as working, relationships and—to me most importantly—building a health family dynamic."

Smith credits Mount Mercy with his work ethic and appreciates the community’s positive view of the university.

“If you want a genuine experience at a place where your actions matter, Mount Mercy is the school for you," said Smith. "The work ethic you develop while in school will take you far in your day to day life, as far as working, relationships and—to me most importantly—building a health family dynamic."

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