Student Profile: Criminal Justice / Political Science Major

Matt Wermers
Criminal Justice / Political Science Major

Matt Wermers, criminal justice and political science double major, came to Mount Mercy University from Rochester, Minnesota. The transition from Minnesota to Iowa wasn’t difficult for Wermers, and because of possibilities realized through the university, he hopes to continue his journey by attending graduate school outside of the states.

Wermers chose Iowa because of Mount Mercy’s strong criminal justice program. After researching schools in the Midwest, he found the university’s program had the most solid balance between corrections, law and law enforcement.

“The department is well rounded and knowledgeable,” he said. “They are not training a person to just be a police or corrections officer like some of the other four year programs. They teach a lot of critical thinking skills and cover a broad area of the criminal justice system.”

Wermers appreciates Mount Mercy’s community and has found that the dynamics of a larger university would have hindered his college experience. Because of small class size, he is able to communicate with professors on a personal level, which has led him to a range of experiences.

“I worked on Monica Vernon’s campaign for Congress. I was a field organizer, which means I lead the team of interns and helped out the volunteers. I also made phone calls and went door to door to the eligible voters. I heard about the campaign from a fellow classmate. It was my internship at first, but then I was offered a position there. I learned more about political procedures and how local politics work, and I learned more about my second major, political science.”

Wermers is not only growing as a professional because of Mount Mercy, he is also growing as a person and learning how to be a part of a community, especially being away from home.

“Mount Mercy is small campus and does not have amenities like a bigger university does. Since I came from another state, I had to find a grocery store and learn to navigate and find most facilities I needed to use off campus. It also helped me become a part of the Cedar Rapids community instead of being just an MMU student. I became a resident of the city. This fits with Mount Mercy’s message of going out and being involved in the local community.”

Wermers’ passions lie in criminal justice related fields and international politics, so he hopes to go to graduate school on the East Coast or in Europe. After graduate school, Wermers plans to be involved in government work like foreign affairs or setting up programs for inner cities.

When he isn’t studying law or criminal justice, Wermers spends his time with the International Club, volunteering at Jane Boyd in Cedar Rapids and studying Karate.