Kim Menius

Kim Menius, class of 2012

Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice with a minor in international relations

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I was born in Virginia but spent the majority of my life overseas in Seoul, South Korea. Home is where the heart is, and that would definitely be Seoul. I have so many great memories there! I have two wonderful parents, Paul and Jin Hi. My father is the Chief of Networking at Madigan Army Medical Center and my mother is an employee with North Thurston Public Schools. I have a younger brother, Scott, who is currently attending Timberline High School as a junior.

Why did you chose SMU?

It's funny when people ask me that question because I didn't actually choose SMU. It sounds cliché but I guess you could say it chose me. I was transferring from a community college in California and had submitted an application to the University of Washington for their foreign language program. Upon finding out that I was not accepted (yes, we all get denied at some point!) I knew I needed another plan. My parents had mentioned Saint Martin's University because it was nearby, but we did not know if it was something I could afford to attend. Out of curiosity I decided to sign up for a campus tour. I fell in love with the campus and I was intrigued with the idea of small class sizes. The admissions counselor eased the process of transferring credits and financial aid helped with making Saint Martin's affordable. Here I am a few years later, a proud graduate of Saint Martin's.

What was your best academic experience?

My best academic experience was my senior thesis. I can still remember the first day of senior seminar. Dr. Hauhart explained the meaning behind a capstone. He said "This is the high point of your education, this is where it all comes together." My thesis was one of the biggest projects I've ever taken on. It was not without its challenges but it was so worth it.

What was your best campus life experience?

I would have to say Scholars Day. To be able to present and attend presentations that we had all worked so hard our last year for was such a great experience.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

That is such a tough question! The school has so many amazing professors ... Dr. Hauhart, Dr. Katya, Dr. Kogan, Dr. Langill ... I could go on forever! What makes these professors stand out is their passion in what they teach. They are each so knowledgeable and enthusiastic that it is extremely hard not to be impressed. Dr. Katya is such a cheerful person around campus. She makes you smile and is always willing to sit down and talk to you. Dr. Langill is one of the most dedicated professors I know when it comes to education. He has traveled all over the world and is always willing to share experiences. He also has one of the coolest looking offices (I'm quite jealous of his green thumb!). Dr. Kogan is just amazing. He has overcome so many obstacles in his life and he is here doing what he loves, teaching. He genuinely loves and cares for his students. He also brings snacks and juice bags for students on test day ... can you say awesome? And of course, there is Dr. Hauhart. He pushes his students to go above and beyond; my experience at Saint Martin's would have never been the same without him. I have achieved so much thanks to him and he continues to challenge me even after graduation to pursue bigger and better things.

What led you to study criminal justice?

I honestly didn't even know such a major existed! My mind was set on foreign languages but after the whole UW incident I took time to explore my other interests. Psychology, sociology, and law were always fascinating topics to me so when I came across criminal justice, I knew that was the major for me.

How did SMU contribute to enriching your life and fulfilling your dreams?

SMU enriched my life in so many ways. I have met so many wonderful people and gained so many positive experiences that I do not regret any part of my decision to attend this school. I am the first to graduate with a college degree in my immediate family. I fulfilled a dream of my parents as well as my own. For Best Criminal Justice Thesis 2012 to Class of 2012 Valedictorian, I have achieved so much more than I could have ever imagined and for that I am thankful. SMU has been one of the highlights of my life and I know it will continue to be a part of me.

Where are you right now in your career?

Right now, I am in what some would calla "transition period," or what I call "a breather." I wanted to take some time to figure out what my next step is going to be. There are so many things I want to do but I want to make sure I make rational decisions. In the meantime, I am working with Dr. Hauhart on editing my senior thesis for potential publication.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan on attending graduate school. I have not decided on a program quite yet, but I am considering a law degree. As for the rest, I guess I will have to see where life takes me!

College of Arts and Sciences