Kim Menius, class of 2012
Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice with a minor in
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 clichè 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
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!