University Park, IL,
11:14 AM

GSU Department of Public Safety celebrates graduates

thumbnail_DPS officer graduates layout

GSU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) saluted two of its own at commencement last month. 

Sgt. Kimberly Wingfield earned a double master’s degree in Public Administration and Criminal Justice while Police Telecommunicator Desiree Campbell received an Interdisciplinary Studies degree, with a minor in accounting

Wingfield, born and raised in Hazel Crest, was inspired to go into law enforcement by her sister, a police officer in Chicago for 20 years. Her passion for it brought her to GSU in 2014. As she settled into her role, Wingfield wanted to better position herself to take on managerial responsibilities. Once she looked into GSU’s Public Administration and Criminal Justice programs, the choice was an obvious one.  Wingfield relished working and studying on the same campus.

“As a law enforcement officer and student, it was special to use knowledge I gained through the Public Administration program and my professors to apply to my current role,” she said. “In my courses, I learned more about what it means to be a public servant. Just being able to be that voice for people who may not have the opportunity to voice their opinion.”

Wingfield admits that the road to graduation wasn’t always easy. In September 2021, her mother passed away. But with the support from her DPS colleagues, she pushed on, knowing the achievement would make her mother proud.

“It's an amazing feeling thinking about all the sacrifices,” she said, recounting what she was thinking as she crossed the commencement stage. “It's all worth it.”

Campbell, a Chicago native, who has been a DPS Telecommunicator since 2020, feels the same way. She put her studies on hold after graduating high school in 2011. She, like Wingfield, lost her mother while pursuing her degree. Then she became a mom herself, wanting to return to school to get her bachelors but struggling to find the time. The opportunity arose after her dad suggested she check out GSU. The ability to take night classes freed her up to care for her kids during the day. Thereafter, she decided to apply to be a telecommunicator at the university to help cut down on her commute from work to school. Three years later, she’s still pleased with that move.

“One of the special things about GSU is the fact that I had professors that wanted me to succeed,” said Campbell, who wants to enroll in GSU’s Masters of Accounting program and is considering a career in forensic accounting. “They wanted to see me pass and to see what I've learned. That’s why GSU is perfect for working adults returning to school: the class sizes and the teachers are understanding of the group of students they're working with.”