Craig Smith ’02 truly loves to help people.
I believe Shenandoah University is an important part of the community. It provides opportunities to experience the arts, college athletics, and most importantly, the opportunity to expand one’s knowledge. Personally, I have grown as an individual because of my exposure at SU, and believe it is important to give both financially and with my time to ensure the organization thrives and is able to influence others.”
Smith began working on his master’s degree at Shenandoah and acted as the director of security on campus. He is now employed as a detective in the Criminal Investigations Division of the City of Winchester Police Department as well as an adjunct faculty member of the university.
I chose this profession because I wanted to help people. Throughout my 20-year career I have had numerous occasions to meet this goal. The most rewarding experiences occur when I am able to impact someone’s life on the positive side. There is absolutely no better feeling in the world than when someone expresses how you have changed their life for the better. You hear stories about people who work their entire lives, retire and then want to give back to society. I wanted to give back immediately, and decided a career in law enforcement allows one to impact people on a daily basis.”
However, law enforcement also holds many challenges. “Before entering law enforcement, my view was oversimplified; I wanted to help the good and punish the bad. In reality, the lines are not always so clear. Sometimes you have to really search to determine the good and bad. In addition, the types of crimes committed today are much more complex and sophisticated than earlier in my career. The growth of the internet and social media has improved all facets of life, but it also has presented opportunities to those with a desire to hurt or profit off of others.”
“Shenandoah has been an important part of my life in several ways,” Smith explains, “First, it offered an opportunity in my professional career when I accepted the position of director of security. Through this position I was able to interact with staff and students and appreciate the diversity of people the university brings to the area. This exposure also motivated me to pursue my master’s degree, which I began at SU and finished at George Washington University. After completing my degree, many opportunities presented themselves including an apprenticeship program with the city manager and teaching opportunities at SU.” Additionally, while pursuing his master’s degree, Smith was able to make new friendships and partnerships that have endured long after the degree was obtained. He also has fond memories of the interaction with students during his tenure with security. “I continue to enjoy the opportunity to teach and learn from students as an adjunct faculty member.”
Smith is excited to be involved with SU. “I enjoy becoming involved in any organization which aligns with my values and beliefs, and SU is certainly one of those organizations. I consider myself a lifelong learner and want to become involved in organizations that provide the opportunity to learn. SU certainly meets that goal and provides so much more as well.” In addition, Smith is looking forward to serving on the alumni board. “I believe the opportunity to serve on the alumni board will give me a more in-depth view of the university, and will also provide opportunities to become involved in more activities at the university.”
Smith is married to SU alumna, Mandi Smith ’03, who graduated from the nursing program. Mandi is currently a registered nurse at Valley Health. They have two daughters, Kelci and Bekka. In his rare free time, Smith enjoys working in the yard, reading, hiking and engaging in other family-oriented outdoor activities.