Student Spotlight: 2016 MPS Graduate Kimberly Madsen
If you break the speed limit in Gainesville, Florida you may meet a recent graduate of the School’s MPS in HRER program. Officer Kim Madsen is not only a full-time police officer in Gainesville, but a December 2016 graduate of our Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program in Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER).
A career in law enforcement is a long way from Kim’s roots. She grew up helping out at a fishing and hunting resort her family operated before attending and graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Behavioral Science and Law as well as a certificate in Criminal Justice.
Kim has been a full-time officer since 2003 and was promoted to detective in the Criminal Investigations Bureau in 2005. She subsequently has worked in the Department’s Personnel Services Division, Juvenile Division, and Operations Division. Her work in Operations currently puts her in a position as a first responder in emergency situations.
Kim’s interest in human resource management began when she started working with the Department’s Personnel Services Division in 2012. In that capacity she conducted background investigations of applicants and employment interviews and engaged in other HR related activities. She quickly realized that however skilled police officers were in serving and protecting the public, they were much less knowledgeable with respect to managing human resources. It was this insight that caused her to “get the bug”.
Kim subsequently applied to the MPS in HRER program. In addition to her online coursework, she routinely attended webinars sponsored by the School’s Academy of Human Capital Development. She also completed a summer hybrid class on campus in both 2015 and 2016. And like more than a dozen of our recent World Campus graduates, she traveled to State College in December to attend graduation.
Her capstone project connected her MPS studies with her police experience. Kim notes that,
The theme…was to figure out the key drivers associated with avoidable police officer turnover at my agency. Comparative data from four other agencies was analyzed and surveys via Survey Monkey were sent to former and current employees from my agency.
Like many World Campus students, Kim was able to complete the master’s program while juggling both work and family responsibilities. Kim’s husband is also a member of the Gainesville Police Department, and they have two children ages four and six.
Kim is not certain where her MPS degree will take her. She has fond memories of her early years working in the family’s resort business. If she decides to pursue a career in the hospitality industry, she will be well equipped to successfully manage the business’ most valuable resource.