Michael Adamson CE '13 - Criminal Justice, Psychology

After completing his bachelor's degree with a double major, Sergeant Michael Adamson wonders why he waited so long to do so. He joined the MBTA Transit Police in 1996, shortly after graduating from high school, but didn't begin pursuing his degree in earnest until 2010.

"I just said that's it, I have to make a commitment. I got to a point where my kids were getting older; they were going to be headed to college. I wanted to set an example for them to show them how important education is. I just decided to dive in and I went back full time."

Adamson did face challenges - like trying to fit in classes while working 70-80 hours a week and raising a family. He transferred from the detective unit based on Southampton Street in Boston, to a patrol division based at the Mattapan MBTA station. That shorter commute allowed him to take classes whenever his schedule allowed.

"I managed to find time to take all the classes. I took the intensives, took the weekend courses, the night courses, even a few day courses. I was just really committed to getting it done quickly."

Adamson progressed so quickly that he even had time to earn a bachelor's degree with a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology.

He says Deborah Clifford, his Advisor in Continuing Education, played a major role in that decision.

"When I went back to school, I would not have been able to get through it if it weren't for Deb," Adamson says. "She sat down with me all the time and outlined everything that I needed to do, so that I could do it in the fastest time possible. She pointed out to me that I had a lot of criminal justice courses already done and the majority of courses I needed to do were electives. I started taking some psychology courses and I really liked them. She suggested that I minor in psychology.  I'm one just to dive in, I said to myself, 'why don't I just major?' So I decided to do a double major, because I really enjoyed the psychology classes as well as the psychology department."

Adamson didn't just complete his double major. He was also named class valedictorian.

"It was a shock I got the call the Friday before graduation," Adamson recalls. "I found it hard to believe, I knew that I had a high GPA, but I didn't think it would be valedictorian worthy.

It took Adamson 2 1/2 years to complete his dual degrees. But, it really represented the completion of a twenty year-plus journey.

"If I could do it, anybody can do it really, because I maintained a 70-80 hour workweek while I continued to go to school. Honestly you cannot afford not to go back, take out loans do whatever you have to do. I kick myself for not doing it a long time ago."


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