By Derek Artimez, Alumni Relations
David Shoemaker was not the typical commuter student when attending Potomac State College (PSC) of West Virginia University (WVU), especially not when considering he was fresh out of high school and living on his own. A passionate Mountaineer in love with the Mountain State, Shoemaker made the difficult decision to remain in his childhood home while his family left the area for new opportunities.
Shoemaker now credits being thrust into young independence for life skills such as time management, study, organizational and employability skills. Not only did he juggle full-time classes, but he also worked two jobs, including managing the Domino’s Pizza shop and serving as a waiter for Denny’s, all while studying vigorously to earn his four-year criminal justice degree.
“I really cannot say enough about the PSC criminal justice program,” said Shoemaker. “I was able to build relationships with professors like Nicklaus Goff, Andrea Bucklew and Heidi Samuels, who were so important to my growth and education.” Shoemaker graduated from PSC in 2014 with a tight-knit class of about 11 other criminal justice students who he assures are all achieving high accomplishments in their early careers.
“With his combined intelligence, ambition and work ethic, I suspect that Shoemaker will be successful in whatever endeavor he should choose to undertake,” says PSC Criminal Justice Instructor Nicklaus Goff, who oversees the Field Practicum, which was Shoemaker’s favorite course.
“Field Practicum immerses you in the life of a criminal justice professional who you job shadow through day-to-day operations,” explains Shoemaker. “I was very fortunate to work with Sergeant Mike Lot, who taught me many practical skills and the importance of professionalism.”
Shoemaker continues to work two jobs while he furthers his education through the WVU Executive MBA program, specializing in forensic accounting and raising his two-year-old daughter, Paisley. Though receiving his MBA will surely provide him greater marketability, it’s Shoemaker’s dream to eventually own his own business in the Keyser community.
On a final note, Shoemaker’s advice to all students is “take advantage of the accessibility to your professors at Potomac State College because each one has a wealth of knowledge to pass onto you… and remember every class is important.”