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Kyle Gretz
Class of: Spring 2021

Hometown: I am from Wauconda, Illinois – a town located in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Why did you choose sociology as your major? I chose to bump my original Sociology minor into a double major (Criminal Justice and Sociology) during the spring semester of my junior year. I made this decision as I felt Sociology is a great discipline to have under your belt when you want to work with people and within your community. I have always wanted to work in the field of law enforcement, and I see Sociology as a great addition to my skillset, as it will allow me to examine the issues that I face within the public every day and analyze them on a more structural level. Being able to merge my law enforcement training with my Sociological background will change my perception of certain issues and allow me to look at these issues with a different lens than most people.

What are some of the key things that you got out of the major? This major has really allowed to expand my perspective on certain social issues and examine them through lenses I did not think were imaginable. One of the main threshold concepts in the field of Sociology is the Sociological Imagination, and we put it to work inside the classroom as well as in our daily life. The basis of the concept is taking personal troubles and transforming them into larger public issues. Being able to see the bigger picture in things allows you to question the structural forces that are present which could serve as the driving force behind the issues.

What other activities have you been involved in? I was awarded a terrific internship opportunity here on campus for my final semester here at UWO. I am a Crime Analyst with the UW Oshkosh Police Department. I am responsible for analyzing all sorts of crime data here on campus, working to identify trends in the data and then working closely with Supervisors and officers to develop different policing initiatives to combat crime. I also worked as an academic tutor with the Center for Academic Resources on campus. I tutored several different courses (Calculus I, Geology 102/109, and Criminal Justice Statistics) over the course of three years.

What are some of your interests? Some of my interests include staying physically active – whether that is going for a run/riding a bike, lifting weights, or doing some other recreational activity. With the career choice that I have chosen, I pride myself on trying to stay in good physical condition. In the summer months I enjoy being around a baseball field, whether that is watching a game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL, umpiring a baseball game, or playing a scrimmage with friends. During the winter months I enjoy going up to Northern Wisconsin and snowmobiling.

What are my plans for the future? After graduation I hope to land myself a job with a law enforcement agency, where I can serve my community proudly. I have always known that I wanted to go into the field of law enforcement, as I come from a family with extensive law enforcement background. I am currently in the beginning stages of the hiring process for a police officer position with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Police Department. I hope to begin my law enforcement career with this agency and see where it takes me later in life. At some point in my career, I would like to transition to the federal level of law enforcement. I would be interested in becoming a part of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and possibly using my Crime Analyst experience on a larger scale.