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Alumni Profile: Carl Soderberg '07, B.S. Criminal Justice

Release Date:
2/7/2012 3:03 PM
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University of New Haven: Carl Soderberg

 

I majored in Criminal Justice — Law Enforcement Administration, and minored in both Sociology and Accounting. I currently serve as a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army’s Cavalry Corps and am the Executive Officer of B Troop of the 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment. Upon graduating from the University of New Haven, I entered Basic Combat Training, followed by the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. I graduated from OCS and was granted my commission to 2nd Lieutenant on March 6, 2008. I am currently on deployment to northern Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where we work to improve security and infrastructure across the region in conjunction with the local governance, leaders, Iraqi Army, and Iraqi Police.

How did UNH prepare you for life after college?

The University of New Haven has definitely been the focal point of my life thus far. The work atmosphere for a military officer is always changing and, therefore, is very difficult to plan out and execute efficiently. At UNH, I was able to learn the balance that is required of professionals working in law enforcement and investigations today, which has been essential to my success now.

As an officer and platoon leader, I found that I wasn’t simply a combat leader; I was also an administrator, a financial consultant, a counselor, a physical fitness trainer, a family support specialist, a mentor, a boss, and a friend to 30 young soldiers. When I moved up to become an executive officer, the list continued to grow, as it does today in Iraq. All of these are skills I was able to develop in, and I fully attribute to, the University of New Haven community.

I found myself in an institution where I was provided with a strong educational experience and full social network to develop in. My professors understood how to enrich their classes and provide us with what we needed to be successful professionals. I truly feel that I owe a great deal of what I have become to the university and its faculty. Through solid academics, a nurturing social atmosphere, and encouraging, experience-based educational opportunities, I was able to learn a great deal about what was necessary to make myself successful. The fact that UNH provides an open atmosphere that facilitates one’s development, rather than dictates it, was by far the most important aspect of my education. Overall, UNH prepared me for life by teaching me how to work for, and earn, my achievements.

What are some of your favorite moments about your time at UNH?

My favorite moments at UNH came from experiences outside of the classroom. My time in the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) as a representative and senator provided me the opportunity to grow professionally with fellow students in an environment of mutual respect. I loved working as a resident assistant with the Office of Residential Life, as it gave me the opportunity to help develop a positive environment for new freshmen students.

88.7 WNHU provided me with the chance to take part in something fun that I had never done before, granting me a great deal of unexpected experience, some really good times, a caring mentor, and irreplaceable friendships.

The events at which I spoke or hosted with various campus clubs and organizations gave me the enjoyable opportunity to grow intellectually, coming together with others on campus in passionate discussion and debate. It’s quite the experience working with others from varying backgrounds and interests on a common goal.

The chance to work with Dr. Christie Boronico and the former Center for Experiential Education (now the Career Development Center) — expanding upon the Experiential Education programs at UNH — was a time marked with great memories of achievement and professional development.

I enjoyed attending the events that were planned by others. One aspect unique to UNH was that there was never a shortage of creative, enriching, and entertaining activities being produced weekly by students who simply wished the chance to put their vision into action. This made for a lively, ever-growing environment — a UNH tradition that continues today.

Most of all, the time I shared with all the friends I came to know at the UNH will never be forgotten. Whether it was walking the shores of Long Island Sound, making the drive to one of New England’s many entertaining locations, working on a collaborative project or event, having a good time downtown in New Haven at one of our favorite spots, or simply enjoying a relaxing evening on campus with that famous New Haven style pizza, the memories we made together will remain close to my heart for the rest of my life.

Oh, and I can never forget the summer of 2006 when I would meet a brilliant engineering student, and my future wife, Melody. My happiest and most fulfilling moments at UNH were shared with her.

What would you change about your UNH experience, if anything?

While I made mistakes (as anyone most likely has) during my time at UNH, I wouldn’t change any of them. Without making mistakes and being forced to overcome them and continue on, I would not be the man I am today and would not fully appreciate everything I have in my life right now or will come to have.

What advice would you give prospective students and their families?

To prospective students and their parents: Seek an institution that goes beyond a simple education that is only taught out of the textbook; instead, find a university that values the experience necessary to develop and produce well-rounded, innovative professionals for the modern workforce. Any individual can learn how to do something and continue to repeat it day in and day out, but true understanding and nurtured creativity make someone who is prepared to progress in their specialized field. Only at such an institution, where experience and academics are combined in an atmosphere that cultivates a passion for one’s field, can someone truly learn what it is to be successful and live fully.