May 2, 2005

Scott Wagner, associate professor in Law Enforcement, inspects his "troops."

Police Academy cadets learn about respect, responsibility--and running--from long-time leader Scott Wagner

By Brandy Ross

Maybe you've seen him on Mondays and Thursdays behind the ERC. He's the one barking all the orders, while the police cadets line up in a military style formation, waiting on the order to run.

Scott Wagner, 47, has been a faculty member in Columbus State's Law Enforcement Department, as well as a Union County Sheriff's special deputy and SWAT team member for 15 years. As a special deputy, Wagner does some patrol work, but his primarily responsibility is training other deputies--which he does as a volunteer. In exchange for his service in Union County, Wagner's police cadets in firearms training at Columbus State get to use the Marysville shooting range at no cost.

As a Licking County paramedic/EMT at the age of 21, Wagner discovered that he really wanted a career that enabled him to help people. While firefighting was his first passion, Wagner's fear of heights put a damper on his career ambition. "I don't do ladders," he laughs.

He later became a liquor agent with the Ohio Department of Liquor Control, then moved on to the Ohio State Patrol Police Academy, graduating 20 years ago. "At the time I never thought I'd be applying what I was learning there to running an academy here," he said.  

"I like having the ability to work to my full potential," said Wagner. "I'm in law enforcement training heaven here with what I get to do and the opportunities I've had. It's really only been limited by my own imagination. I'm also incredibly grateful to Daryl Cullison (department chair) for letting me have the freedom to work to my full potential."

While Wagner loves his job teaching the young cadets, don't think they are getting by too easily. Wagner sets down rules to follow, and no one gets away with anything. For example, late students must write 500-word essays.

What do the students think about that? According to Wagner, "I think they like me. My evaluations come back well. I get a lot of repeat students, so either they're gluttons for punishment or they enjoy it!"

Wagner developed and implemented a class on terrorism, which has become a favorite among the cadets. He also teaches other favorites such as Police Procedure and Patrol and Firearms Training, where the cadets get hands-on experience at the shooting range. Wagner also has taught the required Conceal and Carry Training.

In the classroom, Wagner also uses fictional and reality cop shows to demonstrate certain principles. He says the show that gives candidates the best glimpse of what's ahead is COPS, but he uses even the most unrealistic programs to demonstrate how the public's perception of police can be skewed by television.

Wagner also teaches the Police Physical Fitness class, which is a graduation requirement for the candidates. After spending the quarter on practice runs, cadets must pass the final examination, completing a nine-mile run in 80 minutes or less at Sharon Woods Metro Park. The Columbus Police Academy and the Ohio State Patrol are required to do only a five-mile run, according to Wagner.

Wagner said the class is about much more than physical fitness. "We use the physical fitness class as much for confidence building as to meet the state requirements."

In addition, the boot camp-like class also instills cadets with a respect for discipline and rules. "We stress discipline with them-- following the rules-- because a lot of them never had to  call anyone 'sir' or 'ma'am' before," Wagner said. "Other college academies don't run the same level of discipline that we run here. We build that foundation. I know what departments want and what they're looking for in candidates. They're looking for disciplined and well-ordered people."

As a Union County special deputy, Wagner sometimes gets the opportunity to work with some of his former students. On April 26, for instance, he teamed up with two former students, Sean Finney and Steve Hardy, both members of the Marysville Police Department, to spearhead a SWAT team arrest of an alleged drug dealer.

Wagner also has helped write and lobby for two laws, which are now part of the Ohio Revised Code. One law makes it crime to disarm a police officer, and the other bans weightlifting equipment and boxing rings in Ohio state prisons.

While two jobs keep his plate full, Wagner isn't slowing down. "It gets harder year after year, especially now that I'm 47. But I still win the bench press competition with the cadets. I want to show them that you can be 47, and you should still be attaining your fitness level. I'm trying to get them to look ahead and have decent lifestyle habits."

Outside of teaching our cadets, leading a SWAT team, and lobbying state legislators, Wagner enjoys riding his bike and spending time at home relaxing with his family. He and his wife Eugina also enjoy target-shooting competitions, where competitors aim at clay pigeons or steel targets in a problem-solving environment.  

Wagner, his wife and daughter Kayloni, 12, live in Licking County, where on Sunday mornings you can catch this real life bad boy in the choir at Saint John's Lutheran Church.   

Student Support Services to offer mentoring training during In-Service

Are you interested in mentoring a student?

The Student Support Services (SSS) Department will be sponsoring a mentoring training session "The Mentoring Experience" during In-Service May 6.

Student Support Services helps low-income, first-generation students stay in college until they graduate from Columbus State or transfer to a four-year institution to earn a baccalaureate degree. Student Support Services currently serves160 student all of which are eligible to receive tutoring, counseling, mentoring services.  "The Mentoring Experience" is slated to serve over 80 protégés by the end of 2005.

The 3 ½ hour mentoring training session is being offered during In-Service in order to give faculty and staff a convenient time to participate. The training session will cover topics such as "The Making of a Mentor," "Relationship Building," and "Cultural Diversity-The Mentoring Way."

According to Dale Gresson , SSS mentoring coordinator, "There is no better way to give back to students than by mentoring them throughout their academic career."

R.S.V.P.s for the In-Service Day session are requested. If you want more information or would like to R.S.V.P., contact Dale Gresson at extension 5532 or

ITI offers upcoming week of seminars
It's not too late to enroll!

The Instructional Technologies Institute (ITI) offers the following technology and teaching seminars to employees. To enroll, simply click on the link at the end of each listing.  

Monday May 2
MOP100   Introduction to PowerPoint
1 p.m.-3 p.m.

Click here for info and to register

Wednesday May 4
  Optimizing Graphics for Online, Classroom, and Presentation Use
6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Click here for info and to register

Thursday May 5
  Creating Exams & Quizzes Using Respondus 3.0
9 a.m. - noon
Click here for info and to register

WDM110  Optimizing Graphics for Online, Classroom, and Presentation Use
1 p.m. - 3.p.m.
Click here for info and to register

Special Saturday, May 7 Session on Blackboard:
  Getting Started with Blackboard
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Click here for info and to register

For more information on any seminars offered by the Instructional Technologies Institute, contact Paul J. Owens, Coordinator of Training & Development, extension 5667, or email . ITI Website: And don't forget to check out the NEW ITI Message Board at


Make Your Daughter Work day?








Financial Aid Advisor Nikki Wright , center, supervises her niece Mykhale as she looks at a FAFSA form with student Christina Shaw on the annual Take Your Son or Daughter to Work Day, April 28. Employees were invited to bring youngsters to the office to observe how they spend their days at Columbus State!

Mark your calendar for Spring Fling!

Don't miss the fun Thursday, May 12, when the Office of Student Activities and Athletics presents the annual Spring Fling, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the mallway around the Columbus Statue. Entertainment will be provided by Cool Cats Sites and Kaleidoscope Entertainment, and there will be caricature artists, inflatable games, and food prepared by students in the Food Production Management class.