Julie Scribner has a long history with Norwich University. In 1989, Scribner enrolled at Norwich as a rook in the Corps of Cadets but did not complete her bachelor’s degree at that time. Scribner saw an opportunity to advance her position as a Vermont State Trooper to a Detective Sergeant, but she needed a bachelor’s degree to do so. Now a Captain, Staff Operations Commander, Scribner finally walked the stage in 2015 by earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice through Norwich’s online program, and she continued her Norwich education by earning a Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Non-Profit Management in 2019.
"My academic journey has been long,” Scribner said. “My first day here as a rook in 1989 I was told to look to the left and to the right and told that one of you will not graduate from Norwich University. For 25 years, nine months and 27 days, I was that one student that did not graduate. This is my time to graduate."
A Vermont native, Scribner knew since she was six years old that she wanted to be a police officer. Scribner’s dreams came true when she graduated the Vermont Police Academy in 2001. With nearly 15 years as a Vermont State Trooper, Scribner knew it was her time to rise through the ranks, but she needed a flexible program that would fit around the busy schedule as mother and a first responder, including a turning point in her career, catching a homicide case while completing her capstone course. Norwich’s supportive faculty and online learning platform made it easy for Scribner to learn and submit work on her own time.
“The biggest obstacles I faced when pursuing my online degree were things going on at home and at work during the week. Being able to prepare and know in advance what the assignments were was really important to me,” noted Scribner. “There were a couple of times I had to go out of state for training during the week and I had to get my papers done in advance, and the professors were excellent about letting us know what the upcoming assignments were. It’s challenging, but it is worth the challenge.”
After earning her bachelor’s degree in 2015, Scribner thought she concluded her journey as a student. With encouragement from Allison Crowson, program manager for Norwich’s online criminal justice programs, Scribner enrolled into the online MPA program so that she would be open to more career opportunities not only within her department at the Vermont State Police, but also after her years as a police officer comes to an end.
“I feel like my Norwich education has been an investment in myself. It opens up doors for me that would have otherwise been closed,” Scribner reflected.
Scribner was welcomed to walk across the stage at Norwich one last time as she completed her final degree, a Master of Public Administration. It was nearly 30 years after she first started at Norwich to attain her final degree in 2019.
"The fact that I had children and sometimes I had a really busy career with investigations, and I could never have done this without the opportunities with an online program at Norwich," Scribner said in an interview with WCAX-TV at the 2019 College of Graduate and Continuing Studies Commencement Ceremony. "I'm done. It's good to be done finally."
After three enrollments and two degrees at Norwich, Scribner considers herself a Norwich ambassador. Scribner noted that her MPA capstone paper, which she submitted as a writing sample when applying for a job promotion, is what made the difference for her to be promoted to her current position as Captain, Staff Operations Commander. Scribner plans to retire from the Vermont State Police in 2021 with the goal of working in the non-profit field as what she claims to be her ‘encore career.’
“Having an MPA degree is going to help me find a position where I can continue to help people but in a different way than I did as a law enforcement officer,” Scribner remarked. “I can give back to the community that I have grown up in.”
Julie Scribner continues to make Norwich proud.