Criminal justice alum’s educational journey is never finished

Jeffrey Hole

Like many distance and graduate education alumni, Jeffrey Hole’s educational journey hasn’t followed a traditional path. His plan of earning a master’s degree started in high school and spanned decades as he served his country and community, raised a family and built a career. He accomplished his goal in 2022, but for Hole, his educational journey is never finished.

Hole grew up in a small farming community outside of Madison, Wisconsin. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served an initial active-duty term. He was reactivated to serve in the Gulf War and later instructed at a leadership school prior to ending his military service.

After his time with the Army, Hole began to invest in his education. He enrolled in Madison College and earned an associate degree in police science technology in 1994. Years later, he returned to Madison College, earning a second associate degree in supervisory management in 2015. The same year he completed UW-Madison’s two-year Certified Public Manager Program. In 2019, he received a bachelor’s degree in management from UW-Stout.

“It is my belief that education is something that can never be ‘finished’ and is always an ongoing process to be enjoyed, yet I’ll also note that it was very challenging to balance my work and school and family and volunteer activities – it was worth it,” Hole said.

In spring 2022, Hole earned his Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree from UW-Platteville.

“Getting my master’s degree has always been sort of a ‘bucket list’ goal for me since my time in high school, and Platteville was always my long-term school of choice since my days in Madison College’s Police Science program in the 1990s because of the quality education and outstanding reputation of UW-Platteville in our field,” Hole said. “This was part of a decades-long plan for me.”

Hole is now a Senior Securities Examiner for the Wisconsin Division of Securities, Bureau of Enforcement. His work primarily involves gathering evidence in investigations to confirm or refute potential securities violations or fraud. He has been employed by the State of Wisconsin for over 18 years and has worked with the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Wisconsin Division of Unemployment Insurance, Program Integrity.

“I strongly believe in doing my part in an attempt to make our society a better place for everyone, and that starts with ensuring that people are protected and safe from harm. There are many facets in the field of criminal justice and enforcement, and I have pursued a path for resolving fraud and financial crimes,” Hole said. “I am of the opinion that financial crimes inflict great harm upon its victims, and financial crimes have historically and tragically gone unchecked in comparison to other law enforcement and regulatory efforts because of the perceived complexities involved in such matters. I guess the draw for me – and the reason I most love being an investigator – are the puzzle-solving aspects and my sense of accomplishment from resolving cases and helping people.”

Helping others has also been a common theme in Hole’s personal life. One of his hobbies includes constructing costumes, which has led to a unique volunteer opportunity for him and his family. They serve as members of the 501st Legion, a nonprofit volunteer organization that raises money for charities through public appearances by volunteers dressed in movie-accurate Star Wars costumes. The characters make children’s hospital visits and attend Make-A-Wish events, among others.

Jeffrey Hole's educational journey has been long and winding, but he said his dedication to continuing his education has paid off. To learn more about the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program, click here