WLU Alumnus, Ryan Bernard, fulfills his lifelong dream after graduating

Ryan Bernard, who graduated from West Liberty University (WLU) in May of 2021 with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and as a member of the WLU Baseball team, made his dreams a reality post-graduation.

Bernard started his position as a trooper for the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) at post 07 in St. Clairsville, Ohio on Jan. 21, 2022. Graduating with OSHP Trooper Class 168, Bernard spent months preparing for the academy and the job that awaited him.“Some of the things that I had to do to prepare me as a patrolman was to make sure I was mentally and physically prepared for the training at the academy. In order to get into the academy, I had to complete a variety of physical tests and I had to do a written exam,” Bernard explained.

According to OSHP’s academy website, once cadets have been accepted into the academy, they will live there for five days a week for nearly six months of training. The website further explains, “The days are filled with difficult mental and physical training. Cadets receive college-level instruction in Ohio laws, human relations, and crash investigation. They also learn arrest techniques, self-defense, firearms, defensive driving and many other topics.”

As of Jan. 21, 2022, Bernard’s job as a patrolman “entails making sure motorists of the state of Ohio are traveling safely,” and following the laws of Ohio.

“My education at WLU helped prepare me for writing statements, understanding why people act in certain ways based on theory and how to make good and ethical decisions.” However, that’s not all WLU gave Bernard. According to him, he misses the great people on the Hilltop. “One thing I miss about WLU is the great people up there. I miss all my old friends that I have played baseball with, and I miss the professors,” Bernard shared.

Urging WLU criminal justice students to “strive” for their goals with their CJ degrees, Bernard says the system needs people and having a degree in CJ can help tremendously — especially if a student plans to go into law enforcement.

Bernard stated his job as a trooper is a “great job” and he encourages anyone who is interested in working for the OSHP to investigate the job requirements. “They [OSHP] have great benefits and they are in need for troopers,” Bernard said. He later shared his insight on the challenges of the academy, but said they were “worth it.”

When Bernard is not working as a trooper, he enjoys taking his fiancé to dinner, relaxing while watching movies and going to the gym. His fiancé, Taylor Long, is a multimedia journalist at WTRF-7 News in Wheeling, W. Va., and an alumna of West Liberty University. Bernard and Long plan to exchange vows on Nov. 13 at Bella Amore on Enchanted Acres.

For more information about this article, please email Annalise Murphy at [email protected]