Loras Grad - Carlson

From Loras to Law Enforcement


A mere 1,259 miles from the Loras College campus, Kevin Carlson (’18) is completing his training at the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, N.M. As a Border Patrol agent trainee, he is earning a comprehensive look at the details that make up his new job.

“So far, my time here has consisted of class work, firearms and tactics training as well as physical conditioning and defensive tactics,” Carlson explained.

All this training will culminate in a career that he began preparing for while studying at Loras.

“By graduation, I had been going through the hiring process for many months. I knew that I wanted to have a career in law enforcement and preferably as a federal agent. When looking through the different federal agencies that were hiring, I was immediately attracted to the Border Patrol. Mainly because of how active they are, the men and women of the Border Patrol are continuously out and about, rather than working in an office that was attractive to me. Another aspect of the Border Patrol that attracted my attention was the locations they worked, along the border. I want to see and experience different parts of the country when I am young and in my professional career.”

As his training progressed, Carlson has seen the benefits of his liberal arts education from Loras.

“Here at the Border Patrol Academy there are a lot of stresses put on us. From tests in different subjects, to the difficulties of our physical techniques department, there is a lot going on. Loras College prepared me for this through the different classes I was taking along with being a student-athlete.

“The course load at Loras had prepared me for this. My study habits and techniques from college have transferred over. My experiences as a politics student at Loras is helping me understand the laws that relate to a Border Patrol agent’s work and how they are implemented in the field.”

Another major component that has helped Carlson transition to his new position is his experiences with the Loras football team and head coach Steve Helminiak (’91).

“Coach often spoke on how playing football was the easiest part of our day, that practicing the sport we loved is easy. What was hard was ensuring we are student-athletes rather than our focus being on football first.

“His after-practices speeches and personal conversations focused on being a good, well-rounded individual, and that is already benefiting me in beginning my professional career.”

Carlson also cites his classroom experiences for preparing him for his new role, particularly the efforts of Professor of Criminal Justice Len Decker, Ph.D (’74) and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Valerie Bell, Ph.D.

“My criminal justice classes will surely help me in my future law enforcement career. My experience at Loras has surely prepared me for the real world.”