Bengal Tales – Deneen Hernandez

Class Year: 1988
Degree: M.S. in Criminal Justice

Deneen Hernandez, '88Current Occupation Forensic Examiner

What is one of your fondest memories of Buffalo State?

Having coffee with my friend, Paul Michalek (Criminal Justice major, MS degree, 1988). We could talk for hours about CJ topics. Going to class in uniform. Like a lot of the guys, I was working midnights throughout my MS program.

Were you involved with any on-campus organizations as a student?


How did graduating from Buffalo State shape your future?

It provided opportunities, I didn't foresee. It made me stand out as a Native American female. Many didn't have this qualification or background.Fresh out of graduate school in 1988, I was recruited by Jamestown Community College to teach Criminal Justice courses. I've been teaching undergraduate and graduate classes at different colleges since then - 28 years.

What accomplishments have you achieved since graduating from Buffalo State?

I'll be in federal service for 20 years in April, 2017. Started in 1990 in the Drug Enforcement Administration then to the National Indian Gaming Commission and now, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I also worked for the State of New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians for a number of years. In 2004, I started work on my PhD from Capella University in Public Service Leadership. I'm ABD - All But Done (Dissertation).
I've had the privilege of presenting at conferences all over the world.

Do you have any advice for current students trying to achieve success after graduation?

Don't give up! Success is what you feel that you have accomplished not what other people think or have. Remember to try everything. Don't make a bucket list - make a now list! My last piece of advice is - tell the world, "I'm not done yet!"

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Originally posted: April 2017