Where Are They Now Alumni Profile - Meet Sgt. Benjamin Fisk
Degree Helps Sergeant Prepare for Career after Law Enforcement
In 2018, Sgt. Benjamin Fisk took advantage of a workplace partnership between the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and Rio Salado College to realize his educational goals by earning two associate degrees.
“I chose Rio Salado because it offered me the ability to complete my associate degrees without interfering with my home or work schedule,” Fisk said. “I completed both an associate in liberal arts and an associate in applied science in detention services because they offered me the opportunity to continue my education in different directions.”
Fisk, who began working for the MCSO in 2005, found that learning at home initially required an adjustment period.
“Online education is not easier than traditional on-campus education,” Fisk said. “However, I found that online learning worked well for me because I did not need to organize my life around a class schedule.”
He advises online students to stay focused to be successful.
“You need to find time to study and complete assignments,” Fisk said. “The hardest part for me was reducing distractions. A good pair of headphones or earmuffs helps considerably.”
During his time at Rio Salado, Fisk particularly enjoyed several online classes for different reasons.
“My favorite class was either Astronomy, History of Mexico, or Math 142,” Fisk said. “I have always been a bit of a science geek. I found the History of Mexico to be greatly insightful in understanding modern international relations. I was not fond of Math 142 when I took the class but took pride in accomplishing something difficult.”
Today, Fisk still works for the MCSO as jail supervisor and instructor. He recently completed a bachelor’s degree in history from Ottawa University and is deciding on graduate programs.
“I plan on completing a master’s degree in either social work or counseling,” Fisk said. “My intent is to work with law enforcement officers and their families upon my retirement.”
Fisk remains keenly interested in learning and expanding his knowledge to satisfy the curiosity he has for many fields, including patterns research, psychology, pioneers, space, science fiction, and writing, and hopes to be published one day.
Until then, Fisk said the education he received at Rio Salado helped him become more successful on the job.
“In today’s society, high school education has been supplanted by college education, making a degree almost a necessity for a long-term career in law enforcement,” Fisk said. “My education from Rio showed me how critical these skills are and that I can help foster them in officers to assist them in their careers.”
In fact, Fisk advises fellow officers to pursue the Rio Salado College partnership.
“I recommend Rio to all of my staff, referring them on a regular basis,” Fisk said. “I do this because of the value that education has on their futures both personally and professionally.”
By Mira Radovich, Senior Contributing Writer