Nine students were named as Outstanding Students for spring 2017 semester. The students were recognized at Metropolitan State University’s 100th commencement exercise, May 1, at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul. Approximately 1,100 students received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees with 761 students participating in the spring ceremony.
Dietrich Anderson, College of Community Studies and Public Affairs
Seven years ago, Dietrich Anderson, Roseville, was facing a judge in drug court. Today, Dietrich stands tall as a summa cum laude graduate with a degree in alcohol and drug counseling.
Working jobs in the food industry through most of his 20s and 30s, Anderson felt the wear of the grind. He was also in the throes of addiction, which made his life unmanageable. His self-worth at an all-time low, Anderson found himself in drug court.
“My journey to recovery started with my participation in the Dakota County Drug Court program. I would learn to love myself again and rediscover that I could make something of my life,” he said.
With this help and the support of his family, Anderson began his way to brighter future. He is graduating as the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs’ Outstanding Student for spring 2017 semester. He graduated with a degree in drug and alcohol counseling.
In 2014, Anderson transferred to Metropolitan State University from Saint Paul College. He immediately found support and direction in his advisor, Karin Jax. “Since day one she has been a true supporter, advisor, and cheerleader for my success while at Metro,” Anderson said. Anderson also credits several other faculty members who regularly went above and beyond to enrich his experience at Metropolitan State.
Anderson worked two jobs through most of his college experience. He eventually left one of those jobs in favor of a full-time internship. He credits maintaining his sobriety and practicing self-care for keeping him successful in his studies and work life.
“Being in recovery is like having diabetes; one has to continually do maintenance,” he says.
Anderson maintains his healthy lifestyle by staying busy, and it means a lot to him to remain accountable to family and friends. Currently, Anderson is interning with NuWay House, Inc., a private, nonprofit organization that serves people recovering from substance use and mental health disorders. After graduation, Anderson hopes to become a licensed drug and alcohol counselor with NuWay House, Inc. He recently applied and interviewed for a master’s program at Metropolitan State University, and his ambitions don’t stop there.
“I may even go on to get my PhD in mental health someday, but one step at a time.”