Bethany Hayes, '07
Bethany Hayes, a 2007 Criminal Justice and Political Science major from Cumberland, Ohio, chose Muskingum because of the women’s basketball program, campus environment, and excellent academic programs. The Criminal Justice program was just being established when Hayes enrolled as a student, so she explains, “I took all of my liberal arts education classes, went through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy at Zane State College, then came back to finish my Bachelor’s Degree once the CJ program was officially offering classes.”
For several years, Hayes worked for the Muskingum University Police Department. In November 2012, she accepted a position as the Public Safety Director/Assistant Director for Operation for Ohio University Zanesville and Zane State College. In addition to her full-time job, Hayes has been an officer with the New Concord Police Department since November of 2000. She also works as an Intelligence Liaison Officer for Region 8 of Ohio, and is an adjunct instructor for OUZ and Zane State.
In January of this year, Hayes was awarded the Brian Wagner Community Leadership Award. She is involved in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Muskingum County Sexual Assault Response Team, the Muskingum Alumni Committee, and the Zane State College Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, among other organizations.
After returning to Muskingum from the police academy, Hayes was working full-time for the police department while carrying a full class load. She says, “I had to learn to manage my time and stay focused on my goal of graduating.” She adds, “Professors and staff members taught me a great deal and helped me to grow as a person. They pushed me to do [and] learn more and to think about the bigger picture. My liberal arts education helped me to become a better rounded individual and have a broader understanding of other disciplines.”
The “family environment” at Muskingum was stronger and more profound than Hayes expected. During her freshman year, her family experienced a house fire and lost everything. She relays the story: “I remember going into Coach Newberry’s office the next morning to tell her I would not be in class that day because we had to deal with everything. She said, ‘You better have a good excuse to miss class.’ When I told her what happened, she apologized and actually helped me replace my books and did a fundraiser for our family. I never anticipated such kindness and support from the coach and other players.”
In addition to the late Coach Donna Newberry, Hayes cites former Chief of University Police Rex Newbanks as an important influence. She says, “He was such a caring individual and he taught me so much about being a great officer, person and about serving others. He always pushed me to do more and to be a better person and I owe a great deal to him for all of his guidance and support.”
For those trying to determine their direction post-college, Hayes says, “It is hard deciding your future and which direction to take. Believe in yourself and go for what you want. No one will hand anything to you; you have to earn it, so be willing to put in the time and effort to make yourself successful.”
Hayes and her husband have two children.