The Criminal Justice Department has a new scholarship for current students called “The Ryan K. Marten Memorial Scholarship.” The scholarship was created in memory of criminal justice alumni Ryan Marten.
Kevin Cannon, department chair of Criminal Justice Studies, said after hearing about Marten’s death, the department initially decided to rename their “Outstanding Graduate Award” to “The Ryan K. Marten Memorial Scholarship.”
Cannon said Marten’s sister was also a criminal justice alumnus. He said they were able to get in contact with her and inform Marten’s family of their plans.
“When we were in contact with her, and let her know what we wanted to do, the family was very supportive,” Cannon said.
During his time at SIUE, Marten was one of two students to be selected for an internship with the United States Marshal Service and was later offered a job as a U.S. Marshal.
Retired professor P.A. Dirks-Linhorst, said she had Marten in one of her internship classes and worked with him while he interned at the co-op program with the United States Marshal Service.
“Of course, he did great with them and they offered him a job as soon as he finished the co-op program,” Dirks-Linhorst said. “It’s at that point that he started his career with the United States Marshal’s Office, which he was with when he died.
Marten kept in touch with the Criminal Justice Department after he graduated.
Dirks-Linhorst said Marten was a great, kind and humble student. She said he was very focused on working in the criminal justice system.
“He was incredibly personable,” Dirks-Linhorst said. “He was very kind and he’d do anything for his fellow students or anything that the co-op asked him to do.”
Dirks-Linhorst said she worked with Marten when he was the internship coordinator for the U.S. Marshals at their St. Louis Office. She said he often participated in career fairs held by the criminal justice department.
“He had a booth at our very first criminal justice career fair because he was very supportive of not only the US Marshals office, but kind of reaching back and continuing to help our students,” Dirks-Linhorst said.
Senior director of development Kyle Moore said the scholarship is open for junior and seniors majoring in criminal justice who have a strong interest in entering local, state or federal law enforcement upon the completion of their degree.
Moore said the criteria applicants must meet includes good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, two letters of recommendation and a 500 word essay detailing their long-term goals.
“Preference is given to currently employed law enforcement officers, or military veterans and also to students that show outstanding drive and motivation as a profession,” Moore said.
Moore said “The Ryan K. Marten Memorial Scholarship” is a great scholarship that is impactful for students.
“Anytime we can put together something like that, it lets them achieve their educational aspirations and does some good for the campus,” Moore said.
Cannon said after the first year, Marten’s friends and family had set up a foundation to assist students in the Criminal Justice Department. He said instead of an award given to a graduate student, the donations were turned into a scholarship for current students.
“Last year was the first time that we awarded it as a scholarship, which is now a $2,500 scholarship for students that are still in the middle of their academic career,” Cannon said.
Moore said after seeing the fundraising efforts and other support for the scholarship, it made more sense to create a separate scholarship dedicated to Marten.
“It makes sense for them to have their own award,” Moore said. “They can leave a legacy for Ryan on the campus and keep the outstanding award that is currently departmental award, as well in the criminal justice department.”
Dirks-Linhorst said Marten’s family started hosting a golf tournament to raise money for the scholarship.
“It was just amazing to me that not only did the family come together and fund this ongoing scholarship, but then their plan is to have an annual golf tournament,” Dirks-Linhorst said.
Dirks-Linhorst said the last golf tournament was a substantial event. She said the family had to turn some people away due to how many participants they had.
“I just think that speaks to how well beloved he was by his fellow workers, as well as his family and in the university,” Dirks-Linhorst said.