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All in the family at College of Public Programs convocation

June 05, 2013

Dan Zorich couldn't get a better seat at the College of Public Programs spring 2013 convocation, where his wife and son were graduating. As assistant director of online education for the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, he sat onstage with other college administrators and faculty. And when it came time for his wife, Antoinette, to receive her Master of Social Work degree and his son, Chaz, to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Zorich was allowed to hand both their degrees.

"It was such a proud moment for me, being on stage witnessing my son and wife receiving their college degrees on the same day," said Zorich.

Zorich has taught at the school since receiving his Master of Public Administration degree from the college in 1999. He oversees ASU's second largest online program. The former Vietnam veteran has more than 30 years experience in corrections. He worked at a maximum security prison in Illinois, serving as clinical director for the Pontiac Correctional Facility southwest of Chicago, and was a probation supervisor for Maricopa County.

His wife had a successful career as a Maricopa County probation officer for more than two decades. But she didn't want to study criminology.  Instead, she enrolled in the School of Social Work in the College of Public Programs. Once she receives her state license, Antoinette wants to work with veterans or children with early childhood development issues.

"I never envisioned my wife going to school after retiring as a probation officer of 22 years," Zorich said. "But she really wanted to go back and pursue a graduate degree."

Zorich said part of her motivation came from seeing Chaz enroll at ASU. A military MP, he took online classes while serving in the Arizona National Guard, but finished his degree in person, and would often commute with his father to school. Now that he's earned his degree, the younger Zorich is exploring career options, which include working in law enforcement or going back to graduate school.