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Heroes of Public Safety - Honoring those that gave their lives serving others.
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Scholarship Recipients


Candace Smallwood

Candace Smallwood in red and black dress in front of shop window

Candace Smallwood is a sophomore majoring in Public Safety Management at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. Her motivation to pursue a career in law enforcement stems from her passion to serve and give back to her community. Upon graduation, Candace plans to work in law enforcement, specifically in her hometown of Fishers, IN. She has loved getting to learn from her professors and chose the O’Neill School because she knew it would best prepare her for her future goals.

Olivia Hale

Olivia Hale

Olivia Hale is in her final semester at IUPUI in Public Safety Management. In addition, Olivia of beginning the accelerated master's program in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Management at the O'Neill School with a minor in Religious Studies. After completing her degree, she plans to enter into the career path of federal law enforcement, specifically in counterterrorism or a special investigations unit. Olivia chose IUPUI and O'Neill School because of the diversity the campus has to offer. In the future, Olivia plans to work in a larger city where she can be exposed to many different individuals, and she knows that IUPUI and O'Neill School will provide her with the absolute best instructors and academic experiences. Olivia is currently a cadet in the Indiana University Police Department Program.


Chase Simpson

Chase Simpson in uniform

Chase Simpson will graduate with his bachelor's degree in Public Safety Management in fall 2021. Chase wishes to pursue a career in law enforcement. Chase comes from a diverse family with firefighters and police officers. He has felt a calling since high school when he began getting involved in police community relations. Chase was a part of the Lawrence Police Explorer Post and oversaw the fundraising for the post. He is currently a part-time police officer with the IU Police Department at the IUPUI division.


Reece H. Thompson

Reece Thompson in uniform in front of vertical United States flag

Reece Thompson has spent his last 4 years at the O'Neill School working toward his bachelor's degree in Public Safety Management with a minor in Civic Leadership. Reece chose O'Neill School of Public and Environment Affairs because it offered the degree and programs he needed to fulfill his short and long¬ term goals. Reece started achieving these goals by interning with the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Indiana State Police where he learned the key elements of public safety. After these opportunities he continued to stick with law enforcement at Indiana University Police Department in their cadet program where he is now a full sworn police officer. Reece chose to study Public Safety Management with a minor in Civic Leadership because of the unique combination of degrees that highlights his work inside and outside of IUPUI. He feels this degree makes him capable of pursing a leadership position in law enforcement. After graduation, Reece plans to seek career opportunities in central Indiana in a law enforcement officer position. His long-term goal is to become a future leader in law enforcement.


Shelby Cleek

Shelby Cleek at an IU football game

Shelby Cleek is a sophomore at Indiana University Bloomington pursuing an informatics degree with a minor in psychology. She will be a second-generation law enforcement officer. Her passion for the field has been present all her life but in 2016 it was affirmed when she attended the FBI Youth Leadership Program in Quantico, Virginia. Shelby plans to join the IU cadets to help her ultimately pursue a career in federal law enforcement. She is excited for the future and very thankful for Jason Baker and his family, this scholarship has given her an additional motivation and reason behind her dreams.

Alexander Clausius

Alexander Clausius smiling in a suit in front of red O'Neill School background

Alexander Clausius is in his second year working towards his master's degree in Public Management after earning his bachelor's degree in Public Safety Management in. His education at the O'Neill School will help him achieve his career goal to be an FBI special agent focusing on counterterrorism or violent crime. This has been Alex's dream since he was in the eighth grade and since then, he has done everything to make this dream a reality. He feels that an important decision he made in pursuit of this goal was to major in Public Safety Management at the O'Neill School. Alex feels he was correct in his decision because working toward this degree allowed him to have some amazing opportunities. Over the last four years, Alexander was able to participate in a program at a maximum-security prison with Toastmasters International, where his perspective on criminal justice was changed. He had the opportunity to study issues related to terrorism, homeland security, public safety, and public policy. In addition, he traveled to London for a study-abroad program and worked and studied in Washington D.C through the Washington Leadership Program. To finish off his undergraduate degree, he participated in the Indiana University Cadet Officer Program as a cadet during the (spring 2020) COVID pandemic and Alex graduated with honors and was part of IUPUI Top 100 for 2020. After his graduation, Alex earned an Indiana Law Enforcement Certification from the Indiana University Police Academy in August 2021 and has since began working full time for IUPD-Indianapolis with hopes to complete his masters degree by May 2022.

Ingrid Ortega

Ingrid Ortega in uniform holding her diploma in ballroom in front of vertical Indiana University Police banner

In May of 2021, Ingrid graduated with her BA in Public Safety Management with minors in Forensic Science and Psychology from the O'Neill School IUPUI. During her time at IUPUI, she was heavily involved in different organizations on campus, but most specifically in Housing and Residence Life. Sophomore year of college Ingrid was accepted into the cadet program with the Indiana University Police Department. She was a cadet for both her junior and senior year of college before she attended the Indiana University Police Academy in 2021. Ingrid plans on continuing to work at IUPD-Indianapolis while she works toward obtaining a graduate certificate in Homeland Security & Emergency Management from the O'Neill School IUPUI. Ingrid is pursuing a role in law enforcement and plans to continue on for her masters degree. She is grateful to have been chosen as a recipient of the Jason Baker Legacy Scholarship because if she hadn't then she wouldn't have been able to afford her my education. A million thank yous to everyone involved in the Jason Baker Legacy Scholarship. Ingrid wouldn't be where she is without you.


Darian Lewellen

Darian will be a junior at IUPUI majoring in Criminal Justice. Darian will graduate in 2019 with a CJ degree and a graduate certificate in Public Management. As an IUPUI Cadet Darian is attending the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Bloomington and will begin his Junior year as a part time sworn police officer gaining valuable experiance in his chosen field.

Darian is a second generation police officer aspiring to a career with the Indiana State Police, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department or the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. Darian has already gained some security experiance having worked for Excise and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian enjoys fishing, hunting and weightlifting. (updated 8/17).

Jacob Lusby

Jacob Lusby

Jacob is a 2016 graduate of South Dearborn High School. He received an AS in Criminal Justice through Ivy Tech Community College then transferred to Indiana University East where he is working to complete his bachelor’s.

Recently, August 2019, Jacob was hired by Aurora Police Department as an officer. Both Jacob’s father and grandfather were law enforcement officers, making him a third generation officer. Jacob was fortunate enough to be hired by the same department his grandfather served as Chief of Police over 35 years ago.

Jacob is looking forward to a long, rewarding career in law enforcement.

Owen Richardson


Wendy Barron

Wendy is re-charging this summer after a full schedule last school year. She has 7 classes remaining before graduation. Wendy is motivated by the faith that the Jason Baker Scholarship has instilled in her.

Wendy is looking forward to the final year challenge and is ready for the next step. (updated 8/17).


Sarah Al-Abdulmunem

Sarah graduated from the School of Knowledge in May of 2013. She is currently attending Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). Sarah will be applying for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety (MSCJPS) graduate program in the Fall of 2015. She aspires to become a sworn police officer, and plans to enroll in the Cadet Officer Program offered by the Indiana University Police Department.

Alyssa Devine

Alyssa graduated from Evansville High School and is pursuing adegree inCriminal Justice at IndianaUniversity-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). She is scheduled to graduate in May of 2016. Starting in the Fall of 2015, Alyssa will intern with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office/Domestic Violence Division as well as work as a Research Assistant with the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) to develop descriptive reports on Marion County mental health courts. This summer, she will study national security abroad in London before beginning her senior year at IUPUI. She plans to attend Law School after graduation and later join the FBI.

Zachary McClure

Zachary graduated from Shelbyville High School and has graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in May of 2016. He is pursuing a careet in Public Safety.


Lauren Kenney

Lauren graduated from Chesterton High School in 2012. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Management from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Lauren will be applying for the accelerated master’s program in Criminal Justice and Public Safety in the Spring of 2015. She plans on pursuing a career in emergency management, preferably at the city or county level, or even for a college campus. Lauren interned in the Emergency Operations Center at the Indiana State Fair during the Summer of 2014.


Kyle O’Riley

Kyle is a 2013 graduate of Ben Davis High School and attends Vincennes University majoring in Fire Science.


Brandon Feathers

Brandon graduated from Fishers High School in May of 2012 and is currently attending Indiana State University majoring in Criminology. Brandon’s dedication and work ethic earned him a spot on the Dean’s list in his first semester at ISU. In addition to his Public Safety course study, Brandon is also participating in the Air Force ROTC program at ISU where he is a member of the Color Guard.

Brandon remained on the Dean’s list through graduation recieving his degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a minor in martial arts from Indiana State University. Brandon graduated in December 2016 and is pursuing a career in the criminal justice field. (updated 8/17).


Nicholas Bell

Nicholas graduated from paramedics school in October of 2014. He is currently serving on the Greenwood Fire Department as a FF/EMT.


Lori Hernandez-Diaz

Lori graduated fromLafayette High School in 2010 and is studying Forensics.


Joshua Joseph Jester

Joshua graduated from Greenfield Central High School in May of 2009 and attended Vincennes University where he graduated Cum Laude in May of 2011. He was hired by the Mishawaka Fire Department on June 5th, 2012 where he currently serves as a firefighter/EMT-B.

Joshua recently got married to Lauren in April of 2017. Joshua is also attending paramedic school which also started in April. Josh has also been elected to the local board of the IAFF. Josh’s father is a police officer and his grandfather was a firefighter. (updated 8/17).


Jacob Walker

Jacob graduated from Lawrence North High School in 2008. He attended Ball State University where he pursued a major in Criminal Justice.


Jeremy Michael Devitt

Jeremy graduated from Wayne Township High School in 2007. He enrolled in Ivy Tech’s Fire Science program where he graduated in August of 2009. He completed the program with honors, making the Dean’s each year. He continued his education by enrolling in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) program at IUPUI until accepting a position as a firefighter with The City of Westfield Fire Department in May of 2011. Jeremy continues to serve with the City of Westfield while working to earn his bachelor’s degree in the SPEA program.


Heather Neel

Heather graduated from Beech Grove High School in June of 2006. Described as “…extremely dedicated and hard working … and a role model for the community,” Heather has demonstrated her dedication to her community in many ways. She has been a member of the Beech Grove Police Explorers, volunteered at local fire departments, hospitals, and clinics. Her extracurricular and leadership activities at school have included cheerleading, sports, police and E.M.T. explorers, C.N.A., super senior, junior class officer, and student counsel.

Heather is pursuing studies in Law Enforcement and Homeland Security at Vincennes University.


Robert Lagines

Robert graduated from Lawrence North High School in May of 2005. One of his instructors describes Robert as the epitome of “…what a community would expect from one of its firefighters — strength, determination, and commitment.” Robert began to serve his community in middle school and continued throughout high school working with a daycare community center and a homeless shelter. He is active with his church community and intramural sports.

Robert earned his degree in Fire Science and Safety Technology from Vincennes University and is currently serving as a firefighter with the Indianapolis Fire Department.


Marie Graham


Matthew Harris

Matthew graduated from Noblesville High School in May of 2003. In high school, he was a lieutenant in the Noblesville Police Explorer program and involved in the DARE Mentoring program. He was also member of the football, wrestling and track teams.

Matt is working in law enforcement in Texas.