He Made a Difference // The Mike Tripolino Scholarship
"A lot of people wouldn't be law enforcement officers without his help and dedication and his caring character."
Thank you. That's what people came to say to Mike Tripolino. After 23 years of teaching criminal justice, Tripolino retired from Hawkeye Community College.
Hawkeye students organized a retirement party to honor Mike. His passion for law enforcement resonated among his students. "A lot of people wouldn't be law enforcement officers without his help and dedication and his caring character," remarked one of his students. Throughout his years at Hawkeye Mike impacted more the 4,000 students and had a positive influence on their careers.
Many local police officers attended the reception including Mike’s daughter, Sarah. Sarah is a graduate of Hawkeye Community College’s Correction program. "It was a humbling experience to see her graduate. I pinned the badge on my daughter. It is an experience that I will never forget."
Mike’s parents established a scholarship to honor the accomplishments of their son. Mike made a difference for thousands of students while at Hawkeye, and the Mike Tripolino Criminal Justice Scholarship Fund will continue a legacy of impacting students for years to come. "Many Hawkeye students work while attending college. Scholarships help to relieve the financial stress of attending college. I was honored my parents established this scholarship in my name."
While at Hawkeye, Mike was integral in curriculum changes when the department became Police Science and Corrections with the conversion to a comprehensive community college. Mike also played a vital role in updating the indoor shooting range and the purchase of the Milo simulator.
Mike summarized his career as very fulfilling. "Every student is unique. They drove me to be the best teacher that I could be." His career was cut short due to Parkinson's disease. Retirement will provide new opportunities for Mike as he wants to stay involved in education and is exploring writing a book.
Mike was dedicated to his job and continually looked for ways to develop students into great policemen. Whether it was seeking scholarships to help ease the financial burden or new equipment to provide hands-on experience, Mike was there. He worked relentlessly—working long hours but enjoying every minute of it.