I wanted to learn about the criminal justice system.
Being a student at Mason in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences taught me how to manage my time, become more disciplined, and challenge my own ways of thinking.
I'm proud of always asking questions and engaging in discussions with my professors and fellow classmates. I think that my desire to learn and my curiosity about many topics helped me to have such a positive and valuable experience at Mason.
I'm also proud of finishing my degree as a working student.
I had so many great professors at Mason who all taught me different things.
Professor John Murphy's required Constitutional Law class was so interesting and entertaining that it has inspired me to consider a law degree in the future.
Professor Stephen Bamford taught me a lot about criminal investigations and policing from his personal experiences in his career as a cop. His classes showed me how interesting and complex investigations can be and provided insight into aspects of the job that you couldn't learn in a textbook.
Professor Andrew Novak helped me understand international criminal law, human rights law, and inequality in our criminal justice system. His in-depth knowledge of many complicated topics really inspires me to continue learning and reading about current events around the world after I graduate.
Professor Allison Redlich's class on wrongful convictions helped me understand the flaws in our criminal justice system and how deeply rooted they are. Although the class was one of the most difficult, the detailed, factual information I learned was invaluable and changed my perspective on the whole system.
Professor William Woolf taught me about the problem of human trafficking in our own community and around the world. Accounts of his past and current experiences in the fight against trafficking made me realize how real the issue is and how critical the need is to fix it.
Lastly, Professor Rhian McCoy's course on terrorism (from the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Analysis) opened my eyes to a completely different way of thinking about conflicts, big and small, and why people do the things they do. Professor McCoy's class was always fun because she made everyone participate in really interesting discussions and we were able to share our own thoughts and opinions openly, without judgement.
You don't need to have your life plan figured out yet. Just be open minded to trying different things and you might discover a passion for something that surprises you. Also, always participate in class discussions and engage with your professors. You will learn so much from them.
Following graduation, I want to travel and do humanitarian work overseas. In the future, I hope to work in a hands-on criminal justice profession and possibly get a law degree. I want a career working in the criminal justice system where I can work directly with people to improve their lives and give back to the community.