MS in Criminal Justice

Chloe Moore, 2021

Chloe Moore

Describe your dissertation, thesis, or capstone (if you completed one):

My research capstone, was an evaluation of the Arlington County Victim/Witness Program. More specifically, I was interested in understanding how this program provides required service objectives to all victims and witnesses of crimes and if there any gaps or needs of this program that may delay support to victims/witnesses of crimes.

How did you choose your specific area of study?

Long story short-- I was a witness to a domestic assault in high school, subpoenaed to attend as a witness, and then found out the prosecutor attached to the case was the mother of someone I went to school with. I ended up shadowing her and the Arlington County Victim/Witness Program. From there, I ended up interning every summer I came home from college as an undergrad. So I've always had a huge interest in this program and reached out to the program director to work with them again!

How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you?

It actually helped me in my current job. I went straight from undergrad to the job I'm in now. So although I've been in the government for several years, I did not have background in gathering, interpreting and synthesizing data as much as I would have liked. This program taught me how to work with and present data in a more effective way.

Of which accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud?

I've worked throughout this program so I was worried about being able to balance working full-time and taking classes part-time (factoring in a pandemic midway through). Some semesters were more stressful than others, but I'm most proud of myself for getting through it and doing well.

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career?

First and foremost, all of the professors I've had in this program have individually made a huge difference in my Mason career. So, thank you all. That being said, personal shout outs to Dr. Gill and Dr. D'Anna! The first class I ever had in this program was CRIM 511 with Dr. Gill followed by 516 and now 517. I never felt totally panicked in class because Dr. Gill was always amazing when it came to structuring her classes and leading discussions. I learned how to think critically about strengths and limitations with policies and practices that I will apply in my career. I also found that I love program evaluation and hope to one day be a part of growing a new program or assessing one. I had CRIM 545, 515, and 595 with Dr. D'Anna. I can tell you that I never thought I would love working with data in excel or coding so much in my life. The passion & zest for working with data Dr. D'Anna had made virtual classes during the pandemic fun. I found that I thoroughly enjoy working with data now and ultimately would love to find a career path where I can do that more.

What advice would you give to an incoming cohort of graduate students?

Network! As cliché as it sounds, there are so many people in this program that want to see you succeed, help you build connections and ultimately get where you want to go. But also, make friends with your classmates. I met a close group of friends when I initially started this program that became my support system throughout my program. We got through our classes together, vented about class work, our work lives, lifted each other up, and even now still keep in touch. It's very easy, especially those who work full time and have families to get in and get out during classes but having a support system of classmates and professors will help you through the tough times you have in this program and outside of this program.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

Next on my list is working on my resume again to look for other opportunities within my organization where I can apply what I've learned in this program. Long-term career goals, would be to work with data and/or program evaluation and eventually become a leader within my organization.