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Student and Alumni Stories

Briana Leone, BS Criminology & Justice Studies and BA Sociology ’21

Drexel Criminology and Justice Studies and Politics student Briana Leone

Degree: BS Criminology & Justice Studies and BA Sociology ’21
Concentration: Criminal Justice
Research Interests: I wish to research basic human rights violation at the heart of our correctional systems as they relate to education, health and socioeconomic status.
Extracurricular activities: Events Coordinator, Drexel’s Criminal Justice Club; Alpha Phi Sigma
Awards: AJ Drexel Scholarship

Coolest experience you’ve had through your major?

One of my coolest experiences in this major was going to the juvenile court. Not only is the court restricted access, meaning only authorized personnel and the family of the accused are allowed to attend, it was also my first court experience. What I most liked about the experience was the judge’s kindness and father-like approach to the children who came through the courtroom. He also maintained a very humble tone when interacting with us and answering our questions, even when those questions were very basic inquiries within the legal world.

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Khalil McFarlane, BS Criminology & Justice Studies and BA Sociology ’21

Drexel BS Criminology & Justice Studies and BA Sociology Student Khalil MacFarlane

Degree: BS Criminology & Justice Studies and BA Sociology ’21
Concentration: Criminal Justice
Research Interests: Male reintegration and sexual assault
Extracurricular activities: Vice President, Criminal Justice Society; SimCity Specialist, Justice in our Community course (CJS260)
Awards: A.J. Drexel Scholarship

Coolest experience you’ve had through your major?

The coolest experience I have had through my major was visiting the Eastern State Penitentiary with the Criminal Justice Society. Although I am a native Philadelphian, I had never been to this historic prison. I also did not know the history behind it, nor the influence it had on the rest of the world at that time.

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Maryann Mingrino, BS Criminology & Justice Studies ’21

Maryann Mingrino Criminology and Justice Studies Major at Drexel University

Degree: BS Criminology & Justice Studies ’21
Concentration: Justice Policy
Minor: Legal Studies
Research Interests: Areas with high shooting rates and their demographics (I will be going to the American Society of Criminology meeting in San Francisco to present my research.), Wrongfully convicted individuals in Pennsylvania (I will be doing an independent study dealing with this.)
Extracurricular activities: Treasurer, Criminal Justice Society; Treasurer, Alpha Phi Sigma; Student Ambassador, Andrew L. Hicks Foundation, Collegiate Debate
Awards: AJ Drexel Scholarship, Drexel Dragon Scholarship, Dean’s List

What led you to choose your major?

I had taken a few criminology courses, but it was CJS-101 with Dr. Dickinson that really helped make my decision. I enjoyed learning about the background of our criminal justice system, and overall the class was very fun and interesting.

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Madheline Gomez, BS Criminology & Justice Studies ’19

Drexel Criminology and Justice Studies major Madheline Gomez

Degree: BS Criminology & Justice Studies ’19
Concentration: Justice Informatics
Co-op: Desktop technician, Day & Zimmermann
Extracurricular activities: Club softball

What were some of your most memorable travel experiences through Drexel?

My junior year, I went on an Intensive Course Abroad to Norway and Sweden, where we studied the difference between the American criminal justice system and the Scandinavian criminal justice system. It was an amazing experience to see how different cultures deal with crime in different ways.

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Awurama Nyantakyiwaa Agyei, BS Criminology & Justice Studies ’18

Awurama Nyantakyiwaa Agyei Criminology and Justice Studies Major at Drexel University

Degree: BS Criminology & Justice Studies ’18
Concentration: Criminology and Justice Policy
Minor: Political Science
Co-op: Brain Injury Therapist Intern, MossRehab Drucker Brain Injury Center
Extracurricular activities: Peer tutor, Drexel Writing Center; Volunteer, Girl Scouts Beyond Bars; Vice President, Drexel Biddle Law Society; Director of Pursuits, Delta Gamma Sorority
Awards: A.J Drexel Academic Scholarship; Papadakis International Scholarship; 2016 Service Year + Higher Education Innovation Challenge Award, Lumina Foundation; G.E College Bowl Award; Dr. Jacquelyn West-Ford Award for Civility, Humanitarianism and Social Justice; Dean’s List; Honorable William J. Hall Jr. Award, Drexel University

What led you to choose your major? Was there a specific course, faculty member or experience that convinced you of your decision?

I started out at Drexel as a double major in biology and criminology, hoping to go into medicine after graduation. My first class, a basic criminal justice one with the late Dr. Julia Hall, had me questioning my purpose and changing my mind. I realized that there was more than one way I could influence the world and help change it, and the right path for me would be through the criminal justice system. Taking CJS classes such as the inside-out Prison, Society and You course in the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility further solidified the decision, as I realized how much I wanted to improve the rehabilitation and correctional practices of the criminal justice systems in the country and the world at large.

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Emma Nolan, BS Criminology & Justice Studies ’18

Emma Nolan Drexel Criminology and Justice Studies Alumna

This article previously appeared in the College of Arts and Sciences News section.

What do little girls dream of? Four-year-old Emma Nolan ’18 dreamed of becoming a sharp-shooter in the CIA.

“My mom had no idea where I got that from,” she laughs, now a senior criminology and justice studies major at Drexel University.

Not much seems to have changed for Nolan, who, unlike many students, never doubted her choice of major. Her career ambitions have shifted, however, from a future in law enforcement and government agency work to one in research, after her experience in an intensive course abroad.

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Alli Scott, BS Criminology & Justice Studies ’17

Drexel BS Criminology & Justice Studies Student Alli Scott

Alli Scott came to Drexel intent on becoming a prosecutor. There was something about all those episodes of “Law & Order: SVU” she watched growing up that made her think it was the best way she could help other people. But then she arrived on campus and began to study criminology and the theoretical components of the justice system — why people commit crime and what sociocultural influences can predict behavior — and landed on a new future: crime analysis.

Scott, a self-described “bleeding heart” whose 10-year plan includes opening an early intervention nonprofit, believes that finding ways to help police departments more effectively deploy resources, rather than simply sending more police to areas with high crime rates, is the key to improving justice. Crime-mapping courses have opened her up to the relationship between the number of parks and bars in a neighborhood and its violent crime rate, for example, allowing for better assessments and more-efficient responses from police and other institutions.

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