Where Are They Now?

Sociology and criminology students at Valpo receive a broad education that combines the best of the liberal arts tradition with the practicalities of job-related skills. Read about our recent graduates below, or see a list of recent job/graduate school placements. For more information on potential careers, see our Careers page.

2021 Graduate Spotlight

Jasmine Blassingame
Criminology & Military Science
May 2021 Graduate
Jasmine Blassingame

What will you be doing after you graduate from Valparaiso University?
I will be serving my country as a 2nd Lieutenant and Logistics Readiness Officer in the U.S. Air Force in Aviano, Italy.

How has your experience in the Sociology/Criminology department helped you get into graduate school and find a job?
I owe so much to the outstanding Soc/Crim department at Valparaiso University! Being an AFROTC cadet and a college student is a extremely challenging task but my amazing professors were with me and supporting me 100% of the way. Even before I walked into the doors of Valpo. My professors made sure that I was able to pursue my desire to serve my country while still being able to find time to take all the necessary classes to complete my degree!

What was your favorite course in the Sociology/Criminology department, and why?
My favorite course was most definitely Development of Sociological Theory! Professor Raridon is not only an outstanding professor who is always finding innovative and intriguing ways to engage students in the material, the class itself works to breakdown some of the most of the abstract social theorist we study and their unconventional theories! To put it short, there’s never a day that is uninteresting!

What advice do you have for current students when preparing for a pathway like yours?
Always believe in yourself and your goals no matter what! There will be times when you the skies seem endlessly grey but always remember all storms pass eventually. Never forget how hard you worked to get to where you are now! You can achieve anything you put your mind to! If you believe, you will achieve!

2020 Graduate Spotlight

Jas Carter, Sociology & Political Science, May 2020 Graduate
Jas Carter

Jas Carter will be attending DePaul University’s MBA Program starting Fall 2020. Congratulations Jas!

2019 Graduate Spotlight

Samyra Leonard, Sociology & Social Work, May 2019 Graduate
picture of Samyra Leonard

Tell us a little about your time since graduating from Valparaiso.
I am attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue my Master of Social Work with a concentration in Leadership & Social Change. I am also in the process of applying to the PhD program at UI. Currently, I am a Resident Advisor at Alpha Epsilon Phi and a Program Assistant for CU Trauma and Resiliency, an organization that helps communities, organizations, and local governments adopt trauma-informed practices and policies.

How has your experience in the Sociology/Criminology department helped you in graduate school?
The Sociology/Criminology department has helped prepare me for graduate school in numerous ways. First, the department helped me discover my passion for substance use disorders and mental illnesses by educating me about sociological theories and how these individuals are affected by the criminal justice system. Discovering this during undergrad gave me direction for selecting internships and my concentration. Second, the professors helped me to strengthen my critical thinking skills and writing ability, which will translate through to your future career. Lastly, one of the professors provided me with the opportunity to assist with conducting and analyzing research, which I would not have had otherwise. We often focus solely on the implementation of policies and direct service from practitioners but having the ability to disseminate research and critically analyze data will benefit you in graduate school, especially if you want to pursue a doctorate degree.

What was your favorite course in the Sociology/Criminology department?
My favorite course was definitely ‘Criminological Theory’ because I love learning about theories! Also, the course did a great job explaining how to apply the theories to criminological behavior and deepened my understanding of how the criminal justice system categorizes criminals and attempts to use certain punishments to address crime.

What advice do you have for current students when preparing for a pathway like yours?
My advice for current students would be to take advantage of the mentoring you receive from professors, push to make your internship fit your learning needs, and if you can, get involved or learn about professors’ research. Also, value the critical feedback you receive about your writing and analytical skills because these are two of your most valuable skills as a graduate student.

Recent Sociology & Criminology job

Recent Sociology & Criminology graduate school attendance: