Ashley Appleby, Criminal Justice and Psychology, Class of 2017

When I first enrolled in Quinnipiac University, I never would’ve imagined that I would be where I am today. As a first generation college student, I began my first year as an undeclared major – I was unsure about how to study for mid-terms and final exams throughout that first year, let alone about the career I wanted to pursue after graduation. After a turbulent first year, I returned my sophomore year ready to hit the ground running and declared a double major in both Criminal Justice and Psychology.

The first criminal justice course I took ignited a passion and drive inside of me that I didn’t know I had. After completing that first course, Professor McGuinn took the time to commend me on my excellent performance, and I remember receiving the e-mail to this day – as a first generation college student with no clear path ahead, the course truly changed my life. It was the first time I realized that if I work towards something, just like I worked towards that A, that I can make a difference. For me, the difference began with my GPA – after falling well below a 3.0 my first year, I decided to commit to my double-major with a work-ethic that I didn’t know I had, and thanks to the faculty support I received, along with the unconditional love and support of my family, I was able to excel throughout the remaining years of my undergraduate career.

By the end of my Senior Year, I had completed two internships, been involved in numerous campus groups and organizations, been a peer mentor for the department, and been part of the inaugural class of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. The class was the most transformative experience of my undergraduate career, and in tandem with the encouragement of the faculty in the department, I was motivated to continue onto graduate school. Not only did the department help me realize the potential I had to make a difference in my own life throughout those four years, but also how I can use my skills, knowledge, and resources to make a difference in the lives of others.

I am now a Ph.D. Student at Rutgers University, Newark – School of Criminal Justice. At the close of my third year, I have instructed numerous courses on constitutional issues, corrections, and mass incarceration. Additionally, I have continued to pursue my passions and as a student alumni of the Inside-Out Program, I am now a certified instructor after attending a 7-day training last May. I owe a huge thank you to all of the faculty at the College of Arts and Sciences – I would never be where I am today if it wasn’t for all of your support, along with all of the resources available for students. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

By Ashley M. Appleby
Ashley M. Appleby Ph.D. Student