Criminology Alumni Chapter grows by engaging alumni, students and the community

By ELISA NAVARRO, Student Writer

“Thanks to the Criminology Chapter, I have seen alumni get very excited that they are able to help out their alma mater and help out current students. Students are asking questions and have realized that we really are here for their best interest,” said Julia Costello (2011).

Costello got involved with the Criminology Alumni and Friends Chapter three years ago and currently serves as the vice president. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Criminology, with an emphasis in Forensics Behavioral Science, and is currently a Deputy Sheriff with the Fresno County Sheriff’s office.

“I realized in college that one of the things I thought was lacking was the networking between students and law enforcement professionals in the real world outside of the university. [I] realized that with my network contacts and the other members’ contacts, we can get together and really help students to speak with professionals in the field. And we can do a lot of networking and events.”

A tremendously successful educational and networking event the Criminology Chapter hosts is CrimTalks. Through their professional network, Costello and the other officers of the chapter recruit experts on various topics of interest to alumni, students, faculty and staff, and the law enforcement community. Heading into their fifth CrimTalk, they now have average attendance of more than 150 people. Through their events the chapter raises money for their scholarship fund, which will benefit Criminology students once it is endowed.

“We had one for the spring semester on human trafficking and we have one coming up in May that will be on gangs. We started at the Smittcamp Alumni House, then went to the North gym and now we are going to the Peters Education Center, a much larger facility, and that’s really nice,” Costello said.

To support its growth, the chapter is now looking to expand its board to become more diverse, bringing in a greater range of expertise and experience.

“The more diversity, the better we can help students try to figure out what route they want to take. We have a very limited amount of people involved now,” Costello said. “When we started we didn’t focus on expanding. We wanted to just get out there, and I think we got out, but now we need to go back in and focus on expanding our board.”

To talk with Julia about joining the Criminology Alumni Chapter email her:

Join the chapter’s Facebook group.

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