Union is saluting our Bachelor of Science Criminal Justice Management (CJM) students, faculty and alumni throughout the month of May in recognition of National Police Week officially held May 13 – 19, 2018.
This week the spotlight is on UI&U CJM alumni Selina Hightower and Charlie Johnson Jr. Both are law enforcement officers. Learn how their Union degree has helped them achieve their goals in the Q & A below.
Q. What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?
A. Selina – My degree is a sense of satisfaction in this accomplishment. I am the first in my family to graduate from college. I was also the first African American female sergeant in my department. I am now a shift commander in the patrol division. My degree also means more advantages in the promotion process.
Chuck – This degree has helped me close a chapter in my life that had been opened for 22 years. It has expanded my professional growth by opening doors that were previously inaccessible in my particular agency. In my agency, in order to be considered for anything above captain, a four-year degree is required. I am not saying that is the direction I am headed but at least I know I am qualified.
Q. What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?
A. Selina – Union reaches out to alumni. The staff is passionate and wants to see students succeed.
Chuck – The professional people that are available along the way, from the educators/professors, to the administrative personnel. They respond to your emails and phone calls in a very timely manner. They are truly there for you. I believe Union realizes there are many choices for post-secondary; therefore, they really market and follow up on being at the top of their game in this arena.
Q. If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?
A. Selina – Learn to manage your time. It can be rough working full-time and going to school. Time management is the key to success.
Chuck – Take the step, I struggled with this also, but you just need to check around and ask some questions. When your questions have been satisfied, going forward there are people that will mitigate some of the process. The process of registering, student loans, financial aid can be exhausting, but Union has people ready and willing to help and guide you.
Q. What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?
A. Selina – My greatest accomplishment is making my mom proud of me.
Chuck – Just being able to balance a full-time work schedule with a tough class curriculum. In addition, I would have to say to do this without taking a break in school was a huge accomplishment.
Q. What is your passion away from work?
A. Selina – My passion is to make a difference in my community. There are too many negative stereotypes about police officers. I strive to let the community know we care about them and their concerns. I love working with youth and volunteer with youth groups.
I also love to travel. I have been to Africa, Italy, Turkey, and Greece.
Chuck – I’m an outdoors guy, so being in the woods and enjoying nature. I also enjoy the gym and athletics. That has been a major part of my entire life and it continues today.