Alumni Spotlight: Emily L. Koppenhofer '15
The Bureau of Autism Services
My Widener Experience
why did you decide to pursue a master in criminal justice?
Pursuing a master in criminal justice was the culmination of many different aspects of my interests and academic background. I received my BA from Ursinus College with a double major in politics and philosophy. I'm fascinated by the humanity involved in profound academic thought. I am more interested in the details of a "big idea" rather than the bigger picture. Overall, I'm in constant pursuit of figuring out what it means to be human. Particularly, I'm curious about the darker aspects of our nature, and why "good" people do "bad" things. This led me to the field of criminal justice.
if you were to do your college experience at widener again, what wouldn't you change?
If I had to relive my experience at Widener (which I would do in a heartbeat), I wouldn't change the excellent quality of the courses or lessen the passion of the professors who taught them. One of the things I loved about studying at Widener in the criminal justice program is the fact that there is a mix of teachers who have both strong academic and professional experience in the field. It's fascinating to learn from an FBI agent, lawyer, and researcher sometimes all in one week! The variety of classes and teaching styles really helps prepare students for many situations they can encounter in the "real world."
My Professional Experience
what do you like most about your current position?
As someone who constantly needs to be engaged in something (a project, hobby, work, etc.), I feel as though this position is tailor-made for me, because it is constantly changing with new challenges arising daily. I enjoy problem solving with provider institutions and interfacing with participants about how to best meet their wants and needs. Additionally, I'm passionate about helping those in vulnerable populations, and this job allows me to help others in a meaningful way.
what advice would you give a prospective student considering the master in criminal justice graduate program?
My advice to a prospective student considering criminal justice would be to take advantage of courses beyond your comfort zone. For example, I didn't even know the term "restorative justice" until taking courses about it, and now I use the basics of the practice in my everyday life. You may surprise yourself by using the content of classes you didn't think were right for you initially.