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Alumni Spotlight: JaLena R. Jackson '16

jalena jackson '16

BA Criminal Justice

Other degrees

BA Sociology, Widener University


Upper Marlboro, MD

Current Position

Legal/Office Assistant
Greenberg Traurig LLP

linked in icon View JaLena Jackson's LinkedIn Profile


My Widener Experience

why did you decide to pursue your specific degrees?

I chose to major in criminal justice and sociology because I wanted to simply make a change within our system. I am also a lover of people and wanted to learn how our system worked and how people in general operate. These two majors certainly helped me figure this out. I was able to find my passion for the investigative/behavioral study aspect within the system. I learned that I want to study the behaviors and characteristics of people that lead to them committing crimes.

who was your favorite professor at widener? why?

Dr. Shana Maier was my absolute favorite professor at Widener. She was my advisor as a freshman when I made the switch from being a biology major. She was always helpful with answering my questions in a thorough and prompt manner. Her constant guidance and encouragement helped me conquer all roadblocks I faced during my college career. Without her I would not have made it through the four years. I love you Dr. Maier!

My Professional Experience

what advice would you give a prospective student considering joining the programs you attended?

I would tell a prospective student to be open minded to all aspects of the criminal justice system in order to truly know what career path is right for you. There are so many subdivisions of job opportunities under law enforcement, corrections, and the courts that truly can be tailored for someone. I would say explore all your options before just being set on one career path. Internships definitely are another factor that I would highly recommend to ensure the career you are aspiring after is for you.

how has widener prepared you for life after college?

Widener truly prepared me for life after college in several ways. I would say the small class sizes and ability to develop personal relationships with your professors is amazing. I did not feel like just another student because they know your name and are able to assist you more personally. Also, the career center with Janet Long and Jan Moppert truly helped prep me for post-grad life. I learned so many skills on how to network and market myself for the job force after school. Dr. Eimer's sociology seminar class also helped because he discussed finances, interviews, credit, and various other tools you need to become successful. It is more then just having good grades—you also need to have life skills in order to keep striving for excellence. Now I'm more than ready to take on graduate school in forensics in the spring!