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Former Nurse Hopes to Help Troubled Youth with Criminal Justice Degree

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Jan 19, 2018 5:11:01 PM

Saint Leo University student McKisha JonesLife doesn’t come easy. This is exactly what Saint Leo student Kisha Jones knows too well. But the former nurse has never let adversity slow her down.

The 42-year-old mother resides in Douglasville, Ga. and attends Saint Leo’s Marietta Education Center.

“I’ve had my house flood, and I lost a close friend,” Jones confides. “Between family, friends, my Christian faith and being positive, I’ve been able to stay on the dean’s list. I’m always just trying to keep my head up. I like to think I’m an inspiration to somebody. If I can do it, you can do it.”

A Career Shift

Jones began her working life in the medical field caring for ill patients.

“I started out doing nursing in an acute long-term care unit in a hospital,” she says. “Then I changed careers completely and went back to school to get my associate’s in criminal justice.”

For the past 14 years, she has worked for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office. She began her stint there as a detention specialist processing inmates before moving to the accounting department.

“I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness. What have I gotten myself into?’” she recalls. “But over time, the things I used to see that shocked me no longer do.”

Selecting Saint Leo

She earned two associate’s degrees in applied science and criminal justice and is now pursuing a bachelor’s in criminal justice with a minor in accounting.

“I remember talking to several students at my old school who had gone to Saint Leo. They mentioned how flexible and affordable the classes were and how much they liked their instructors. So, I decided to go and check it out. I found that their flexibility in scheduling my classes was so much better.”

Jones says that the Marietta Education Center has such a comforting vibe.

“Walking in, you always see Ms. Diana at the front desk waiting to greet you. There is always someone there who says, “Hey. How are you doing?’ It’s a really friendly, family-oriented place. Yes, it’s school, but I honestly don’t really feel like I’m at a formal school when I go there.”

A few criminal justice professors have really made a mark on her educational journey.

“Judge Mark Scott is so inspirational. He constantly tells his students that we are scholars and have to think and behave like scholars. Michelle Allen also made a real impact on me. She is so down-to-earth and never acts like she is better than us. She was always so helpful and available whenever I needed her.”

Balancing School, Work, & Family

Being a wife of 18 years and having a teenage son and a daughter in the Navy, it’s no secret that Jones has plenty on her plate.

“I have certain times when I do my homework and study,” she explains. “My husband and son are so supportive. They look at the clock and say, ‘It’s homework time.’ My husband will cook on those days when I have a lot of schoolwork to work on. It takes discipline to run a household while being a full-time mom, full-time employee and full-time student. You have to set aside so many hours per day just to get everything done.”

A Passion for Success

In the spring of 2017, Jones was inducted into the Phi Gamma Mu Honor Society due to her good grades at Saint Leo. She explains why she’s always had her eyes looking toward success.

“Even as a little girl, I’ve always made good grades. I’m really particular about not making bad grades. If I get a C on something, I’m almost in tears. I guess I am just driven to do well.”

Career Outlook

Thanks to her experience at the sheriff’s office, Jones is eager to complete her degree and start lending a helping hand to young people in need.

“I hope to go into juvenile justice,” she says. “My goal is to get these kids before they become adult criminals. I feel that if you can impact the lives of young people, you’re doing something great.”

She offers up some words of wisdom to any prospective students looking for a brighter future.

“My advice is that it’s never too late to go back to school or change careers. All things are possible if you trust and believe in yourself.”

Photo credit: The photograph included in this blog post was provided by Mickisha Jones and is used with permission.

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Topics: Education Centers, Adult learners

Center Spotlight: Saint Leo’s Gwinnett, GA Education Center

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Jan 12, 2018 10:23:10 AM

Saint Leo University is proud to support three education centers in the Atlanta, Georgia area. These are just a few of the numerous centers we have around the country.

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Topics: Education Centers

Top 5 Movies Social Work Majors Should Add to Their Netflix Queues

Posted by Saint Leo University Online on Jan 3, 2018 11:56:47 AM

Have you ever seen a movie that changed how you look at the world? A movie that, after watching it, you walked through life with a whole new perspective, ultimately impacting how you interact with those around you?

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Topics: Social Work, Movies

Saint Leo Students & Grads Are a Natural Fit at PricewaterhouseCoopers

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Dec 12, 2017 12:19:37 PM

Saint Leo University is proud to place current students and graduates into internship and employment positions across all fields. One recent example of this is the connection between Saint Leo and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global professional services firm known for its highly-rated accounting services.

From PwC’s Vantage Point

“PwC’s tax professionals are valued business advisors, working in teams on the cutting edge of one of the most challenging and intellectually rigorous fields, solving problems and helping clients anticipate and adapt to complex and evolving tax environments,” says Kate Friedman, a business recruiting manager at the PwC Tampa Tax Service Delivery Center. “Working with St. Leo, we have been able to identify talented individuals to join our team and make a real impact. Over the past four years, we’ve hired over 30 students to join the PwC team at our Tampa Tax Service Delivery Center.”

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Topics: PwC

Harry Potter European Adventure a Hit for Saint Leo Students

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Dec 8, 2017 11:55:44 AM

We recently told you about Saint Leo University’s unique class called The World of Harry Potter in this Q&A with Dr. Kathryn Duncan. As part of the course, students took a trip across the pond to England and Scotland in November to explore a variety of attractions referenced in the wildly popular book series and movies.

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Topics: Harry Potter

Center Spotlight: Saint Leo’s Marietta, GA Education Center

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Dec 7, 2017 1:28:43 PM

Saint Leo University operates a number of Education Centers around the country. An Education Center is a satellite location designed to offer a variety of academic programs at the local level. Students enjoy small class sizes with one-on-one access to instructors and academic support to help them achieve their educational goals.

We recently caught up with Natanya Dowell, the associate director of our Marietta, GA center in the Atlanta area, to learn more about what it offers and why it’s a great option for those seeking various degrees from a nationally-recognized institution.

Q: Where is the Marietta, GA Education Center located, and how large is it?

A: The Marietta Education Center is located northwest of Atlanta. Our street address is:

1395 South Marietta Parkway

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Topics: Education Centers

Playing It Right: Saint Leo Alum & Army Vet Now Produces Stage Shows

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Dec 1, 2017 9:49:00 AM

Owen Robertson has always had a passion for performance art. The 49-year-old native of Washington, D.C. is a proud alumnus of Saint Leo University and Army veteran. He now resides in Seminole Heights, Fla. near Tampa where he operates his own business.

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Topics: Academic Success, Army, Saint Leo alumni

Marine Corps Vet Has Sights Set on Criminal Justice Career

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Nov 16, 2017 9:01:00 AM

Providing security for the president of the United States is one of the most critical jobs around. Saint Leo University undergraduate student Don Eubanks can say he had a hand in this role during his five-year stint in the Marine Corps.

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Topics: Criminal Justice, Military, Undergraduate Studies

All Aboard for Academics: Saint Leo Students Learn at Sea

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Nov 7, 2017 12:32:11 PM

Have you ever dreamt of earning college credit aboard a luxurious cruise ship?

Dreams like that actually come true at Saint Leo University.

From Oct. 21-28, 2017, Saint Leo had 19 students set sail on the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Escape for the university’s Learning at Sea Cruise. Presented by the school’s Department of Public Safety Administration and Department of Criminal Justice, the topic of the western Caribbean adventure was “Smuggling on the High Seas: Human Trafficking and Dangerous Drugs.”

Lex Hauryluck, a 21-year-old senior who is working toward a bachelor’s in criminal justice with a specialization in homeland security, went on the trip.

“I thought it was an awesome experience,” he says. “It really allowed us to get to know the professors who went with us on a personal level. There were some really high-intensity lectures that were cool to watch.”

He admits that the whole environment of studying on a ship was unique as well.

“It was a nice break from being on campus, and the lectures were different from any classes I’ve ever taken at Saint Leo,” he adds. “The boat was rocking at times, and you could hear the announcer on the ship making announcements about everything going on onboard. But the lectures were fast-paced and very intriguing.”

Lectures were held on two full days when the ship was at sea. On the other days, the students and faculty had the opportunity to go on shore and visit several ports of call. These included Cozumel, Mexico, Costa Maya near the Yucatán Peninsula, Roatán off of Honduras and Belize. The original stops were scheduled for islands in the eastern Caribbean, but damage from the recent hurricanes shifted the itinerary to the west.

Hauryluck, who is also a resident assistant on campus, says his goal is a career in counterterrorism analysis in the CIA. He also recently took the New York City firefighter exam and would consider such a path to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

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Topics: Criminal Justice, Class trips

Saint Leo Students Explore the World of Harry Potter

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Oct 25, 2017 9:01:00 AM

If you’ve always thought the books in the wildly popular Harry Potter series were only meant to be read for fun, think again.

This fall, Saint Leo University currently has an undergraduate English course devoted entirely to studying the literary brilliance of the best-selling book series of all time. Fittingly, the class is simply called The World of Harry Potter.

We caught up with Dr. Kathryn Duncan, an English professor who teaches the course, to find out what inspired her to offer such a curriculum and what types of unique activities her students are doing.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for The World of Harry Potter Course, and when did Saint Leo begin offering it?

A: I first taught this class four years ago, and it was the most fun I had teaching in my life.

Since we’re now celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series this year, we decided what better time than now to bring it back? There’s even a display for the series at the British Library.hARRY hA

Harry Potter is very much back on the radar and is so important and relevant to this current generation of students.

Q: Are you a big fan of the series yourself?

A: Absolutely, and that’s an understatement.

I’ve read and reread the books in this series more times than I can count, and I’ve watched and re-watched all of the movies. I’ve also shared all of this with my daughter. We’re both big fans now.

Q: Why do you think this series has been so popular among younger readers?

A: J. K. Rowling truly understands childhood development. She addresses so many issues of the younger age group of those growing up. The messages she communicates are so important.

Also, death is one of the major themes in this series. It’s often covered up in Western culture, which makes it larger and scarier for some, but Rowling addresses it in a way that kids can easily understand the human condition.

The books are very well-written, and I see influences from Jane Austin and Charles Dickens in Rowling’s writing style.

Q: Which books are covered in this class?

A: All of the books in the series are covered, which consist of:

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Topics: Harry Potter

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