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A Lifelong Interest in Criminal Justice
Ashley Hobbs is working towards her M.A. in Criminal Justice and will be graduating in the spring of 2017. Her department nominated her as Radford University's November 2016 Featured Graduate Student of the Month.
Ashley is originally from Princeton, WV and attended Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, VA where she received her Associate’s degree in 2009. Ashley then attended Radford University at the Roanoke Higher Education Center receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2015. While at Radford University completing her Bachelor’s degree Ashley was nominated as one of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences 2015 Dean’s Scholar Award Winner. Ashley chose to stay at Radford University to pursue her Master’s of Arts in Criminal Justice after encouragement during her senior year and a great opportunity Radford University provided. “It was the grad program that really brought me to Radford”, Ashley stated. “In my senior year Dr. Green and Dr. Elis talked to me about going to grad school so I applied here and I also applied be a graduate teaching assistant. What really cemented my decision here was when I was notified I got that position. I love Radford and it has been so good to me.” Ashley noted that she has always been interested in the field of criminal justice, specifically system improvement, and this degree allows her to do what she is passionate about.
Ashley is a Graduate Teaching Fellow (GTF) in the Criminal Justice program and teaches two sections of the undergraduate Corrections course. She loves being able to teach students from many majors an overview of the field of corrections. Ashley is currently working on her thesis about racial and gender disparity in sentencing decisions for weapons violations in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is also working on a paper with Dr. Lori Elis examining the impact of race on sentencing decisions to incarcerate or not incarcerate offenders convicted of weapon violations. According to Dr. Elis, “Ashley is an excellent example of the type of student we want in the Department of Criminal Justice. She is dedicated to excelling in the classroom and in her position as a GTF, and is respected by the faculty and her peers.”
This month Ashley’s program nominated her as a graduate student representative and she presented a poster at the College of William and Mary sharing her personal narrative regarding her path to and experiences with graduate education. She is also scheduled to present a paper drawn from her thesis on sentencing decisions at the American Society of Criminology conference in New Orleans later this month.
After completing her Master’s degree, Ashley is planning on continuing her education and entering a Ph.D. program with a teaching fellowship. She wants to continue teaching and researching in this field and eventually become a tenure-track criminal justice professor at a college or university. When asked about advice she would like to give any interested students for the Criminal Justice Master’s program Ashley said, “This is a fantastic department and it will provide you with an enormous amount of learning opportunities. My advice is to be really involved and be a proactive part of your own education because there are so many things that you can do here and so many experiential learning opportunities in this program.”