Vance Godbold ’11 is grateful for the opportunity to maximize his undergraduate years in the Criminal Justice Department, where he remains as a graduate student.

“The Criminal Justice Department has been instrumental in my life. With the help of courses, professors, and the Dean of Students, I was groomed into an individual who presents himself as a well-rounded person.” Godbold said.

“My professors challenged my thinking in and out of the classroom, and when times were tough, they also provided words of encouragement that helped me continue my journey.”

Godbold took advantage of a criminal justice study abroad opportunity in Croatia and participated in Alternative Spring Break. He became actively involved in Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., the University Programming Board, and the NAACP. Because of his achievements, he received the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship.

“This award recognized my efforts with civic engagement on and off campus,” he said. “Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life to creating change, and this is exactly what I plan to do. I will use this scholarship to further my educational dreams.”

As is true across campus, the Criminal Justice Department relies on and appreciates private support to attract talented students, recruit diverse faculty, and build an academic program that blends teaching and research.

You can make a difference by providing financial support to the academic department or program of your choice. Make a contribution online at, call (309) 438-8041, or send an email to