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Criminal Justice Sciences recognizes outstanding students

Back row (left to right): Logan Willand, Anthony Crudup, Jr., Lesliann Harris. Front row (left to right): Cayla Comens, Cassandra Dodge, Brittany Alston, Lashanti Brown, Brittany Bones.

Each year, the Criminal Justice Sciences (CJS) department strives to recognize its most outstanding students. Seven were recognized at the 2016 CJS Awards Ceremony.

Anthony Crudup, Jr. was awarded the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Award. Crudup has been a member of Illinois State’s chapter of the NAACP since 2014. Shortly after he joined he was elected community service chair. When other members realized his passion for involvement, he was elected president of the chapter. He is also a general member of the Community Branch of the NAACP, where he serves as the communications liaison between the collegiate and community chapters.

Lashanti Brown was this year’s recipient of the Peter V. Vitucci Memorial Scholarship. Brown is involved in the National Society of Leadership and Success, an organization whose philosophy is that anyone can achieve success as long as they have the proper support, thus creating a better world. Brown is also a member of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. After graduation, Brown has aspirations to work with juvenile offenders. She wants to be a positive role model for at-risk youth and aid them in turning their lives around.

Brittany Alston is the first student to receive the Ed Wells Memorial Scholarship in Criminal Justice. Alston is the current president of the Criminal Justice Association, and has also held the positions of social chair and vice president within the chapter. Alston is a member of the Black Student Union and participates in the College Mentors program with second graders at a local elementary school. She also volunteers with the Illinois JusticeCorps.

This year’s recipient of the McLean County Sportsman’s Association Scholarship is Logan Willand ’16. While at ISU, Willand was a member of the Men’s Rugby Club. Willand graduated summa cum laude this May. He chose to pursue an internship with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources/Conservation Police due to his love of the outdoors. He cares deeply about the environment, and wants to help protect it so that future generations are able to take part in the activities he enjoys, such as hunting and fishing.

Cayla Comens B.S. ’13, M.S. ’16 and Cassandra Dodge B.S. ’14, M.S. ’16 were this year’s recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Both women are veterans – Comens spent 6 years in the Army National Guard as a military police officer, and Dodge was in the Air Force. Both are members of Veterans at Illinois State (Dodge co-founded the organization) and both are founding members of Omega Delta Sigma, a co-ed veterans fraternity. They are both also involved in Breaking Barriers, a program that encourages women to pursue careers in criminal justice. Comens and Dodge both graduated this May with their master’s degrees. Dodge plans to pursue her doctorate after graduation, and then start a teaching career with a focus on criminal research. Comens also intends to pursue a Ph.D., but she is taking time after graduation to travel first.

This year, the CJS department also presented two special awards. The Redbird Scholarship, a one-time award made possible by an anonymous donor, was awarded to junior Brittany Bones, who aspires to one day work for the CIA. The Criminal Justice Association also presented a special award to graduate assistant Leslieann Harris M.S. ’16, who graduated with her master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration in May. As a graduate assistant in the Criminal Justice Sciences department for the past two years, Harris assisted the CJS Advisor, Dr. Susan Woollen, with undergraduate advisement. Harris and Woollen were also co-advisors for the Criminal Justice Association.

Visit the CJS website for more information about our awards.

Congratulations to all of our award winners.

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