The College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) at Illinois State University is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. This series, CAST 50×50, is designed to highlight 50 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and organizations within CAST that make the college special. These notable people will tell you that every day in CAST is a great day to be a Redbird!

Today #CAST50 features our second alumni, Julia Luchtenburg, a 2013 graduate from Criminal Justice Sciences.

What was your major in CAST and when did you graduate?

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice sciences (CJS) and a minor in environmental health (EH) in December of 2013.

Tell us about your path since you graduated and what you are up to now.

After graduation, I worked as a code enforcement officer with the Oak Lawn Police Department for about a year and a half before moving to Santa Rosa, California, to attend the Ranger Academy. I am training to become a National Park Service law enforcement ranger and will graduate in December.

Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Einstein’s coffee? What’s your order?

Actually, I’m not a coffee drinker! I do like green tea, iced or hot.

Give us a couple fun facts about yourself or unique things that make you special.

One fun fact is that both of my older sisters—Sarah and Hannah—and I all graduated from Illinois State University. In my free time, I love to be outdoors and explore new parks and places. Since I am new to California, I am finding so many exciting, new opportunities and am enjoying spending time outdoors. I also love watching the Chicago Blackhawks and following the U.S. soccer teams as part of a team supporters group, the American Outlaws.

What piece of advice do you have for current students?

My advice for students is to take interest in your general education (gen ed) classes. I know a lot of students want to get their gen ed requirements out of the way, although they can open new doors and spark new interests. I discovered my pathway to a minor in EH after taking my gen eds freshman year so keep an open mind!

Think you know someone who should be featured? Contact us!