CJA Majors Share Their Experiences

Each semester, students majoring in criminal justice have the opportunity to reflect on and share some of their experiences during their stay at Mansfield. Below are some of the reasons why our majors believe they made the right decision in coming to Mansfield University and majoring in criminal justice.

In their own words...


Thomas Probst - Spring 2016

My experiences at Mansfield went beyond just a student in the CJ program. My adventure began as an online student entering the CJ program following my graduation from Mansfield Police Academy. It was a smooth transition and Mansfield has great resources and personnel for online students. The fact that I was an online student didn't hinder Drs. Crowl, Battin, or  Johnson from going above and beyond teaching and make my experience memorable. 

All the CJA professors were knowledgeable and down to earth. Dr. Crowl is not only a great advisor but he made it the best college experience and helped me look into the future as to what I know and what I want to in the future.  He would always invite me to on-campus classes and I would make them when I could. I graduated this spring with my associates degree and will be continuing to work toward my bachelor degree at MU. Dr. Crowl not only made that decision easy for me to decide, but I will be continuing my education post MU and work towards a Master in CJ.

Maryann Personius - Spring 2016

During my senior year of high school I took an intro to criminal justice class as an elective, not planning on falling in love with the topic and every aspect of it. I also never considered going to college until my mom convinced me to take a look at Mansfield University. Upon my initial visit, I knew I found a very special place. Now looking back after four years, and now as a graduate of Mansfield University, I can say without hesitation, the decision to enroll at Mansfield was hands down the best decision I have made in my life.

On my first day in Intro to Criminal Justice class, Dr. Battin spoke words that still resonate within me today. He said, "If you aren't getting into this field to help people, then you are in the wrong place." This phrase stands true today and was echoed in all of the criminal justice classes that I had the pleasure of taking throughout my career at Mansfield. My experience with the staff of the Criminal Justice Department was also wonderful. The professors truly hold each student's best interests at heart, and have helped me with any problem I have had. They are always ready and willing to help set up internships, write letters of recommendation, have a friendly chat, and most importantly, they are personable and approachable. The professors in this department love to have fun, and it makes the classes fun and the material fun to learn.

Overall, the time I spent at Mansfield University will forever hold a place in my heart. As I said before, choosing Mansfield was the best decision I have ever made. I have changed into a completely different person than I was when I set foot on campus four years ago, and I could not be more proud of the person that I am today. With the help of my coaches, my family, and most importantly, the criminal justice professors, I can say with confidence that I am now prepared to take on any challenge that comes my way.

Dylan Chapman - Spring 2016

I came to Mansfield seeking the simple things: A good education, ultimately leading to a job post-graduation. However, throughout my studies, I got so much more. The Criminal Justice program here at Mansfield is an education unlike any other. I quickly found myself excited to go to class and looking forward to what was next.

To start, the variety of classes provided within the program allows a wide-ranging education. Some of my favorites included White Collar Crime, Interviews &Interrogation, and Organized Crime & the Media. This program is set up in a way where the class options are seemingly endless and interesting.

The single most reason for having such a great experience is undoubtedly the professors teaching the courses. Each of the professors bring a very different teaching style, however they are by far the best educators I have had at any level of schooling. They find a way to make class fun while also pushing you for success by challenging you. Drs. Battin, Crowl, Johnson, and Olsen are all there for the students and will do anything for the students. Their open-door polices made it very easy to talk to them about anything whether it be about class or future plans.

Finally, one of my personal favorites from the CJA program at Mansfield are the internships. Internships are not a requirement for graduation, but are encouraged greatly by the professors. Mansfield has many connections for any type of internship related to Criminal Justice and the professors will help every step of the way. Having the opportunity to participate in an internship was the best choice I made while at Mansfield. It allowed me to gain experience, guide my post-graduation plan, all while receiving credits towards graduation.

The Criminal Justice program at Mansfield is a top-notch program and I could not be happier with my experience. I went in simply looking for an education, but my experience is one that will stay with and assist me throughout my entire career in the Criminal Justice.

Morgan Ripley - Spring 2015

As I was finishing high school, I knew that Criminal Justice was where I wanted to place my focus in college. I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do within the field, but I knew in my heart that it was where I belonged. I had researched countless universities in New York since that is where I am from, but none of them seemed to be the right 'fit' for me. I then decided to look into schools in PA and I stumbled across Mansfield University.

I never expected to go to college out-of-state, let alone attend a college that was in the middle of nowhere on a mountain. However, when I visited the campus I felt at home. I just knew from my visit that Mansfield was where I belonged. I remember sitting in a classroom in Belknap with other prospective Criminal Justice students as Dr. Battin explained the program. I sat on the edge of my seat listening to him explain in detail about the professors, the courses, and the likelihood for excellent careers after graduation. Dr. Battin sold the entire university and the Criminal Justice program to me in a matter of 30 minutes. 

As the months went on, I enrolled in courses with all CJA professors to have a well-rounded experience with different outlooks and opinions. All three CJA professors have helped me in tremendous ways through academic concerns, graduation goals, and personal issues that have come along the way. Not only are Drs. Battin, Crowl, and Johnson extremely knowledgeable within their field, but they are funny, down-to-earth, ALWAYS willing to help, and they are aware of your personal needs as a student. While walking on campus, they will greet you with a 'hello' as they include your first name. How many campuses can you have that incredible personal interaction? Looking back on my career at Mansfield, I can proudly say that all three professors played a huge role in my success. There are so many different courses offered throughout the CJA department that are more than likely to attract all interests. 

The university molded me as a whole, but my professors in the Criminal Justice department assisted me in every aspect and they always have an open door for each of their students. The program has grown and improved during my time as a student and I am confident it will continue to do well with years to come. The professors are determined, able, and willing to assist any student and have never let me down. 

I thank all three of them for making my college experience an incredible one. I firmly believe that the Criminal Justice department is the best on campus. 


Robert Mausteller - Spring 2015

When I first came to Mansfield University as a freshman, the message Mansfield had was "Developing tomorrow's leaders." I thought nothing of the phrase and didn't think much of it until my last year here as a senior. As an incoming student, I was interested in the criminal justice department and met with the new department chair, who told me that the criminal justice program would be changing significantly and be better improved. As a freshman, I was quite worried how the transition between the new and old program would emerge. I can say without any reservation that the staff and curriculum change was one of the best things that has happened at Mansfield University.

Professors Battin, Crowl and Johnson are extremely knowledgeable and truly did change the department for the better. It was odd seeing the transition from the old to new criminal justice program and how it really did develop into something unique and refined. The professors were some of the best people I have ever met on both a professional and personal level. They would help you with any problem or issue you may have had and always wanted to help you aspire and succeed. It was thanks to their unwavering efforts and caring personality that I was able to do something I didn't think possible - obtain a federal internship with the US Marshal's office. It is odd to see not only the criminal justice department develop and improve, but with the caring, helpful and knowledgeable new staff at MU, the professors also helped me to develop as one of tomorrow's leaders. 

Kurtis Mallow - Spring 2015

My experiences at Mansfield University were better than expected. I came here because the only thing I wanted to do was be a PA State Trooper (or be a trooper in another state). I knew that this was the place for me to go to pursue my dream; however, I did not expect to be in the position I am now. Between the CJ classes and worldly events, I developed a keen interest in the study of terrorism. I then decided after graduation to enroll as a graduate student at Mercyhurst University to pursue a Master's Degree in Applied Intelligence Studies, an internationally recognized program for business, terrorism, and national security analysis.

During my time at MU, I became a member of Alpha Phi Sigma, the nationally recognized criminal justice honor society, and developed close relationships with the Criminal Justice faculty that you do no get at your larger universities. The faculty was available and always willing to help you strive towards your career and educational goals. Each professor has a different perspective and knowledge base that puts your mind to the test. You will develop a further understanding of the criminal justice system and improve your research, writing, and analytical skills that employers look for. It is because of this program and its professors that I am able to achieve and dream beyond what I thought was possible. 

Kayla Allgeier - Spring 2014

When entering Mansfield University in the Fall of 2011, if you would have told me that in the Fall of 2014 I would be going to law school, I would have not been able to fathom it. However, that is exactly the case. I switched my major to undeclared after my first year at Mansfield University. Then, when I decided that I wanted to be a Criminal Justice Administration major, the department was nothing but accommodating and helpful. 

In my three short years here, I have become a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success and Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society that is recognized by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. I have also had the opportunity to participate in a 12 credit internship at the Erie County Courthouse with Judge Stephanie Domitrovich. Because of my experiences here at Mansfield University, I have been able to apply and be admitted to multiple law schools, including Mississippi College School of Law, Albany Law School, and Toledo Law School, where I received multiple scholarship offers in various denominations. All of this success was made possible by the Criminal Justice Administration Department and the dedicated and caring professors. 

Kara Matson - Fall 2013

When I first came to Mansfield University, I had no idea what I wanted to study or what career I wanted to follow for the rest of my life. I have always had an interest in criminology and in trying to understand why people commit crime. I have also been fascinated by the stories surrounding serial murderers and their acts of deviant behavior. I never thought that criminal justice would be something I would want to pursue as a career. I always heard good things about the Criminal Justice Administration Program here and I thought I would take a class and see if it would be something that interested me, and it did very much. So I started taking more classes, and before I knew it, I was majoring in criminal justice with a minor in psychology. 

One of my favorite parts of the Mansfield University Criminal Justice Department is the connection I made with the staff. They are some of the most down to earth people I have ever met, and they are not at all what one expects from a group of faculty at a University. I didn't think I could become friends with my instructors, but I have, and I very much appreciate what they have done for me. The faculty truly cares about your success in life and how the program affects you and your future. They want the best for their students and would bend over backward to help them out. 

There is a wide variety of classes offered which gives the student an opportunity to experience all of the vital components of the criminal justice system. Each professor has something different to bring to the table in their classes. They teach you how to research and write in an academic style, while also teaching you everyday life lessons on the causes of criminal behavior. I recommend that if you are unsure of the path you want to follow in life, take a criminal justice class and see if it appeals to you and your future aspirations. I have truly enjoyed my education as a Criminal Justice major here at Mansfield University. I will take everything I have learned and apply it to my career in the criminal justice system. 


Julia Stevenson - Fall 2013

To be completely honest, I had no idea when I came to Mansfield what I wanted to do with my future, let alone my career. I came to Mansfield not only to play basketball at the collegiate level but to further my education and better my future. At the time, however, I had no idea what that was going to be in. I'm glad I made that decision, because after spending time at Mansfield, the criminal justice field was what really seemed to spark my interests.

What really stood out to me about Mansfield's Criminal Justice program was that it challenges you. The professors really want to see you succeed. They push you in a way allows you to surpass your own standards as well as those of the program. The professors are very willing to help you whenever they can and the small classroom sizes allow you to get a more personalized education. When Dr. Johnson asked the question, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" I didn't have a direct answer for him. As time progressed, however, we tried to figure it out and every day I saw him he'd ask me about it until I finally made a decision. He kept encouraging me and really helped me figure out what I truly wanted to do when I graduated. For that I am genuinely thankful. 

I believe without reservation that the CJA program has prepared me for the plans I have after graduation. I believe that the knowledge I have gained form the classroom and my peers has prepared me for my future endeavors. I am truly grateful for all that I have gained from my time being here and the connections I have made through the program.