“Newman University is the reason my next step is possible at all,” said Allison Williams, a senior studying criminal justice and psychology.
That next step is as a doctoral student in the clinical forensic psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Los Angeles campus.
“It honestly feels like a dream,” Williams said of the opportunity. “There are so few clinical forensic psychology programs, and the field is growing very quickly. I knew that this program would be competitive, and I was taking a risk with only applying to one program, but I had been looking at The Chicago School since my freshman year at Newman.”
For Williams, being accepted into the program means she’s one step closer to achieving her dream of helping prisoners grow in whatever way she can.
“I feel pulled to assist in rehabilitating prisoners while they are incarcerated,” she explained. “Prisoners are an extremely vulnerable population, and the current practices of the justice system in the United States are primarily focused on punishment, which does not effectively alter behavior in many cases.”
Ready to transform society
At The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Williams believes she will receive the knowledge and skills she needs to create the change she wants to see and make an impact on the prison industry. She also credits Newman, specifically its theater program, with giving her the confidence she needs to succeed.
“Theater has given me a greater ability to walk in someone else’s shoes and has deepened my empathy and understanding of others,” said Williams, who’s minoring in theater. “It’s also sharpened my communication skills.”
She adds, “Newman University — whether through coursework or through conversation — has helped me grow into the person I am today.”
After she receives her doctorate, Williams hopes to work within prisons to provide mental health resources to the incarcerated, as well as make herself available to consult for courts in criminal hearings. Her ultimate goal, though, is to become a clinical psychologist or employee assistance counselor with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
As she prepares for her last semester at Newman, Williams has a few words for all those at the university who have made an impact on her.
“I want to make sure that all of my professors, all of my upperclassmen mentors and all parts of my support system here at Newman know that I am eternally grateful for the part they played in helping me achieve my dreams,” she said.
Earn a Criminal Justice Degree
Providing a variety of quality content, experiences and career guidance, Newman University’s criminal justice program stands apart.