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Criminology & Criminal Justice

Jolee BullshoeJolee Bullshoe '22

Why did you decide to study criminology & criminal justice?  

I decided to study criminology and criminal justice because I have grown up witnessing injustices of Indigenous communities across the nation. I have a passion for helping, serving and protecting others. As a member of the Blackfeet tribe in Browning, Mont., I want to be able to see justice served that is long overdue for many in our country. I also want to better understand the system, work in the system and hopefully improve the system as an Indigenous woman. There is a lack of representation in this field of Indigenous peoples in general, and I want to bring my knowledge and voice into the conversation. 

What are some of your favorite classes so far?

One of my favorite classes so far at Whitworth has been Deviance Crime & Criminal Justice. This class is taught by Professor Van Wormer. She is a criminal justice expert who made the class one of the most informative and educational courses of my experience at Whitworth so far. During the class we had the chance to visit and tour the jail in Spokane, which was a unique experience provided and organized by Professor Van Wormer. Another one of my favorite classes had been my Policing class. It was taught by an officer of the Spokane Police Department. In the class, we were able to watch body cam videos, listen to stories from the officer from his time on patrol, and also have guest speakers such as K-9 units, probation officers, FBI agents and also a member of the Secret Service. These experiences have influenced my perspective of how broad the criminal justice major is and how many different opportunities and career choices I have.

Tell us about a unique experience or project you've worked on for your major.

One unique project I have worked on was a presentation of my choice. I chose the topic of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Epidemic that continues to affect Indigenous communities across the nation as well as Canada. I have used the classroom as a platform to advocate for Indigenous communities. I have always felt it has been difficult to speak my voice as an Indigenous woman while also being heard. This project allowed to me to portray the problems and hardships my people face every day in regard to violence, injustice and generational trauma. In the classroom, I am able to educate others about important but unheard topics in rural communities such as mine.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in criminology & criminal justice?  

The advice I would give to someone making this decision is to be open minded and ready to learn. Although the program at Whitworth is fairly new, we have an abundance of faculty members that are knowledgeable and are enthused to help you succeed. I have made great professional relationships with professors who have guided my decision making about my future plans after I obtain my bachelor's degree. I would say step out of your comfort zone, ask a lot of questions and keep pursuing justice in whatever way that means to you.

What's your dream job?   

Currently, my dream job is to work under the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a criminal investigator. I hope to return to my reservation eventually but first gain more knowledge of other Indigenous communities across the U.S in order to better serve wherever my career takes me, possibly one day applying for the U.S. Marshals Service. 

Who has been an important connection for you at Whitworth, and why?  

Someone who has been an important connection while at Whitworth has been my mentor, Campus Pastor Lauren Taylor. She has guided me spiritually, which has influenced every other part of my life. Lauren is a kind, thoughtful and a dependable person that I have Whitworth to thank for. She has given me insight, support and affirmation throughout my Whitworth journey that carries me even today.

How would you describe Whitworth? 

I would describe Whitworth as a great place to flourish. Whitworth is a place that will challenge a person to continue to reach for their full potential. The environment is friendly, accommodating and welcoming. It is a place to meet lifelong friends and also a place that encourages growth in every aspect. 

Learn more about Whitworth's Criminology & Criminal Justice, B.A. program

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