Professor at UC San Diego and Crime Analysis Consultant | Majored in Linguistics |

Where do you work?

I teach part-time at UCSD in the Urban Studies and Planning Department as well as do crime analysis consulting. As for typical week, it really varies from week to week. In regards to teaching, it includes teaching 1 or 2 classes depending on the quarter to include GIS (Geographic Information Systems), Craft Breweries and the Urban Economy, and Crime Prevention/Analysis. In regards to consulting, it may include analyzing crime data, creating maps, providing training or technical assistance to police, prosecutors and community on crime analysis and crime prevention. Sometimes this includes traveling to cities across the country or even internationally.

What do you like most about your job?

The variety (no 2 days are alike!) as well as helping people, whether it’s educating students or police personnel on new ideas and enhancing public safety. I also constantly am learning new things from both my students as well as the police that I work with.

What has your career path been like? If things develop as you would like, what does the future hold for your career?

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated so I started applying for jobs (mostly in the public sector) and then went for my Masters degree (at SDSU). I worked part time and did several internships until I landed my 1st real job at San Diego Police Department in Crime Analysis (that was one of my internships). I was fortunate that it was during a time of a very progressive police department in terms of research and innovation. I then spent 9 months working at the National Institute of Justice Crime Mapping Research Center in Washington DC, 4 years working for a small, non-profit police research organization, 1 year for the Redlands (CA) Police Department managing a regional crime analysis project, and 6 years full-time for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. I started teaching at UCSD in 2008 and left my full-time employment at the DA’s Office at the end of 2009 (although still work with them on a part-time, as-needed basis). For the last 10 years, I have been very busy doing consulting and teaching. As for the future, it’s hard to say even what I will be doing 6 months from now

How did your experiences at UC San Diego help you find your first job after graduation?

Probably not a good thing to admit but honesty is the best policy… my experiences at UCSD were awesome for learning, meeting great people and the overall college experience, but unfortunately did very little in terms of leading to my 1st job (which took me 3 years post-graduation to finally get). I knew that a linguistics degree was not exactly a job-attractor but was not thinking about that when I decided on the major.

What is your most memorable moment as a student?

Hard to pick a memorable moment – as I’m old and it was a long time ago! J I would say one of them was more than a moment, but was the 1st couple weeks of school as I had transferred in as a sophomore from Michigan. The people I met (roommates and neighbors and HA in the Muir Apts.) were so welcoming and took me in to this whole new experience. There were also many wonderful afternoons at “The Pub” (a many times predecessor to what’s now Soda & Swine) and TG’s (music and beer at “The Hump”). Does anyone answer that a class was the most memorable??? J

How did your college experience at UC San Diego impact you?

My experience at UCSD really shaped my “new” life outside of Michigan. I was able to get a great education, participate in sports (both intercollegiate and intramural), and make amazing, lasting friendships (many of us are still very close 30 years post-graduation).

Besides going to class, what else did you do as a student?

As mentioned above in a couple of the questions, I did athletics. I also worked as a part-time dispatcher at UCSD PD my senior year. I also had a part-time job off-campus starting the summer after I arrived.

What resources did you use as a student?

I used the Career Center postings for both part-time work (how I got the dispatcher job) and looking for a full-time job after I graduated. I think the only other resources was the occasional health center visit.

What’s one thing you wish you knew as an undergrad?

That it’s never too early to think about what you will do post-graduation. Perhaps if I had done some internships during undergrad, I might have found a real job a lot sooner.

What advice do you have for first years? What about students who are about to graduate?                                          

First years – make sure that classes and learning is a top priority but get involved with other things to ensure that you are not overly stressed and have some down time. Learning that balance of studying and enjoying non-classes is important.

For those about to graduate – never too early to start exploring your options, whether it’s a job or grad school. It’s also OK not to have your whole career and future planned out. As you learn and grow post-graduation, who knows where life will take you.

What do you think is the most important quality or skill students should learn to prepare themselves for the transition into the workplace?

Communication skills and critical thinking are extremely important for any job.


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