Student Spotlight - Anne Thompson

Anne Thompson
Master of Science in Criminology

Tell me about your educational background before you enrolled in the criminology program at Regis.
I have a really unique story because it isn’t traditional at all. I actually dropped out of high school three different times and then ended up getting my GED. I went back and got my high school diploma when I was 20. I had attempted to start college about three times from when I was 20 years old to maybe 25 years old. And it just didn’t work. The classes were too big, the campus was too large. I just wasn’t there.

So, when I was 27, I started at a community college and just took one class that I happened to be interested in at the moment. I did very well in it but I didn’t really have any big plan of going to school. I was just bored and needed something to do. So I took another class and did well and just kept going and I finished my associate’s degree with honors.

So, I went to Regis and I earned my Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology with a Minor in Communications. I also earned Certificates in Psycho Violence, Practical Psychology and Conflict Management and I graduated Summa Cum Laude.

A lot of the certificate classes I took were taught by Dr. Lindley. After graduation, I went back to start my Master’s in Counseling and got to a point where I was just over it. Dr. Lindley reached out to me and told me about the new criminology program and asked me if I’d be interested in transferring over.

Dr. Lindley has always been so supportive and the degree is fascinating. In a huge part, I owe where I am now all to Dr. Lindley.

What was your professional experience before earning a degree?
Before my current career, I had a number of dead end jobs. Then I entered into industrial sales for fortune 500 companies and was laid off. I was volunteering for Adams County Probation and going to school. One of the students in one of my classes actually told me about the job I currently have. The networking opportunities the program provides are another reason I love the program. You never know who you are going to meet and what information they have. It is what you know and it’s also who you know.

What is your current positon?
Currently, I work for the Second Judicial District Multidisciplinary Program through House Bill 04-1451. Our goal is prevention, intervention and treatment services for at risk children and youth. It’s multi-system integrated service plan. We work a lot with kids that are involved in probation and human services or could be at risk for either of those. In my particular job, I do case management for youth involved in truancy court. Every day is exceptionally different. It’s awesome. Some days are great and other days can be tough.

What about Regis’ MS in Criminology stood out to you that helped lead to your decision to enroll at Regis?
Reputation and the quality of education is what led me to Regis. Specifically the College of Contemporary Liberal Studies was appealing due to the classes and scheduling they offer—it was crucial to my decision making. I worked 40 – 60 hours a week while going to school full time and I couldn’t have done it in a traditional program.

Also, the instructors who have the true experience-–not just paper experience--also made a difference.

How does a criminology degree fit into your life’s plans?
Having the background in psychology and an emphasis in criminology was a good fit for what I wanted to do with at risk youth. I’ve always considered my job to be socially responsible. I think that’s a main focus of Regis and I do that every day. There aren’t many jobs where you get to go home and sleep well because you know you made a difference.

How has your degree helped you in your current career?
It was the networking with students that led to my current job to begin with. Regis offers a smaller program so you get the opportunity to talk and network with students and faculty.

Additionally, while it wasn’t initially my goal to work with at risk youth, the degree opened my eyes to working with systems involved youth. Without the background of criminology and psychology, I wouldn’t be where I am in my career. I’ve even been invited to be a guest speaker at Metro to talk about systems involved youth. Additionally, I was a panel member in a discussion on human trafficking and truancy at Denver Public Schools, and a break out session presenter for High Risk Identification, Screening and Prevention at the Arapahoe Human Trafficking Conference. I was also a panel member for a documentary called Tricked and I’m a member of the Juvenile Sex Trafficking subcommittee for the Denver Anti-trafficking Alliance.

What advice do you have for incoming students?
Network with peers and faculty. I was volunteering and had no real hope until I started talking with this guy in class behind me who told me about this job and now I’ve been here six years. I still talk with people from my degree programs.

I also recommend the buddy system. Connect with somebody in the program that you can talk to about these heavy topics and bounce ideas off of. These topics aren’t necessarily for the general public and it helps to have somebody to talk with.

How have campus events such as CSI and the Annual Speaker Series benefited you?
I love the events. My mom is the biggest non-student supporter. She volunteers at all events. When we had the Green River Killer Speaker – it was amazing! Where are you going to hear the type of stories that happen at these events? Nowhere!

How has Regis University made you passionate about a career in criminology?
The school itself is amazing. I wouldn’t have received the trust and respect of others in the field without the skills and knowledge I gained at Regis.

Learn more about earning a criminology degree at Regis University. Call us at 877.820.0581 to speak with an admissions counselor. Or, request information or visit our resource center to gain more insight on the criminology and criminal justice industry.

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