Student Highlights in Criminal Justice

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Brad Dixon

Following graduation at UVU, I finished my Master's in Global Studies (focusing on issues of Terrorism) and a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security and Defense from Missouri State University and worked at the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management. Both were great opportunities, but I feel like my education at UVU is what gave me the boost I needed to get where I want in my career. I also graduated from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Academy, receiving credentials as a Special Agent on February 3, 2017.

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Taylor Cabe

Taylor Cabe graduated from UVU in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Forensics. She is deeply passionate about bringing justice and healing to those who have been victimized. Looking back at her time at UVU and what she is most proud of, Taylor says, “I completed a research project entitled, "Sexual Assault While Attending UVU," to help procure funding for an on-campus Victim Advocacy Center. I also presented at UVU to raise awareness about sexual assault.” Taylor went on to intern at the Provo Police Victim Services. After graduation she accepted an employment offer to work for them as a victim advocate. She manages the volunteer program and supervises both in office and out-of-office court interns.

Blake Vogt with his K-9 partner

Blake Vogt

Blake graduated from UVU with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2009. He went on to get a Master’s degree in Crisis and Emergency Management from the University of Nevada’s (Las Vegas) College of Urban Affairs (2011). He was then hired by the United States Border Patrol. While at in training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Blake received the Director’s Leadership Award and was designated the Top Spanish Speaker of his training class. He has since received his Canine Handler Certification. Blake and his beautiful malinois [malinwa] canine partner, “Cash”, are a successful narcotics and human smuggling interdiction team on our southern border.

portrait of Jeremy Elswood

Jeremy Elswood

I served 10 years as a police officer but decided I needed more education so I went back to school where I enrolled in UVU’s criminal justice program. Just prior to graduation the Criminal Justice department announced a new Financial Crimes Course (CJ 3330) which focused on the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and tax evasion issues. I took the class and learned of BSA/AML, and terrorist financing careers in the banking industry. I applied for a BSA/AML job at Zions Bancorporation headquarters in Salt Lake City and was hired, in large part because I had taken this Financial Crimes course. Since being hired I have been promoted to a supervisory position in the investigations unit. The CJ 3330 course provided me with tools to a new career and had a direct impact on my success at Zions. I highly recommend this course.

portrait of Ross Williams

Ross Williams

Shortly after graduating from UVU I was promoted from Correctional Officer to Agent with Adult Probation and Parole. With the assistance of my degree I have since been promoted from Agent to Supervisor with Adult Probation and Parole. I am currently supervising the team creating Adult Probation and Parole’s Transition Unit. This has not been done before in Utah and is an exciting change in focus towards reintegration and returning citizens to be productive members of society following a term of incarceration.

portrait of Chris Mack

Chris Mack

Chris graduated from UVU in 2013, then went on to graduate from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in May of 2016. He then passed the Utah bar in July. He worked on Senator Orrin Hatch's Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C. and returned to Utah in December to begin a judicial clerkship at the Utah Court of Appeals in January. During law school Chris wrote onto law review and had his note published in the Utah Law Review. He also received two "Best Brief" awards. He and his teammate won the law school's moot court competition and took second in the regional round of the National Moot Court competition.

Brianna Bocox speed skating

Brianna Bocox

UVU student, Brianna (Bri) Bocox studies Forensic Science when she is not on the ice training for Olympic glory as a long track speed skater. In the 2018 Olympic trials she took 9th in both the 1,000m and 1,500m. In February she took home 3 Gold medals at the Four Continents Championship in Milwaukee for the 1,000m, 1,500m and the women’s team pursuit. Bri continues her training with Team USA in Salt Lake City, looking towards the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. Bri credits her success to the support of her family and coaches. She stresses the value of a strong will and mental toughness, paired with faith in God, for pushing her to the top. Her inline coach taught Bri the saying “Control what you can control, God will control the rest.” She sports these words as a tattoo, which helps guide her in challenging times. Bri enjoys a challenge. She says stress makes her sharper and able to push herself harder. “Skating on ice is so much about technique. It has to be flawless.” She applies her skills and mental focus to her educational pursuits as well. “Forensics has always been fascinating to me. It’s a job where I can help solve crimes without being directly in the line of action.”

portrait of Matthew Sorensen

Matthew Sorensen

My experience in the Criminal Justice program has really given me the experience and confidence I need to succeed at BYU Law School. I was accepted at the University of Utah and at Brigham Young University’s law programs. The U of U also offered a $47,000 scholarship as an incentive to attend their school.

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Corwin Bowles

I am a political science major/criminal justice minor here at UVU. I finally decided I wanted to do something in the criminal justice field but there are so many options. I took the new Criminal Justice Financial Crimes (CJ 3330) course in the fall semester of 2015, and quickly became fascinated by the subject. I worked hard, got an A, applied for and received a prestigious (PAID) internship at Zions Bancorporation in Salt Lake City, working with the BSA/AML unit. If it hadn’t been for this class, I would not have qualified for this internship, and would never have known what BSA/AML opportunities are available in the financial industry. Would I recommend this class to students? Absolutely without a doubt.

portrait of Benjamin Little

Benjamin Little

I graduated from UVU in the spring of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forensic Science as well as an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. I currently work as a Latent Print Examiner for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. The degree I earned from UVU was instrumental in getting into my current position. My education has aided me as I have testified in court, conducted latent print comparisons, and used a variety of techniques to develop fingerprints on evidence collected from crime scenes.

portrait of Megan Carter

Megan Carter

I graduated with a B.S. in Forensic Science with a minor in Chemistry in 2016. I was on the pre-med track and took courses that would help me in medical school, where I plan to become a forensic pathologist. I also did a summer internship at a hospital in California, which led to an internship at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. My internships, along with my educational experience, assisted me in becoming an autopsy technician at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office. I also spent some time at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as a fingerprint examiner, which lead me to become the fingerprint trainer for the medical examiner’s office.

portrait of Tong Li

Tong Li

Tong Li graduated from UVU in May 2019 with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. In September 2019, he graduated from North Caroloina's Correctional Officer Academy and was sworn in as a Correctional Officer for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

portrait of Josie Ford

Josie Ford

am a first generation college graduate. In high school I had my parents there pushing me along and making sure I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. Being a first generation college graduate means that I have to push and motivate myself because it is no longer the responsibility of my parents to keep me in school. Learning to be self-motivated has been one of the biggest lessons and achievements to me. Now I feel like I can completely rely on myself because I know I am capable of getting anything done that I want or need to.

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Bryan Bowers

I graduated from UVU Criminal Justice in 2019. Shortly after graduating, I was given the assignment to be the Supervisor of the Heber City Police Department VIPS (Volunteer in Police Service) program. In October 2020, my assignment as a patrol officer was changed to be a part of the combined investigation unit with Wasatch County Sheriff's Office as a detective. I was asked by Marcy Hehnly to present to her class in 2020, the topics of Patrol and community-oriented policing. I enjoyed it, and because of that, I applied to be a part of the MPS at UVU and the MPA at SUU. I was accepted at SUU and will graduate in December 2022 with my MPA with an emphasis in Criminal Justice. The end goal is to be able to teach criminal justice courses for a university or college as a part-time professor.