Gaining Her Master’s in Criminology at Thomas College

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2019

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Joanna Stokinger ’19 thought that she was done with school 12 years ago. It had taken her a long time to get her undergrad degree because she took a break to raise her family. Joanna never thought she’d be graduating from a one-year master’s program this month, but she’s so inspired from what she’s learned and the people she’s met while here at Thomas College.

“I thought because I have a good job that that was it for me,” said Joanna. “I never really considered that I was capable of getting to this level. I learned through this process how much I can accomplish.”

Joanna works as a Victim Advocate with the Attorney General’s Office in the Criminal Division, Homicide Unit, working with surviving family members of homicide victims. She provides support to the families beginning right after the incident, all the way through trial, appeal, etc., and supports the prosecutor.

She says this new degree won’t necessarily move her up in this job but will open opportunities for her to teach at the college level.

Gaining her master’s at Thomas College was a lot of work while maintaining a full-time job and home life, but Joanna gained some great influencers while she was here.

“Professor Steve Dyer has influenced me to expand my career and to explore teaching and branch out. His work with a human trafficking nonprofit is inspiring. He has helped me realize that I have a valuable skill set in the CJ world,” she said. “Professor Jeremy Pare has also influenced me; he has done so many different things throughout his career, and that has inspired me to not let myself be pigeonholed into one area – because that’s where I happen to be right at the moment.”

Joanna will graduate with her Master’s in Criminology degree on May 11.

“I am much more confident and encouraged that I have valuable skills that can take me places. And, just because I have a great job and have raised my kiddos already doesn’t mean I can’t learn new things and do more than I am doing now.”

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