Criminal Justice Major William Allen

Meet William Allen

Criminal Justice, 2022

"At GMercyU, you can explore your passions while getting involved with clubs and organziations at the same time."

Journey to GMercyU

William Allen first hear about GMercyU when searching for schools within the Philadelphia area to send his lacrosse highlights while a student at Conrad School of Science in Wilmington, Delaware.

"The main selling point for me was Coach Lindstrom and the way he portrayed his program and the culture of his team," William said.

When first looking for colleges, William originally considered a couple of large state schools, but GMercyU's smaller, more close-knit size appealed to him. Getting to meet GMercyU's former Head Lacrosse Coach Dana Lindstrom, the team, and GMercyU's Criminal Justice program really hooked him.

"Doc's [McGrain] Criminal Justice program fit well with my career aspirations at the time," William said.

Involvement on Campus

During his junior and senior years, William served as the President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He was also a four-year member of the Men's Lacrosse program.

He served as the Co-Founder and President of GMercyU's Adventure Club, where the organization was able to adopt Evans Road. William said this accomplishment was "something I was particularly proud of." As for the process of adoption, William said it was pretty simple.

"In being a club based in outdoor activities and knowing the Sisters of Mercy's Critical Concerns, particularly for Earth, we decided to try and join the PA Adopt-A-Highway Program," William said.

When they search online for roads available close to campus, Evans Road was an option.

"Essentially, what adopting means is having little control of the entire section of road from Sumneytown Pike to Welsh Road. Twice a year, we conduct clean-up activities along the entire stretch of road," William said.

The club also got sign ups within the community to not only promote the club, but to increase GMercyU's presence within the community.

William completed the Griffin Student Leadership Institute of Exceptional Leaders Program and was a member of Student Government Association (SGA). Additionally, he served as a peer tutor within the Student Success Center.

He was also inducted into three honor societies during his time at GMercyU: Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society; Sigma Phi Sigma, the National Mercy Honor Society; and Chi Alpha Sigma, the National Student-Athlete Honor Society.

During his time at GMercyU, William remained a resident student and had the same roommate for all four years. "We hit it off immediately. I don't think he appreciated when I had to wake up at 6 a.m. for training for lacrosse," said William, laughing, "but we got along great."

At the 2022 Honors Convocation Ceremony, William was awarded with the Outstanding Student Leadership Award.

Why Criminal Justice?

"I always liked detective shows, the idea of solving problems where I didn't have to use math," William said.

Coming out of high school, William knew he didn't want to become an engineer like he always thought he wanted.

"My favorite television show at the time was Dexter, and I fell in love with the investigations and various other parts of what being a detective is, pushing me to pursue something in this field," William said.

One of the things he loved most about the Criminal Justice program was the breadth of topics covered.

"Through all of the classes you take with Doc [McGrain] and other professors, they really open your eyes to the different paths you could take. It's not as straightforward as other majors - there's so much to explore and experience, and that's what I liked most about it," William said.

Experience in the Honors Program

In addition to majoring in Criminal Justice, William was also a member of the Honors Program at GMercyU.

"My Honors classes have been really diverse in subject material, from music to politics to literature," he said. "And the classes were so small - one class was just me and three other people - so you really get individualized attention. I think my favorite Honors class was 'Dangerous Books' with Professor Clinton. I think I wrote the best paper I've ever written for that class, where I had to connect different 'dangerous' texts by different authors to each other."

GMercyU's Dangerous Books Course exposes students to a "dangerous" canon of works that have been regarded at various points in history as being prohibited, radically transformative, and/or subversive. Students analyze these texts according to their philosophical content and historical context and assess their enduring impact on society.

Internship Experience

William completed two internships during his time at GMercyU, although the first was more like a job. He worked with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control as a Seasonal Park Patrol Officer. In this role, he assisted the full-time police officers with law enforcement issues that arose and performed administrative duties within the parks in northern Delaware.

His second experience was with the Department of Homeland Security within their investigations unit. William assisted special agents with a number of cases where he did some surveillance work and transcribed interviews.

Post-Graduation

William graduated from GMercyU in 2022. He is currently in the process of securing a position with JP Morgan as a Client List Screening Analyst.

"I am most excited to not only have gotten the role, but to start my career in anti-money laundering and use the education I received from GMercyU in a constructive way," William said.

In Fall 2022, he will be pursuing his Master's in Global Affairs with a concentration in Transnational Security from New York University.

"My favorite part of my experience at GMercyU was the ability to learn new things an devolve my interests over the four year. Through not only my Criminal Justice classes, but my Computer Science and Honors Program classes as well, I have developed new interests that I do not think I would have otherwise. GMercyU grants a kind of freedom to explore that, to me, is very valuable," William said.