MACJ E-Newsletter Winter-Spring 2015

Crime & Justice Blotter

Winter/Spring 2015  Vol.7, Issue 1

Letter from the Director

This is an exciting time of year as many of you are finishing your first year of the MACJ or CACP programs and many of you will be graduating soon! Before you begin your celebrations, don’t forget that Adrian Raine will be speaking at our upcoming Continuing Education event on the topic of the Biological Roots of Crime.  Yes, this is same Raine whose research we discussed in Advanced Criminological Theory as well as watched him speak on a Canvas posting.  The event is scheduled for May 1, 2015.  There is a terrific student discount to attend. If interested in attending, please contact Kate Reynolds at  Also, be on the lookout for a graduate student celebration announcement for those of you who are participating in the June commencement.

Be sure to join us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!  Our Facebook page has been very active this year, and I would like to bump up our membership numbers even more.  You can utilize the page to post social gatherings, provide links to interesting research, or make any announcement that other MACJ students may want to know about. Oftentimes, it is through these channels, that job postings are made.  Remember that networking is often the key to employment success!  So, please join all of our social media cites and stay “in the know.”

Elaine Gunnison
Graduate Director

Alumni Profile

Nancy Garcia grew up in East Los Angeles with her parents and three siblings, often hearing and witnessing criminal activity at their doorstep. Although her parents tried to keep her from the reality of gangs and shootings, little could be done to prevent her from noticing the street corners decorated with candles and flowers. Often reading newspapers, books, and articles about crime and its consequences, Nancy took an interest in criminal law and criminal cases. At age 10 she remembers sharing all of her “investigation theories” with her dad as he worked overtime from his home workstation. Her father constantly encouraged her to consider becoming an attorney, to which Nancy often reminded him that she would one day be “Supreme Court Chief Justice Lopez,” (her maiden name).
As Nancy moved onto college, she quickly declared her major as criminal justice. Eager to learn more and make good use of her time in school, she declared a second major in social work. To her surprise, Nancy enjoyed social work and began her career by helping families with disabled children. Although she completed her B.S. in Criminal Justice at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, she took a step back and refocused her career track to social work. After 7 years of social service, she found herself being drawn back to social work positions that tied into the court system; clearly she was pre-programmed to work in a crime related field. Although unclear on her desired career path, Nancy enrolled at Seattle University’s Masters in Criminal Justice program in 2010. While working through the programs’ classes she found an interest in research but was still drawn to investigations. Luckily, Seattle University provides a great curriculum that involves research throughout the entire program, so that Nancy was able to choose the Investigative Criminology track, getting the best of both worlds.

After graduation, Nancy returned to social work with an eye to breaking into the criminal justice world. Often advised that getting a good job with the government required knowing the right people; Nancy was relieved to find this is not always the case. One day while looking at the King County classifieds, Nancy found a great position that combined corrections and social work. She applied and, after a few months of interviews, background checks, and polygraphs, Nancy was offered the position of Project Program Manager III & Inmate Welfare Fund Manager with the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention in King County. The position entails research regarding internal programming that has been proven to reduce recidivism rates and to help assist inmates with reentry needs. The research would help identify programs, develop current programs, and advise Senior Management, including council members of strategies to help reduce crime rates in the county as a whole. In addition, Nancy would now be responsible for effective and efficient use of Inmate Welfare Funds; funds meant to be used for inmate needs that are not inclusive in the general budget as everyday needs.
How did Nancy land her dream job? Curious, Nancy posed this question to the panel interviewing her for the position. While acknowledging Nancy’s work experience and personality, the panel also stated that a Masters of Arts in Criminal Justice from Seattle University recommended the quality of work she would be able to deliver. Nancy feels proud and confident that her time at Seattle University has made a great deal of a difference in her chosen career path. When asked for advice for those entering the field of criminal justice, Nancy emphasizes the importance of keeping a regular workout routine as essential to keeping one's sanity. Often a gloomy environment, criminal justice can easily push people to their limits and keeping care of oneself is key to success in this field. At the end of the day; however, Nancy feels it worth all the stress. After all, working in criminal justice involves working with 1 out of every 3 people we encounter in our communities.

Faculty Profile

Trisha King-Stargel was raised in Hawai’i, and thinks of it as home. She worked in both the travel industry and medical field before settling on a career in policing. As one of the first women hired to work patrol for the Honolulu Police Department, she was able to pave the way for other women who found policing as exciting as she did. Moving to the Mainland, Trisha finished out her 25 year career at the Kent (WA) Police Department. She holds a BA in Criminology, a MA in Organizational Ethics, and upon retiring, Trisha achieved her doctorate from Seattle University in Educational Leadership with a focus on adult education. Dr. King-Stargel has been an adjunct professor for Seattle University’s Criminal Justice Department since 2003, teaching criminal investigation, criminal profiling, and serial murder. Along with teaching in the criminal justice program, Trisha also works at the King County Sheriff Office, and provides consultation and training for the Department of Justice ICITAP program in the Ukraine.  She lives in Tacoma with her husband, a retired firefighter, and daughter.

 Student Profile

Corie Wright was born and raised in Seattle, making Seattle University the obvious choice when it came time to choose where she would be spending the eight years that followed high school. She earned a B.S in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Science and a minor in Chemistry prior to acquiring a job in the environmental science field. She chose to return to Seattle University to pursue a Masters of Criminal Justice with a concentration in Criminological Investigation for personal enrichment in addition to exploring other possible career paths. Corie recently accepted a lucrative job with the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab in Seattle as a DNA lab technician, bringing her one step closer to her ultimate goal of becoming a forensic scientist.

Shortly after beginning her Masters in Criminal Justice program, Corie started attending pole fitness classes to keep her strong and stress-free. Though a long-term hobby was not her initial plan, Corie fell in love with the sport and has not looked back. Having performed in front of family and friends multiple times, she enjoys pushing the limits physically, bringing the most close-minded of onlookers to their feet in amazement. She hopes to take her performances to the next level and participate in a regional competition in the near future. When Corie is not busy with school, work, or pole, she enjoys immersing herself in the realm of the undead and true crime. Though she will list off a hundred reasons why zombies could never become a legitimate threat, and she spends all day listening to the details of the latest crimes in Seattle, she can’t seem to pull herself away from books, movies, and shows dedicated to the undead and crime solving.

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Contact Us

Elaine Gunnison 
Graduate Program Director

Nicole Moses 
Graduate Program Coordinator

Matthew Hickman
Department Chair