Putting academics first to pursue criminal justice career
Graduate Profile: Lotte Miller
For Lotte Miller, graduating in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice just wasn’t enough. She immediately returned to Governors State University (GSU) to pursue a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, so she could pursue her passion for helping former inmates with rehabilitation after their release from prison.
Miller reflects on her experiences preparing for her career while playing basketball as a Jaguar and succeeding as a student-athlete.
GSU Newsroom: What attracted you to Governors State?
Miller: GSU offered something way different than what I had been used to--which was diversity. After my first contact with Head Coach Tonisha Mack, I knew this was where I belonged. As I learned more about GSU, I knew I would be able to put my academics first rather than the sport. Out of all the schools that wanted me to attend their program in 2020, GSU was the one that promised a wonderful educational experience.
GSU Newsroom: Top two GSU experiences (or professors) and why?
Miller: I’d say confidently that there have been many good moments and professors during my time here at GSU. However, if I had to choose, I’d say that professors Caron Jacobson, Janet Brewer, and Joao Salm have been the most influential professors I have ever had. They are the reason why I have one degree and am working towards another. Without them pushing me to do and be my best, supporting me, and always lending a helping hand these past three years, I truly do not know where I’d be regarding my education.
As for my top moment, beating Olivet Nazarene University on senior day was icing on the cake. The way my teammates battled to win the game for me made me realize that the game is way more than just a game.
GSU Newsroom: How did GSU make your dreams come true?
Miller: To be honest, GSU has played many roles in making my dreams come true. I wanted to end generational curses in my family and this school has allowed that time and time again. I wanted to continue playing basketball after JUCO (Junior College) and GSU provided me with the opportunity to do so for three more years. I also stated that after my education I would love to go right into the work force, and I know I have enough (actually more than enough) resources to ensure that possibility.
GSU Newsroom: What advice would you give to current and/or future GSU students?
Miller: The advice that I’d give is to not take these years for granted. Allow for your mind to be open rather than narrow and never be set in stone. I would also encourage building healthy relationships with the professors, because they have changed my life, perspectives, and heart for the better. It’s more than just attending class and scheduled Zooms. My professors and classmates are now some of my friends that I will keep in my life forever. Without surrounding myself with those who want me to succeed, to be better, and to help--I simply do not know what or who I’d be. The last piece of advice is to never be afraid to ask questions. Without asking, you’ll never find the answer.
GSU Newsroom: What’s next after graduation?
Miller: Last May I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in forensic psychology. However, one degree just wasn’t enough. I believed wholeheartedly that to step into this field required education at a higher level. So I returned to GSU and began working on another criminal justice degree.
After graduation, real life starts. I plan to move so that I can be closer to my mother, sister, and father. I plan to start my career in the corrections field, get my own place, and purchase my first puppy. My ultimate goal is to own my own rehabilitation center to help persons who were once incarcerated with employment, transportation, and hopefully education.