Criminal Justice Student Awarded National Recognition

Getting a paper published in a national magazine is no easy feat. With competition from fifty other states, having your work acknowledged on such a large scale isn’t something every college student can say they have achieved. But for one student, it was.

Courtesy of Alyssa Stolecki

Alyssa Stolecki, a junior criminal justice major with a concentration in investigative services and a minor in global studies – international relations, had a piece published in the American Criminal Justice Association’s 2018 National Journal. The piece, “The War on Drugs and a Nation of Incarceration,” examines the War on Drugs from its start in the 1970s to its effects on the nation today, complete with statistical data and interviews.

“I wrote this paper during the fall 2017 semester in my race, class & gender issues in criminal justice course,” said Stolecki. “This was a special topics course taught by Tracy Tamborra – one of the most incredible professors I’ve ever had the pleasure from learning from.”

Stolecki, as a part of the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA), decided to take a chance prior to the ACJA national conference and submitted her paper. Stolecki said that she didn’t even realize that her work could potentially be published.

“At the 2018 national conference in Ohio, the winners of the national student paper competition were announced. When the title of my paper was announced as the first place winner, I was shocked” said Stolecki. “As if the trophy and the scholarship weren’t enough of a prize, it turned out that I would also be published in the national organization’s professional journal.”

In the student paper competition, a total of 37 submissions were received by the ACJA. Out of those 37, nine winners were selected. These winners were then separated into groups of three and put into a lower division, upper division, and graduate division. Stolecki’s paper took home first place in the lower division. Stolecki also took the lead in the national scholarship competition for the lower division, taking home $400 to help support her education.

But as far as getting published, Stolecki believes that this success has been invaluable.

“I believe that having my work published will help me in getting where I want to be” said Stolecki. “For me, being published means that I have found my place in the criminal justice field and that I’m beginning to establish myself. It means that I am capable of communicating and thinking critically, two skills that are absolutely essential in this field of work.”