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bella harris at tu graduation

Alumni Spotlight: Bella Harris, MS in CJ – Criminal Behavior

Bella Harris, MS in Criminal Justice – Criminal Behavior & Justice Administration

What made you decide to pursue your degree as an adult?

I was taught from a young age that knowledge is one of the most powerful and valuable tools that a person can have. We will never stop learning in our life and embracing education and always learning is one the best ways a person can grow, give back and share amongst everyone they meet. I came back to school to embrace education and learn more about a field I am passionate about and want to see change for the better in our society.

Why did you choose to study at Tiffin University?

I chose Tiffin University because I had heard wonderful things about the Criminal Justice Department among others. More specifically I was blessed and given the opportunity to finish out my college golf career on the Tiffin Woman’s Golf Team. Competing for a great team while obtaining my Masters in a well known Criminal Justice Department was a great opportunity that Tiffin presented me with, and I could not pass it up.

Tell us about your experience with the program.

I have always struggled in the class room. School has never been something I came by honestly and could do with ease. I was very nervous to begin class at the Masters level online, because I value the one on one in person relationships with professors and classmates. None the less the online route was awesome. My professors always communicated with me and I was surprised to see that making relationships with classmates wasn’t as hard as I thought. I was able to talk with them, video chat, and send emails back and forth. This made the online classes easier and it was as if we were in seated classes together.

I had a great team of professors in both programs I was in. They all communicated well, and I knew no matter what I could ask questions and they would always answer. The faculty that I had the pleasure of working with have shifted and changed my perspective for the better. They have prepared me for what lies ahead in my future and I cannot thank them enough.

How did you juggle work, life and going back to school?

I fortunately had the opportunity to focus on school, while being a student athlete. For most of my peers they had families, full time jobs, and school on their shoulders. I learned from them fast that education is an important part of their future and that even though it might seem scary at the start, it will all work out in the end. As an athlete it was never easy at times and when I made the decision to grasp two concentrations in one year it was scary. Time management was my best friend. Always believe in yourself and go after your goals, I promise they will be worth it in the end.

What kept you motivated to stay in the program?

I want to continue to learn and gain new information each day. I have a passion for our criminal justice world and I want to be able to give back to society and make a change for the better for everyone.

What advice would you give to a prospective student who is thinking about going back to school?

Just do it. Don’t think about what lies ahead just be in the moment and follow your goals. I promise it is so special to reach the end and know that you accomplished a major milestone. No matter who you are, there is a place for you at Tiffin and I promise you will always have someone to lean on here.

No matter who you are, there is a place for you at Tiffin and I promise you will always have someone to lean on here.

TU’s motto is: Without risk there is no gain. Can you tell us about a time when you took a risk and what you gained from it?

I am I big believer in the TU motto. The truth is there is no gain if you don’t take the risk. I took the biggest risk of my life to go into higher education at the start of my college career. I had many teachers and professionals tell my parents I wouldn’t learn to read from a young age let alone graduate college. None the less I had great parents who advocated and pushed me and because of that I graduated college and took the risk of getting my masters.

Jumping into a higher study that I knew wouldn’t be easy was scary and I knew I would be pushed in ways I had never been. Today I can stand here and say I graduated, I defeated the odds that were not in my favor, I accomplished a goal some told me was only and ever going to be a dream. I took a big risk in pursuing a higher education so that I could make change in others lives one day. I gained a great education, knowledge that is powerful, and met some great individuals and learned from everyone I met. Thank you Tiffin for believing in me and giving me an educational experience I will take with me whereever I go.

Learn about our MS in CJ – Criminal Behavior