Student Spotlight: Sowmya Ramadas
Major: Criminal Justice
When Sowmya Ramadas came to the U.S. in 1997, her long-term goal was to become involved in law enforcement.
She studied both biology and psychology and completed a degree from Knox College as an independent major in Biopsychology. Ramadas then began a master's program in Clinical Psychology. Unfortunately, after one year, she needed to stop.
“Through a series of life events, I moved various times over the course of 10 years and finally came ‘full circle’ and ended up in Illinois in 2011,” she said. “I was also granted my citizenship in 2011 after 14 long years.”
Ramadas started working as a recruiter. Sadly, due to company setbacks, the job only lasted 15 months.
“I was having difficulty finding employment and realized that it was time to focus on my initial goals and dreams again. I decided to further my education to make me a more visible candidate for law enforcement,” she said. “I heard about the Criminal Justice program at College of DuPage and about the Forensic Criminal Investigations Certificate. After a lengthy discussion with Professor (Theo) Darden, it came to light that this would be a perfect way to add the law enforcement skill set to my already diverse skill set. Also, it would be an excellent opportunity to network within the field.”
Ramadas finished her certificate with high honors and is working three jobs at every level of the government – at the Oakbrook Terrace Police Department as an administrative officer, at the Transportation Security Administration as a transportation security officer, and with DuPage County Probations as a juvenile detention officer. She is also continuing to pursue her goals to join a federal law enforcement agency, where she can put her education and experience to full use.
“Seeing justice served has always been very important to me, and I have always wanted to be a contributor to that greater good,” she said. “Breaking things down to different levels to see how an event might have occurred is fascinating. From a psychological perspective, what makes a person do what they do? From a scientific perspective, how was it carried out and what signature did it leave behind? I have come to see that I have an analytical mind that is good at problem solving and, coupled with my life experiences, makes me a good candidate for the field.”
If further training is required, Ramadas said she would return to College of DuPage.
“College of DuPage offered this great certificate program which will definitely advance me toward my goals. I was able to incorporate it into my current situation without any difficulty,” she said. “Choosing which program to attend or which school to go to can be a daunting task. My career goals and educational needs aligned very well with what COD had to offer and I am happy that this worked out for me. I would recommend COD and its programs to anyone with similar interests.”
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