Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students pursuing culturally-oriented Field Periods.
Junior Meghan Houlihan believes that choosing to pursue a major in criminology or law enforcement means you will deal directly with large cross sections of a diverse and global population.
She also believes that true multicultural experiences can only come from multicultural exposure.
To that end, Houlihan is completing her Field Period at Gallon Jug Community School/Casey Community School in Belize City, Belize.
“I have had the opportunity to travel before, and I believe my understanding of people in general has been broadened by cultural exposure,” said Houlihan, a criminology/criminal justice major from Elysian, Minn. “If you are entering the criminology or criminal justice profession, one important thing that you have to have in your back pocket is effective communication styles and skills.”
By having the opportunity to pursue a Field Period in a Third World nation, Houlihan intends to add to her communication skills, which she intends to rely on throughout her career.
“Few colleges have taken active interest in developing countries, so a Field Period like this puts Keuka in select company,” said Houlihan prior to her departure. “Developing an understanding for the underprivileged will allow me to stand out as I pursue my career.”
One of her goals while at Gallon Jug School is to study the socialization of youth in middle school, with a special focus on how teachers and school staff promote student success and respond to student misbehavior or deviance.
“With today’s increased mobility and the emergence of a global economy, a world view of educational systems is essential,” she said. “During my Field Period, I will work with children and adolescents who have diverse life challenges. I expect to gain insight into the basis for some of these difficulties.”
According to Houlihan, the country of Belize is “struggling economically, but filled with highly motivated people hoping to improve conditions there. It is my goal to use knowledge I have gained in my classes to help the kids and families I will meet.”