Criminology graduate Kerri King (’13) was recently awarded the Carolyn A. Barros Service-Learning Award by the UT Arlington Center for Community Service Learning.
This award, which recognizes initiative, achievement and excellence of undergraduate students involved in service learning at UT Arlington, celebrates “the commitment students have made to the betterment of their communities and the enrichment of their learning experience both inside and outside the classroom,” according to the center’s website.
Last fall, King participated in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice’s internship program. She worked for E.R. Investigations under the tutelage of Ronnie Blasingame, a private investigator who provides investigation, security and consulting services throughout the State of Texas. King assisted Blasingame for more than 200 hours during the semester and was able to receive hands-on experience in the field while receiving course credit.
During the internship, King had the opportunity to participate in witness interviews, conduct jail visits with clients and consult on high profile criminal cases. The experience, she said, made an impact.
“The internship was a very eye opening to me,” she said. “All the skills and experience I received were rewarding, but the most important thing was how it changed me regarding my field of study and my views of the criminal world. I seemed to have generalized those accused to be those that are guilty, and not everything is so cut and dry. It is not plain black and white in the world of justice; sometimes there is a gray area. The evidence lives in this gray area and it is the job, my job, to walk into this place and search for the truth.”
King is currently enrolled in the department’s master’s degree program.