Alpha Phi Sigma

(Criminal Justice Honor Society)


Criminal Justice Club News

Student Club News 2020-21

Keilah Shaw was president of the Criminal Justice Club and Alpha Phi Sigma for 2020-21. She earned a dual BA degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology and Human Resources Management in spring 2021. Her career goals are ever changing, but she wants to ultimately work in prisons or work for the FBI. She will continue her education in the graduate program of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at WSU.

Keilah decided to join the Criminal Justice Club as a freshman because she wanted to get involved. She also thought that, by joining, she could connect with other like-minded people in her major and really get a sense of what the criminal justice program was like. Sisouvanh Keopanapay, senior advisor in the department, taught her the most about the Criminal Justice Club. Sis was an amazing advisor: she explained ways to get involved and the Criminal Justice Club was one of them. Joining the club allowed Keilah to expand her network. She had never had the opportunity to spend time speaking with police officers or people who had worked for the DEA, and now she can say that she has. Her favorite part of the Criminal Justice Club was being president and putting on events for other students to get involved. It is amazing for students to learn from professors in the classroom, but Keilah learned that there is even more to the criminal justice system than time allows to learn about in class. Through the club, she learned about real-world experiences from offenders, and she was able to network with potential employers. She also learned how to interact with her professors better. The best advice Keilah would give to someone considering joining the Criminal Justice Club is to just put yourself out there and do it. Joining any club can be uncomfortable at first, but once you do, it can change your whole collegiate experience. The lessons Keilah learned in the Criminal Justice Club have contributed to her positive growth, and she would not be where she is today without the club’s support.

Keilah became interested in joining Alpha Phi Sigma through a presentation in one of her classes. While being a freshman meant she did not meet the requirements at the time, it did give her something to look forward to and work toward. Ashley Hailey was one of the people who taught her a lot about Alpha Phi Sigma. She was very resourceful and was always willing to share information and offer additional opportunities. Being able to say that she was a member of an honors society was a big draw to APS for Keilah. Even after serving as President, her excitement about being in the club never diminished. Even though she loves everything about Alpha Phi Sigma, her favorite event was the Walla Walla State Penitentiary tour. It was her first time to visit and explore a prison and is something she will never forget. One of the perks that drew her to APS was the possibility to expand her network in college, but she quickly learned that it offers career opportunities as well. Her best advice for someone considering joining Alpha Phi Sigma is to take the time to figure out what you want out of joining the club. A lot of people join APS because they want the regalia. That is fine, but there is so much more APS offers, and if you are going to be a part of a national honor society, why not start reaping the benefits now rather than later? Do not waste an opportunity by waiting until the last minute.

Shayla Emmett, smiling in her WSU hood.Shayla Emmett was vice president of Alpha Phi Sigma for 2020-21. She graduated summa cum laude in spring 2021 with a BA in Criminal Justice and Criminology and a minor in At-Risk Youth studies. She hopes to go on to earn her master’s degree in criminal justice and work in victim advocacy or early intervention. She decided to join Alpha Phi Sigma because it is a national organization that honors students who excel in criminal justice. Her advisor, Tina Krauss, introduced her to APS and encouraged her to join.

Shayla was hoping to benefit from a community of fellow criminal justice students who are as dedicated to their studies as she is. She loved APS because it is a unique environment for those interested in criminal justice. She learned that joining an honor society is well worth it! When asked what the best advice she has for other students who might consider joining Alpha Phi Sigma is, she says: Do it! It is definitely worth it and looks amazing to future employers!

Anna Stiegler was vice president for the Criminal Justice Club for 2020-21. She double-majored in Criminal Justice and Criminology and psychology. She will graduate in the fall of 2022. Her career goals are to do what she can to make the criminal justice system better for those with any sort of mental health issues. She decided to join Alpha Phi Sigma and Criminal Justice Club to connect with resources and opportunities outside of the classroom. Sisouvahn “Sis” Keopanapay was probably the person who most encouraged her to join the Criminal Justice Club and Alpha Phi Sigma. One thing she was hoping to get out of joining CJC and APS was building connections with other students and leadership experience and skills through an officer position.

Anna’s favorite part of both organizations is building connections with peers outside of the classroom setting and being able to visit correctional facilities and bring in people from the field to speak with students. She really wanted to push herself to go out and do something other than just academics; joining allowed her to do things that still involved one of her majors. Joining the Criminal Justice Club and Alpha Phi Sigma allowed her to gain a wealth of knowledge from guest speakers sharing their experience and painting a broader picture for her on different paths she could choose to take. Students in the clubs are a friendly and fun group who have a love of learning and making a positive impact on the criminal justice system! So, if that sounds like something, you’d like to be a part of, please come to a meeting!

Mike Chan, was treasurer of Alpha Phi Sigma and secretary of the Criminal Justice Club for 2020-21.

Riley Clark was secretary of Alpha Phi Sigma for 2020-21. The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology as a whole inspired and taught her about Alpha Phi Sigma. The department does a wonderful job encouraging students to take advantage of opportunities and learn inside and outside the classroom, which was exactly what she wanted. Riley’s favorite part of APS are the events. She really enjoys learning from experts in the field. Alpha Phi Sigma played a big part in Riley feeling a sense of belonging. She learned that it is exceptional to be a part of a community that has the same values and passion for criminal justice. Her advice to students considering joining? Join early. Join as soon as you can because the longer you are involved, the more access you have to scholarships during undergrad and the more time you can spend on building deeper connections with other members. Take advantage of the opportunities that Alpha Phi Sigma can offer you.

Cynthia Rangel was treasurer of the Criminal Justice Club for 2020-21.

Kaitlin Saythong, smiling.Kaitlin Saythong was the historian of Alpha Phi Sigma and the Criminal Justice Club for 2020-21. She double-majored in Criminal Justice and Criminology and sociology, with minors in At-Risk Youth and aerospace Studies. She graduated in May 2021 and plans to continue in higher education by obtaining a master’s degree in criminal justice. Upon graduation, she will be commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force and selected to be a Nuclear and Missile Operations Officer. After the military, she plans to join a federal government agency like the Central Intelligence Agency or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Kaitlin decided to join Alpha Phi Sigma to be part of a society that holds its members to a higher standard. She wanted to surround herself with individuals who were just as passionate about the criminal justice program! After she initially heard former members speak about APS in one of her criminal justice classes, she was inspired to join. Her advisor, Sisouvanh Keopanapay, answered her almost endless questions about Alpha Phi Sigma. Through joining APS, Kaitlin hoped to further her leadership development, and she reached her goal!

She appreciated the countless opportunities APS provided, including the chance to create new friendships and listen to distinguished speakers. Overall, she was able to learn about who she was as a leader and the importance of self-motivation. Moreover, she was able to learn more about the career she aspires to have and the ways to go about the hiring process. To those who might consider joining, Kaitlin encourages you all to work hard. The opportunities that Alpha Phi Sigma provides are worth all the hard work. It has made a memorable impact upon her undergraduate journey.

Looking for something more from your undergraduate experience?

Consider joining either or both of our two academic clubs: Alpha Phi Sigma and Criminal Justice Club. Not only will you gain a better understanding of what we do in the profession, you’ll see first-hand that your work matters—to your friends and fellow students, in our criminal justice community, and in your towns and neighborhoods….

John Snyder.Joining our student groups will help you form a stronger commitment to improving our profession. Contact me or any of our previous officers for more information.

–John Snyder, JD, Alpha Phi Sigma and Criminal Justice Club Advisor, 2020-21