BY SARAH GOETZE Staff Writer
“Study something that you really find interesting, something that you really love. You don’t want it to become just a job. You always want to find something about your job that keeps you interested.” A piece of advice that any college student should cherish from Dr. Webster.
With Dr. Webster’s help as a new Sociology and Criminal Justice professor, McKendree plans to add a master’s program specializing in criminal justice and criminology. Recently, McKendree has seen a lot of interest in the field of criminal justice, one of the most popular fields of study across the nation. “There are plenty of good job opportunities. We could serve existing students and the region,”
Before joining the McKendree family, Dr. Webster attended East Tennessee State for her undergraduate program. After undergrad, she transferred to the University of Cincinnati to complete her masters and PhD. Webster loved the university atmosphere, “It reminded me of home. My peers were small town, farming kids, just like me,” she expressed. When asked if McKendree gives her the same sense of home, she quickly agreed.
When it came to Criminal Justice, it was not what she always wanted to study. Entering undergrad, she had chosen to study the field of Pre-med and continue on to be an emergency doctor. After taking her first biology class, she changed her mind instantly. “We studied things about plants and I just wasn’t into it. I could have stuck it out, but the interest just wasn’t there.”
After being introduced to her criminology professor and a push from her family, she switched her major. She took her first criminal justice class as an elective, but thanks to her captivating professor, she was instantly hooked. In the end, Dr. Webster is was more than happy with her decision to switch her field of study. Now as professor of criminology, she can honestly say she’s in love. “There’s just a certain spark”. When asked her favorite part of being a professor, she replied, “Everything. The ability to mentor students one-on-one with nobody standing over your shoulder to make sure you do your work. I get to choose how I spend my time, and the energy on a college campus.”
Dr. Webster is ecstatic to have to opportunity to be a member of the McKendree University family and cannot wait to launch the new graduate program. “I want to be able to help shape it into something that will change lives.”