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Erika Dodson


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Student Spotlight – Erika Dodson

Erika Dodson, a senior in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is double majoring in Criminal Justice and Corrections and Juvenile Justice Studies with a minor in Police Studies. She is also pursuing two certificates in Correctional Intervention Strategies, and Juvenile Justice studies. Erika is an excellent example of how hard work, self-drive, and initiative can lead to academic and career success through online education at EKU.

Erika is a national member of the Alpha Phi Sigma honor society and has been a non-traditional student from the very beginning, allowing her to pursue her career dreams while also being a wife and a mother. Erika is originally from the Dominican Republic, but she moved to the U.S. during her last year of high school in 2007. And, while English is not her first language, she was committed to learning and embracing a new country and their systems. This has allowed her to obtain various nominations and certificates including Spanish student of the month. Twelve years after graduating from high school in Orlando Florida, she decided it was time to further her education. Erika graduated from Somerset Community College in 2021 and came to EKU in the fall of 2022, where she has made the Dean’s List on multiple occasions.

For Erika being a non-traditional student has instilled in her an admirable work ethic. This coupled with her flexibility, has allowed her to participate in various internships including one with Department of Criminal Justice Training, and a second with the U.S. Marshals service. Her determination, self-drive, and flexibility have provided her with the opportunity to explore her options as well as widening her knowledge and professionalism. 

For Erika, determination and persistence are keys to her success. She is looking forward to graduation in Spring 2024, as well as setting an example for those who believe that it is too late to pursue a dream, as well as for those who are skeptical of online learning. Online learning has allowed her to achieve both her dream as well as given her the tools to pursue a career in criminal justice, specifically juvenile corrections. Erika hopes to mark a before and after by being the first non-traditional student in her family to graduate with a Bachelors’ degree. Everyone in the School of Justice Studies, are very proud of Erika and all she has achieved. We cannot wait to see what she does after graduation!

Published November 9, 2023

College of Justice, Safety, and Military Science

521 Lancaster Avenue
Stratton 354
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-3565

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