Welcome to the CJSA Blog!

This is the official blog for the Criminal Justice Student Association at RIT. We will be updating you about things from the CJSA as well as the RIT Pre-Law Association, Criminal Justice Department and events you may be interested in! We will also share information about topics you may find of interest. Be sure to email us if you want to see something or if you are interested in writing a blog post!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good luck with exams - some study and prep tips!

It's that time of the quarter again - week 10 is over and finals are around the corner. Feeling anxious about final exams? You're not alone. Below are some simple tips to help you better deal with the anxiety and ace all of those exams. We know you can do it so have some faith in yourself too! :)

Basic Prep and Exam Tips

1. Prepare!!!
Make sure you actually study for the exam! If your professor says that X, Y and Z will be on the final, don't study J, K and L first... you could run out of time before you get to studying what is guaranteed to be on the exam.

2. Notecards
If you are studying for a class where definitions, formulas or dates are important, re-writing the information once more helps a lot with remembering.

3. Read
Review the chapters you have already read and if time permits, read the ones that you just didn't have time for during the quarter after you read your class notes. This will reinforce some of the information anyway.

4. Stay active
Get to the gym or do some sort of exercise as often as normal if not more. It helps keep you healthy while your immune system is dealing with all the stress from week 10 and finals week. Eat as healthy as possible too.

5. Don't wait!!!
Waiting until the last minute to study for that exam that is worth 40% of your overall grade is probably not the smartest idea. Even if you are burnt out, try to spend small amounts of time reviewing beginning days before the exam. If this is no longer possible, study as much as you can and think positively. Going into a test feeling unprepared and like you will do poorly on the exam will make you more anxious and forget what you do know. You made it through 10 weeks of that information, you will think more clearly if you stay calm so don't stress out too much!

6. Now you can fall asleep...
Make sure you get a good nights rest before the exam. It will help calm your nerves as well as make you feel rested and ready to take on the world, or at least the exam.

Test Taking Techniques to Reduce Anxiety from Suite 101

  • Once you start taking the test, there are things you can do to calm yourself down. One technique is to take long, deep breaths. If you feel yourself getting anxious, stop and breathe. It's also helpful to stretch.
  • Feel stressed about time? It might actually help to stop for a minute, close your eyes, and breathe. This seems counterintuitive, but a little time taken to relax can help you work more efficiently.
  • Another thing that helps many students is to make a "game plan." If there's an essay, outline it ahead of time so that you know what you're going to say. If you have math problems, figure out the order you plan to solve the problems, and how long you think each problem will take

For more advice check out this article... unless you are trying to find another way to procrastinate studying for your next exam! =P

-Chyna Trible, CJSA PR Executive

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Criminal Justice Scholarship Resources

Are you strugling to pay for college but have a strong desire to continue in a field related to Criminal Justice? Did you know there are plenty of scholarship sources for CJ students out there?  Yes, it may take a little time to fill out the application or write a short essay, but let's be honest, who doesn't have time while procrastinating on that paper due in two weeks? Not that we promote procrastination by any means! ;)

Below is a step-by-step guideline to help you through the process of applying for scholarships. It is not a comprehensive how-to but it is a basic overview of the basic steps to take to pay your way through college!

Please, feel free to leave comments with any further suggestions or questions.

Step 1: Apply for Financial Aid at RIT!

  • Click here if you are an incoming, new undergraduate student.
  • Click here if you are a current RIT undergraduate student.
  • Click here if you are an international undergraduate.
  • Click here for more resources for U.S. citizen's hoping to become graduate students.
  • Click here for more resources for international students hoping to become graduate students.

Step 2: Look for scholarships.

  • Start with a basic google search like this one:

  • Then narrow the search to find more specific scholarships relevant to the field of study you are most interested in. Some examples may include:
    • Corrections Officer Scholarships
    • Media Law Scholarships
    • Police Officer Scholarships... etc.

Step 3
: Applying for those scholarships!
  • Ask a close professor, or teacher if still in high school, to write you a letter of recommendation for the scholarship.
    • Give them a copy of the scholarship requirements as well as a list of your accomplishments and/ or a resume so they can talk about some of the things you have done.
    • Make sure you give them enough time to write this - if you have three months until the scholarship deadline, ask them as soon as you know you want to apply, especially if they are the busy type. Remember, it is not their responsibility to get you scholarships, it's yours so act in a timely manner.
  • Get your resume critiqued.
    • Use RIT's resources such as the Cooperative and Career Services Office. Ask them to critique your current resume or ask for help getting started!
    • Ask a friend, relative AND professor. The more eyes, the better. This way if two of you miss a small error, someone else might catch it. 
    • Mimic your resume after the resume of someone else in the field you are interested in. Chances are, if they are successful, they know a thing or two about writing a well-received resume.
    • In the end remember, it is your resume. Be happy with what you create but make sure it is professional enough.
    • Proof read your essays, Q & A sections and contact information. Small errors make the biggest difference.

Step 4
: Follow up
  • Call or email whoever you submit the application to so that you can ensure they received everything necessary to evaluate your application. After spending all that time preparing, it is the worst to find out they never received the information. When possible, make copies of everything before you send it in!
  • If you have heard nothing from the scholarship committee after the decision date contact them to see the status of their decision. 
  • If they say you did not win, ask them if they have any suggestions or if there was a main reason your application was not strong enough. They may or may not tell you but it doesn't hurt to ask!'

Step 5: Don't get discouraged!
  • Pace yourself, this is not an easy process but in the end it is worth it!
  • Expect that you will not win every scholarship but know that if you focus on your strengths and constantly improving, you have as good of a chance as anyone else.
  • Be realistic when applying for scholarships. If you have a 2.3 and every scholarship you are looking at is for a full-ride for someone with a 3.7, keep looking.
  • If you do not meet the criteria for the application, reconsider applying or ask your advisor if you should apply because you have this great advantage over other students - but again, be realistic.
Some specific scholarships you may be eligible for:
  • Scholarship search: http://www.scholarships.com/scholarship-search.aspx
  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Degrees - Undergraduate Academic Award. This award is based on your academic history as well as extracurricular activities: http://education-portal.com/pages/Criminal_Justice_and_Law_Enforcement_Degrees_-_Undergraduate_Academic_Award.html
  • Captain James J Regan Memorial Scholarship - based on your academic record, leadership ability and extracurricular activities.  http://www.learning-for-life.org/exploring/scholarships/pdf/regan.pdf
  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Awards - Varies in criteria and deadlines: http://www.acjs.org/pubs/167_770_3512.cfm
These scholarship sources may or may not be perfect for you so check them out as a starting point. If none of them fit, know there are scholarships that are ideal for you - focus on your strengths in searches. Keep looking, ask for help and stay motivated. 

Good luck and happy scholarship hunting! :)

-- Chyna Trible
C.J.S.A. - Public Relations Executive

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CJSA's 1st Meeting

Today marked the first official meeting of the Criminal Justice Student Association. Upcoming speakers brought in by the RIT Pre-Law Association, future possible trips hosted by CJSA, movie nights as well as the possibilities of prison visits and ride-alongs were among the main topics discussed at today's meeting. E-board members were also selected. They are:
  • President - Ashley Vazquez
  • Vice President - Bria Page
  • Program Director - Kelly Eagen
  • Public Relations Executive - Chyna Trible
  • Treasurer - Shane Williams
We are looking forward to a great beginning and lots of new faces to join us soon as well. CJSA plans to host a movie night towards the end of this quarter or the beginning of next quarter so be on the lookout! Don't forget to find us on Facebook too.