VALPARAISO | Leaders of the Criminal Justice Club at Purdue University Calumet unfurled their new club flag for display Thursday at the Porter County Jail.
Club members Tom Donovan and Valyncia Gogins collaborated on the flag design.
"I had ideas of what would best represent the Criminal Justice Club, but I’m not tech savvy enough to handle the design on my own,” said Gogins. “But when I saw Tom’s design, I thought, 'That’s what I was thinking, except with a few changes.’”
The two students continued improving their flag design, and earlier this semester the Criminal Justice Club members voted Donovan and Gogins' flag to be the best out of numerous submissions.
“The purpose for the Criminal Justice Club is to help students get to know one another, to know the criminal justice community in our area, and to become involved in community service," said Nicki Ali Jackson, club sponsor and associate professor of criminal justice. “This flag shows how proud we are of our organization and links us into criminal justice system.”
Club members Amal Hamed, Neil Olson and Patrick Hoernig joined in the presentation of the flag. They unanimously identified networking as the primary benefit of the club.
“The Criminal Justice Club gave me many different contacts,” said Olson. “We were able to visit prisons and jails and meet with various people involved in the criminal justice system. Through some of our volunteering, we were also able to spend time with victims, not just offenders.”
Porter County Sheriff David Lain expressed his gratitude for the partnership.
“We want to recognize the high respect that the Sheriff's Department and law enforcement has for higher education. Our department really wants to form a strong bond with Purdue University Calumet.”
PUC Chancellor Thomas Keon also was on hand to demonstrate the importance of this partnership.
“Universities tend to be an academic oasis without engaging in the surrounding community," he said. "We want to make sure our students are engaged in experiential learning. Through partnerships like this, we want to become an integral part of the fabric of the Northwest Indiana community.”