Posted on May 2, 2018 by Jana Schwartz

Participants at Criminal Justice National Honor Society Alpha Phi Sigma Networking Event

The Criminal Justice National Honor Society Alpha Phi Sigma hosted a networking event with the American Society of International Security (ASIS) to present opportunities for criminal justice and cyber security students to explore careers in security management and law enforcement within the public and private sector. Almost one-hundred participants attended the event at the UTSA Downtown Campus on April 10.

Henry Meade, Lecturer III in the Department of Criminal Justice and Advisor for Alpha Phi Sigma invited his class along with students from the UTSA College of Business Cyber Security program to listen to a panel of experts talk about their job missions and security partnerships. They also had the opportunity to network one-on-one with representatives from employers such as the FBI, Covergint Technologies, Texas Biomed, Securitas, City of San Antonio, USAA, Accenture, Randolph Air Force Base, and others.

"It's vital to provide our students an opportunity to recognize the numerous other job opportunities that a Criminal Justice education can provide," said Meade.

“By APS hosting ASIS, we were able to give our students a glimpse of how private and public sector institutions work together in securing our homeland. The same students who attended this evening also participated in a “game day” observation with the San Antonio Spurs Security Team.”

“This first hand observation was intended to give our students a understanding of the magnitude of preparation the private sector security and public law enforcement are involved in while securing a NBA game,” Meade added.

Dionne Davila, Career Counselor for the University Career Center at UTSA, talks about how students benefit from meeting potential employers.

“The purpose of this career exploration event is to get employers in front of the students. The representatives are in the position to be able to teach students the importance of marketable skills and selling themselves.”

Alex Johnson, San Antonio Police Department (San Antonio Free Fear Environment) SAFFE Officer, facilitated the event and introduced the guests in attendance. Mark Hammergren, Security Management Professional and Regional Vice-President for the San Antonio ASIS chapter, talked about the benefits of being a member. ASIS has partnerships with private and public sector employers. He encouraged students to join the organization to build connections with key professionals in the industry. ASIS offers certifications to help members gain a competitive edge in the marketplace and to enhance their career and earning potential.

Criminal Justice Department Chair Michael Smith attended the event, welcomed ASIS members and encouraged students to soak up as much knowledge from this experience as they can. He says these types of exploration events are paramount for professional advancement and for helping students uncover the steps needed to craft their careers.

Participants at Criminal Justice National Honor Society Alpha Phi Sigma Networking Event

Students listed to a panel of experts talk about how they got started in their careers. Employers talked about the day-to-day duties on the job and gave advice for those seeking careers in security. One of the members of the panel, an immigration representative from Covergint — a service based organization that works with universities, healthcare, life safety systems, and infant abduction systems, stressed the importance of having mentors. He also mentioned employees in the security profession should keep up with the ever-changing industry due to advancements in technology. Criminal Justice Alumna Nishita Maliek, who graduated with her BS in Criminal Justice and Master's of Science in Criminal Justice & Criminology, was present in the audience. She works as an Investigator with Keypoint Government Solutions. She gave advice to the students, telling them to take advantage of these types of opportunities. After the end of the panel session, students had a chance to speak to the security professionals individually.

“I was very pleased that UTSA students had the chance to see the valuable career of a criminal justice degree,” said Criminal Justice and Public Administration student Maverick Crawford, III. “I learned how ASIS works continuously to secure our nation with various programs and agencies.”

ASIS has been in existence since 1955. It is the world's largest membership organization for security management practitioners. ASIS has hundreds of chapters across the world with members representing a wide array of industries in the public and private sectors.

— Jana Schwartz