Criminal Justice Major Named 2021 HSS Valedictorian

Published: April 08, 2021 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 2 minutes

Valedictorian Quincy PfefferQuincy Pfeffer has been named 2021 valedictorian for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). Pfeffer is graduating with a bachelor degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology. She has plans to begin at Northern Arizona University graduate school this fall to earn a M.S. in applied criminology.

“I chose SUU because of the environment,” Pfeffer said. “I really liked how it had a home away from home feel. Especially since I was moving away from home for the first time, that environment was a really big thing I was looking for in a university. I also like the small class sizes, the size of campus, and the inclusive home-y feel.”

A 2018 graduate of Chandler High School in Chandler, Arizona, Pfeffer was a big reader growing up and fell easily into the world of academia.

She says, “Reading has given me a more creative and empathetic mind, increased my overall perspective, and given me a pathway to apply my skills in a practical way to help people.”

A student with many interests, Pfeffer began at SUU as a chemistry major before switching to psychology, then criminal justice. In the end, her criminal justice major and psychology minor worked well to combine all of her interests and set her on a career path.

“I’ve had a lot of guidance from the professors that I’ve taken classes from,” said Pfeffer. “I didn’t really have a specific career in mind when I started. I debated going to law school but settled on crime analysis because I want to have a role in policymaking.”

Pfeffer has enjoyed working closely with Dr. Jeanne Subjack, assistant professor of criminal justice, who became her mentor and friend. The pair have begun an ongoing research project about the impact of non-fiction reading on empathy.

“Quincy is a once-in-a-lifetime student,” said Dr. Subjack. “There are not enough positive words to describe how phenomenal she is. She is one of the hardest working, dedicated, and motivated people I have ever met. Quincy is also incredibly kind and compassionate, and all those traits together make up someone who is truly one of the best people I have ever met. I’ll miss my fellow book nerd and trading books every week. Our mutual love of books led to a collaboration on a research project studying the relationship between reading and empathy. I look forward to our continued professional relationship as well as our friendship. Quincy is simply beyond compare.”

While at SUU, Pfeffer has been involved with the Writing Center as a tutor and as the criminal justice writing fellow. She also played on the women’s soccer team her freshman and sophomore years, and is a member of the 2018 Big Sky All-Academic Team.

“I’m really grateful to everyone I’ve met and come across at SUU,” said Pfeffer. “I’m excited to continue my education at graduate school next semester. I’m just really grateful to everything SUU has provided to me.”

Learn more about the 2021 valedictorians or Southern Utah University's 2021 Commencement Ceremonies

Tags: Criminal Justice College of Humanities and Social Sciences Graduation

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