PSU Forum Encourages Women to Seek Criminal Justice Careers

November 13th, 2008 by Adam

“Anything a man can do, a woman can accomplish it just as well, if not better,” was the message delivered to Plymouth State University students Wednesday, Nov. 12 at a forum designed to encourage women to consider careers in the criminal justice system.

A panel of five women involved in various criminal justice careers described their responsibilities and experiences to the crowd of more than 100 students, primarily women. Forum organizer Stephanie Halter, a PSU Criminal Justice professor, said the goal was to offer information and support to students considering their future.

“I hope we encouraged students, female students particularly, to go into this field,” Halter said. “We made them aware that this job is for them, that they can do this and they should want to do this.”

The panel included Abigail Albee, managing attorney of the Merrimack Co. Public Defender’s Office, Joanne Fortier, Warden of the N.H. State Prison for Women, Melissa Pierce, Grafton Co. assistant prosecutor, Jennifer Frank, Plymouth State University Police and Linda Dalianis, the first woman to hold a seat on the New Hampshire Supreme Court. In her keynote address, Dalianis urged students to consider a career in criminal justice, noting intelligence, fortitude and a good work ethic are far more important than gender.

“I hope it opened people’s eyes to the possibilities, when you’re on the outside of professional choices looking in, you don’t always have a good window to look through,” Dalianis said. “This particular panel has a good range of experience to offer to people who may be making decisions about future careers.”

Frank said women students should be heartened by the success stories of the panelists.

“I hope that women had the opportunity to see that they can do anything, they can enter any job in criminal justice, and do just as well as any of their male counterparts,” said Frank.

PSU criminal justice major Megan Compton said the forum offered her good information and optimism about her future.

“I really liked it, I thought that it gave me hope, encouragement and perspective on my major and what I might accomplish,” Compton said.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes