Experience and athletics
Morgan Smith ’23, a criminal justice major from Arlington, Ohio, is gaining experience in her field through multiple work and volunteer efforts.
“There are definitely days that keep me on my toes,” said Smith, of her experience working as a community service officer with Putnam County Juvenile Probation. “Everyone says high school kids can be too much, but I really enjoy working with high school students. I have three younger sisters, and they’re all in high school. I feel like when you’re in junior high and high school, that is when you need the most direction. Seeing people turn their life around is what really makes it worth it to me.”
Smith has also shadowed officers with the Lima and Bluffton Police Departments. Last spring, Smith completed a reading and mentoring program with teenagers at the Allen County Juvenile Detention Center in Lima, Ohio.
“I hadn’t really thought about working with juveniles when I decided to pursue criminal justice, but the reading and mentoring program broadened my horizons.” said Smith. “There are so many avenues within criminal justice.”
With her position in Putnam County, Smith transports to places such as business or parks where they can complete their community service hours for various offenses.
“There was an opportunity to receive college credit for it,” said Smith. “But after starting it, I just enjoyed it so much I continued. I want to do this after I graduate, even if it’s on the side.”
At Bluffton, Smith is a member of the women’s basketball team. This summer, she had the opportunity to play overseas on a travel team. For 10 days she toured Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia while playing basketball with teammates located from all over the United States.
“The sport specifically is different—there’s a faster shot clock. Instead of 30 seconds its 24 and then there’s more nit-pick on rules.” said Smith. “They play in clubs over there so we would be playing anyone from ages 18 to 42.”
Smith spent two to three days in each city. Her team typically played back-to-back days, before exploring the city and moving on to the next location. She even played in Spain’s largest gym.
“Spain was an awesome experience,” said Smith. “I feel I am extroverted but that was
really out of my comfort zone.”
After graduating, Smith hopes to one day be able to play basketball overseas for far longer than ten days.