Class of 2022: Criminal justice major aims for the U.S. Foreign Service

Class of 2022: Criminal justice major aims for the U.S. Foreign Service

C riminal justice major Cameron Alee of Augusta, Georgia, knew she wanted to work in law enforcement for the federal government. Ultimately, Alee plans to mix her minor in international studies with criminal justice for a career with the U.S. Foreign Service. 

Cameron Alee at the Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea, during her study abroad her junior year.
Cameron Alee at the Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea, during her study abroad her junior year.

“I always loved learning about criminal history,” she said. “I want to add the element of working for the criminal justice system along with American international affairs.

Dr. Carrie Cook, professor of criminal justice and coordinator of the masters of criminal justice program, motivated Alee to be the best she can be—a lesson that will carry over in her profession.

“Dr. Cook is always present,” Alee said. “She constantly has a positive attitude and has never canceled class. This taught me to be respectful of others.”

Cook also taught Alee how to develop the skill of adaptability.

“Learning to adapt to different situations is very common in criminal justice fields,” Alee said. “Day-by-day, I’ll need to change what I’m doing or what I plan to do that day. If something randomly happens, I’ll have to know how to shift direction quickly.”

Alee studied abroad in South Korea at the University of Seoul—a Georgia College & State University partner school—as a junior, teaching students English. After graduating from Georgia College, she plans to gain even more international skills by teaching English to kindergartners in a private academy in Seoul, something that will be a new experience for her.

“This is my stepping stone into my future career,” Alee said. “I plan to develop fundamental teaching skills, work with different people around the world and improve my Korean language skills.”

Initially, she chose to study in South Korea after becoming friends with a South Korean exchange student through the International Club. 

Throughout my experience at Georgia College, I've learned to think differently, especially within my major. When working with people, we definitely need to think about different perspectives. That opened my horizons to focus on others’ perspectives, instead of just mine—something that’ll help me in my profession.
– Cameron Alee

“I've always known about South Korea, but she taught me a lot more about it,” Alee said. “Then, I used websites and textbooks to continue learning more about the language and culture. So, when I studied abroad, I put my knowledge to work.” 

Some of her favorite things to do in South Korea include traveling by train, bus and airplane and checking out different cafes.

“I had to adapt to the language and the culture,” she said. “That was a bit difficult, but it was a huge learning experience.” 

Cameron Alee at GCSU's pergola.
Cameron Alee at GCSU's pergola.

When Alee studied abroad in Seoul, she joined her university’s dance club and performed in the school’s festival. Alee continues to teach herself dance routines to Korean pop (K-pop) music, which she’s demonstrated three times at GCSU’s International Dinner and International Fest.

“I just watch them perform a routine through YouTube,” she said. “Then I learn the dance. I really enjoy doing it.”

Serving as president of the International Club provided Alee with a unique opportunity to grow as a leader.

“I learned how to lead a group of diverse people to collaborate,” she said. “Our team worked really well together—that was the best part. But, the hardest was learning everyone's schedules and respecting their time.”

Alee’s criminal justice classes also taught her to embrace others’ differences.

“Throughout my experience at Georgia College, I've learned to think differently, especially within my major,” Alee said. “When working with people, we definitely need to think about different perspectives. That opened my horizons to focus on others’ perspectives, instead of just mine—something that’ll help me in my profession.”