Mary Murphy ’16 received invaluable on-the-job experience through an internship at the Essex County Sheriff’s Department Research and Statistics Division as she pursued a Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice. The internship enabled Mary to complete her degree in one year while getting nearly a year of field experience as part of the graduate curriculum.
Murphy’s primary responsibility was to assist in tracking known relapses in criminal behavior and provide reports to different departments within the facility. This fit in perfectly with her career interests and degree concentration of Research Methods and Program Evaluation. Information she gathered was anything from the number of inmates in a cell block to the demographics of the inmates in each facility.
“I enjoyed working in my internship environment,” says Mary. “Everyone was very supportive and willing to share their experience. The staff at the Essex County Sheriff’s Department has welcomed me and encouraged me as I pursued my master’s degree.”
Mary found that much of her graduate coursework directly correlates with what she did in the office.
“The Advanced Research Methods course at Merrimack definitely benefited my projects at work,” says Mary. “In turn, the knowledge, experience and hands on practice I had during my internship have had a huge impact on my coursework.”
Mary attended Merrimack as an undergraduate student in the criminology program and chose to continue her education there based on the positive experience she had.
“Merrimack’s Criminology Department has some of the most dedicated, hardworking and encouraging people, and they really pushed me to achieve my best,” says Mary. “The faculty utilized their connections inside and outside the classroom to provide students with the ability to grow and gain experience directly from the field of criminal justice.”
Mary graduated in May 2016 with plans to continue her work in criminal justice research and statistics.
Most recently, Mary’s article “Essex County’s Detox Unit: A Business Model Approach to Addiction” was published in Correctional News Magazine!