Savannah Shairs

Savannah Shairs

M.S., Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2019, B.S., 2017, Merrimack College

Personal Connections Matter

Now a clinician in the female detox unit for a company called AdCare at the Essex County Sheriff’s Department (MA), Savannah Shairs credits Alicia Malone, director of the graduate Criminology program at Merrimack, for her new career opportunity.

To help Shairs get her first professional job after graduation, Malone arranged a tour of the facility and introduced Shairs to her current boss. The personalized, hands-on relationships Merrimack professors forge with their students is one of the reasons Shairs decided to initially enroll at Merrimack—the Merrimack student community was another.

Today, part of Shairs’ job is to match women recovering from substance misuse with the resources they need to be successful.

“Professor Malone helped me grow as a student and as a human being…she is one of the reasons I am where I am today. She puts so much heart and soul into what she does, and she inspired me to want to do the best I can.”

Dreams of Law Enforcement

Ultimately, Shairs dreams of becoming a police officer. She’s already taken the Massachusetts Police Officer exam and is waiting to see how she fares when she receives her score in August. An undergraduate internship at the Beverly Police Department exposed her to the world of law enforcement, and she believes earning a master’s degree in criminology makes her even more marketable.

Should law enforcement not work out, Shairs has a back-up career plan, inspired by her mentor, Malone. She’s thinking about eventually becoming a professor. No matter where her career takes her, the preparation and connections she has made at Merrimack will continue to add value.

“A graduate degree will open so many other doors. You eventually see that companies prefer a master’s degree, so at some point you may need to get one depending on the career you have chosen.”