The Department of Criminal Justice, the Office of the Provost and the Welcome Center each ushered in the academic year with a new team member.

Launched last fall to support the new major, the Department of Criminal Justice kicked off its inaugural year with chair and associate professor Deshonna Collier-Goubil. The major is an interdisciplinary social science that seeks to enlighten criminal justice majors about areas of study such as inquiry, innovation and lifelong learning in order to recognize, critically examine and solve social issues directly related to crime and criminal behavior.

Collier-Goubil has an extensive educational background and a Ph.D. in sociology with a criminology emphasis from Howard University, an M.A. from Fuller Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Langston University. She was also a police dispatcher for a few years before realizing she wanted to enter the field of criminal justice.

“It gave me an appreciation for law enforcement and what law enforcement officers do for our communities,” Collier-Goubil said about her experience working as a dispatcher. “I loved it, it was a great job. It was a career I never would have thought of, because I was fearful of law enforcement.”

Growing up in South L.A., Collier-Goubil explained why the community distrusts the criminal justice systems, which gave her a deeper appreciation for the field.

“I like to bring those two perspectives together in what I offer to my students,” she said. “I encourage students to go into law enforcement, but I’m also going to send them in [the field] having more of a critical edge to what they’ve had to think about and reflect on in the classroom.”

In her free time, Collier-Goubil likes to go to the movies, watch Netflix, cycle and bake cookies. She is also involved in a number of civic organizations doing different community activities such as voter registration drives, forums for different policies appearing on the voting ballots and meetings with the board of supervisors to advocate on behalf of the poor in different areas.

Another new hire, Maria Petersen, joined the Welcome Center team as a secretary. While she was a student in the credential and master’s program in the School of Education, Petersen wanted to get involved on campus with a job that promoted education. In her new position, she coordinates all of the campus tours and class visits, as well as faculty appointments with prospective students.

“I was a tour guide [at APU] for a year,” Petersen said.

In her free time, Petersen loves playing and watching basketball, hiking and being outdoors.

The Office of the Provost also welcomed a new staff member this year, but she is not new to APU. Rebecca Cantor, the new assistant provost, previously served as the director of the Writing Center.

“In my new role, I will be reporting to the Provost, Dr. Mark Stanton. I will be working on upper-level project management, investigation into and implementation of best practices for APU and communication for Dr. Stanton’s office,” Cantor said.

Cantor earned her Ph.D. in literature from Claremont Graduate University and currently lives in Fullerton with her husband and two kids. She also shed light on her new publication that will be released in a month.

“My first book of poetry is coming out in March,” she said. “I especially enjoy writing about women in the Bible.”

Cantor enjoys playing Uno with her family and spending time with her sisters.

Collier-Goubil, Petersen and Cantor each bring fresh perspectives to their areas and look forward to working alongside their new colleagues to enhance the APU experience.