News & EVENTSStudents and alumni of UTSA's BPA and MPA programs became a part of the 2017 distinguished Public Administration Honor Society Pi Alpha Alpha. Members were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements. All NEWS > Dr. Barbara Bird, American University, Washington D.C. All Events >
Alma Zuniga is a senior and Psychology major with a Criminal Justice minor. She is a first generation student and plans to graduate in December of 2017. Alma served as Secretary of UTSA's National Criminal Justice Honor Society, Alpha Phi Sigma for the 2015-2016 academic year and currently serves as President for the 2017-2018 academic year. She plans to earn her master's and doctorate degrees with the goal of becoming a forensic psychologist. Alma has volunteered her time as community events such as the League of Women Voters, Rock-n-Roll Marathon, Spurs Security Straight Talk, and Alpha Phi Sigma Toy Drive for Family Services. She has also volunteered with Harlandale High School Special Needs Prom, Caroll Bell Carnival, and Graffiti Wipeout, as well as helping at risk students as a youth mentor at the Presa Community Center. When she isn't working or studying, Alma can be found spending time with her family, doing outdoor activities, collecting superhero memorabilia, reading books, writing poetry, or watching crime shows.
Valeria Sandoval currently serves as the Vice President of Alpha Phi Sigma. She is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. She is on track to graduating in May of 2018 and plans on enrolling in the Master's of Criminal Justice & Criminology program after graduating. Valeria was born in El Paso, Texas and moved to San Antonio from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She currently works part time as an Administrative Associate for the UTSA Department of Chemistry. Her love for children and passion for swimming has led her to volunteer with "Kinetic Kids" at the local Love to Swim School. There, she aids children with special needs with recreational swimming and provide unique experiences through physical and creative activities in a supportive environment. Outside of school, work, and volunteering, Valeria loves spending time with family, sports, traveling, being outdoors and going on adventures.
Nohelia is a junior at the University of Texas at San Antonio pursuing a double major in Criminal Justice and Public Administration and a double minor in Non-Profit Management and Mathematics. She has been involved in various non-profit organizations such as the SA Food Bank, Haven for Hope, and Any Baby Can. She believes Alpha Phi Sigma will provide additional opportunities to give back to the community and UTSA as well as build a stronger relationship with other Criminal Justice professors and students. Along with her involvement in Alpha Phi Sigma, Nohelia also serves on the College of Public Policy Student Cabinet. She hopes to pursue a career with FBI after she graduates from UTSA.
Alejandra Cortes served as President of Alpha Phi Sigma during the 2015-2016 academic year and previously served as Vice-President for the 2014-2015 academic year. Alejandra is a senior majoring in Political Science accompanied with a minor in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies. She earned a full scholarship to UTSA and plans to graduate in the Spring of 2017 with magna cum laude honors. he was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and has resided in San Antonio since age 5. She currently works at Prins Law Firm as a legal assistant. Prins Law Firm handles Real Estate Law, Asset Protection, Business Litigation, and other complex litigation. Alejandra has volunteered her time at community service events such as UTSA National Night Out, Special Olympics, San Antonio Housing Authority’s Paint-a-Thon, San Antonio Police Department’s Explorers program and SAPD’s Active Shooter Program. She has also volunteered with Faith Church, Child Safe, Selena Bidi Bidi Fun Run, Alpha Phi Sigma and UTSA Police Department Toy Drive for Family Violence Prevention Services, and Food Drives with the San Antonio Food Bank. She aspires to get accepted to either University of Texas School of Law, University of Miami School of Law, or University of California Los Angeles School of Law. She is interested in becoming a prosecutor, or practicing either immigration law or entertainment law. When she is not busy with work, classes and Alpha Phi Sigma, she enjoys working out, doing outdoor activities, going to the shooting range, spending time with her dog and watching crime shows.
Nishita Maliek has dual degrees in Criminal Justice & Psychology, and she is currently enrolled in the Criminal Justice & Criminology Master's program at UTSA. She hopes to work as a correctional officer, eventually leading her way to help reform and rehabilitate individuals who have been released from prison and are trying to improve their lives, and feels Alpha Phi Sigma is a stepping stone to get there. Nishita has participated in many programs like I-Mentors, Camp Mosaic, Habitat for Humanity, and the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving for the underprivileged. Outside of school Nishita loves to read books, play the piano, do yoga, and enjoys spending time with her family.
After his May 10th graduation, Trevin now lives in Dallas and works for a great company, Diligence International Group, as an Investigative Specialist. Thanks to the knowledge and connections available to him through UTSA Criminal Justice Department, Trevin has been given the opportunity for an exciting career and a promising future. While at UTSA, Trevin served as President of the Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society and was active in its many projects.
Allison graduated from San Antonio College with an Associate's of Arts in Criminal Justice and an Associate's of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies. She is a graduate of UTSA, completing her B.A. in Criminal Justice magna cum laude in the Fall of 2013. Allison is currently a new graduate student in the Master's of Justice Policy program and hopes to enter a doctoral program upon completion of her master's degree. She currently works at a securities law firm as the office coordinator and legal assistant, helping represent Texas investors who have suffered financial losses due to the mishandling of accounts by their stockbroker or brokerage firm. The firm she works for also handles business matters and probate proceedings. She is also a graduate research assistant for Dr. Jeffrey T. Ward. When she is not busy with work or classes, she enjoys running and spending time with her husband, Mark, and two Jack Russell terriers, Slash and Velvet.
Yolanda graduated August 2014 and now holds a position with the Department of Family and Protective Services as an Adult Protective Services Specialist. The mission of the DFPS is to provide services and to help individuals who are abused, neglected, or face exploitation. Her job focuses on helping one of the most vulnerable and fastest growing populations in the state of Texas--the elderly. Not only does DFPS provide any necessary resources such as enrolling clients in Medicare, paying the utilities that they can no longer afford, and providing them with groceries so that they will be able to obtain the necessary nutrition in their diets, but DFPS also provides them with a safe haven. Many times they are faced with a client who has been abused or neglected either by their caretakers or themselves and have many medical issues, whether it is a curable disease or a life-threatening one, and it is their duty to provide them with the right medications or the proper medical attention. The cases that they are confronted with are not easy to handle but the job has to be done and Yolanda has learned that it is important to have a sense of love and devotion for your job and clients. She is glad that she chose a career in this field because there is never a dull moment and the rewards of seeing a client happy and healthy outweigh the difficult situations that they have faced and, with help, have overcome.
Whitney graduated from Northwest Vista College with an Associate's of Arts in Liberal Arts. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice in May of 2015. Whitney is currently enrolled in the Criminal Justice & Criminology Master's program with UTSA and served as the former president of Alpha Phi Sigma during the 2014-2015 academic year. Whitney has logged many volunteer hours throughout the San Antonio area. Her hard work has benefited several programs such as Graffiti Abatement, Meals on Wheels, and Habitat for Humanity. Whitney also traveled with the UTSA Criminal Justice department to do a comparative study of Spain’s criminal justice system during the study abroad experience. While traveling throughout the country she absorbed the Spanish culture and made several life-long friends. Whitney is currently working at Diesel Barbershop, but when she is not busy working or in class, she enjoys shopping and spending time with her friends, and rescue cat Bevo.