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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Seniors 2021

Criminal Justice and Criminology – Outstanding Senior 2021

Keilah Tresae Shaw

Spokane, WA

Degrees and Majors:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management

Magna cum laude

Clubs, Organizations, Leadership, and Service

  • Criminal Justice Club – President
  • Alpha Phi Sigma – President
  • Student Civic Leader
  • Tri Alpha Honors Society

Internships and Employment

  • WSU Department of Housing and Residence Life, Apartment Coordinator
  • WSU Center for Civic Engagement, Community Partnerships Assistant
  • WSU Department of Housing and Residence Life, Conduct Office Assistant
  • Resident Advisor, WSU Department of Housing and Residence Life

Honored Faculty and Mentors

  • Sisouvanh Keopanapay, Academic Advising
  • David Makin, Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • Dale Willits, Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • John Snyder, Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • Amelie Pedneault, Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • Oliver Bowers, Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • Melanie-Angela Neuilly, Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • Faith Lutze, Criminal Justice & Criminology

Faculty Comments

Keilah Shaw led the charge in coordinating a speaker series on the topic of Race and the Criminal Justice System. The series, co-sponsored by a number of academic units and student organizations, and facilitated by the Foley institute, in collaboration with the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, virtually brought four speakers to campus for two events. In the four months we worked together on this project, Ms. Shaw was responsive, showed initiative, and dedication to the project, and exhibited exceptional communication skills and a level of professionalization that I would characterize as beyond that of many of our best graduate students. Melanie-Angela Neuilly

Keilah’s leadership and service extends beyond the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. She volunteered to serve as a student mentor for the Top Scholars Mentor Program, serving both the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. I simply think of Keilah as that go-to student when things need to get done. Sisouvanh Keopanapay

Keilah Shaw was nothing short of fantastic as the president for Alpha Phi Sigma and the Criminal Justice Club. Even through a pandemic, I knew that I did not need to worry about these student organizations in the least since Keilah was always on top of everything, and it made my job easier as an advisor. That she managed these organizations this well, while maintaining excellence in her coursework and being involved in a number of other activities and organizations on campus, is remarkable. Dale Willits

Personal Statement

WSU, wow it has been a journey. Through this experience, I have been able to grow and learn in ways unimaginable. What I expected for myself to accomplish in four years, I deeply exceeded and for that, I am beyond proud of myself. To my mom and dad, thank you for being my greatest supporters. You have always instilled in me that getting my education will take me places and now that I have experienced, I know what you mean. Being a first-generation student, you both did not have the opportunity to further your education and so being able to give me what you did not have, means the world to me and something that I will never take for granted. I hope that I can continue to make you proud of the strong, independent woman you have raised. What I have learned throughout my studies at WSU and all that I have been able to accomplish, has put so much value into my life. I am thankful to have established great relationships with some of the faculty and professors in the Criminal Justice Department because without them, I would not be seeking my master’s degree. It is sad to be closing the door on my undergraduate experience, but I am looking forward to my beginning my next chapter in my graduate studies.

Future Plans

Keilah will start her master’s degree studies in the fall at WSU in criminal justice and criminology. She is considering careers such as the FBI, as a special agent, or working in prison administration and doing research in prison settings. Earning a PhD may become part of her plan as well.