Melissa Hernandez '11CPS, '12MPS

Transfer and Now Graduate Student Pursuing Dream of Legal Career     

“When I first stepped onto the Queens campus, I immediately felt at peace. I knew I had found my next home — and that St. John’s was where I belonged.”  replied Melissa Hernandez ‘11CPS, ’12MPS when asked why she chose St. John’s University.

Melissa transferred to St. John’s University after completing her freshman year at a local Miami, FL. college. Since she is by nature very future-oriented in her thinking, Melissa decided to switch to a college in New York City to increase her marketability as well as her chances of getting into a top law school. After researching the criminal justice programs in the area, she decided to apply to St. John’s.

“It was superior academically and offered outstanding internship options,” pronounced Melissa who was also drawn by the University’s renowned networking resources — including its strong track record of alumni support, and the faculty’s hands-on experience in the field. “Being able to get this kind of insight from your professors is invaluable,”

St. John’s academic and extracurricular benefits are a perfect fit for the ambitious, hard-working and driven transfer student. In fact, not only did she earn her undergraduate degree in criminal justice with honors (she graduated summa cum laude), but also, she is now pursuing a Master in Criminal Justice Leadership (M.P.S.). By the time she graduates in May 2012, Melissa will have earned two law-related degrees.

“I am finding the MPS program phenomenal,” she said. “We analyze case histories of influential New Yorkers to learn which qualities helped them become leaders. We are also encouraged to look more closely at our own strengths and weaknesses and tweak our individual leadership styles. There’s not a day that goes by that I am not learning about and improving myself.”    

Melissa is very grateful to St. John’s for affording her so many chances to grow and realize her potential. Motivated as well by her deep-seated commitment to give back to the community, Melissa has served as president of the Criminal Justice Association, president of the College of Professional Studies (CPS) Honor Society and is now president and executive board member of the Graduate Student Association.