Alumni News

Graduate student awarded for going above and beyond in service

University graduate student receives  Award

SPRINGFIELD—Ever since middle school, Elizabeth Schoeneck has known that she wanted to study criminology. Currently, a graduate student at Missouri State University, Schoeneck won the 2014 Missouri State University Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year Award for her commitment to the university and its organizations.

Elizabeth Schoeneck

“There are a limited amount of social issues that draw more public attention and generate more societal discussions than those involving crime,” said Schoeneck. “I have been interested in understanding society’s response to criminal activity and the reasons behind this behavior.”

Schoeneck has completed internships with the Greene County Prosecutor’s Victim and Witness Office, Greene County Children’s Division and the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services for the Western District of Missouri.

“Each internship provided me with the opportunity to acquire valuable field experience—something that is difficult to obtain in a classroom or via textbook,” said Schoeneck. “I was able to further develop important skills that are desired by all employers such as written and oral communication, multitasking and time management abilities and teamwork and self-management skills.”

Schoeneck has served as the public relations coordinator for Alpha Phi Sigma, a nationally recognized criminal justice honors society, and helped to develop and organize many events including the 6th Annual Missouri State Criminology and Criminal Justice Conference, two active shooter trainings and numerous fundraisers that raised money for local non-profit organizations. Schoeneck also spends some of her time volunteering with the Victim Center and remains inspired by the organization’s efforts to help victims of crime.

“The Victim Center is one of the most amazing non-profit organizations in southwest Missouri,” said Schoeneck. “It offers victims of crime high-quality individual, family and group counseling for absolutely no cost.”

Schoeneck works part-time as a graduate assistant for the criminology department at Missouri State. She contributes to her supervisor’s research by investigating current and past trends in the criminology field, assists in the development of multiple online courses, manages and grades weekly discussion board postings in undergraduate criminology courses, proctors exams and lectures undergraduate courses when necessary.

“My graduate assistantship also provided me an amazing opportunity beyond my normal responsibilities,” said Schoeneck. “I was able to complete a research project with one of my professors and three other graduate students regarding the acceptance of common rape myths.”

Schoeneck graduated May 16 with a Master of Science degree in Criminology. She has accepted an employment offer from the Greene County Children’s Division and looks forward to the challenging role that she know will provide her with valuable career and life experience.

By Shay Stowell, University Communications student writer