The Public Safety Administration program graduated its second class of students this spring. Congratulations to Emily Basulto, Yadira Beltran, Luis Cano, Sarah Hernandez, Evelyn Ramirez, Jesenia Reza, and Cassandra Zuniga.
Professor Leland Tang, adjunct instructor in the Public Safety Administration program, worked closely with each of these students and gives glowing reviews of their Woodbury careers, but says their stories and achievements speak for themselves.
Perhaps one of the biggest accomplishments for a professor is helping a student gain confidence. This was the case with Evelyn Ramirez, who Professor Tang watched go “from being a little apprehensive in her Introduction to Forensic Science class to becoming more involved and excelling.” Evelyn, he says, “is a vocal advocate for diversity in the police force and why they should reflect the communities they serve.” She completed her internship with Toys for Smiles, a nonprofit organization that provides toys to underprivileged children. She is currently in the application phase with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and wants to pursue a career in Federal Law Enforcement.
Sarah Hernandez likes to champion the underdog. She is pursuing a career in law enforcement, but Professor Tang believes she would make a great defense attorney. “With her passion for the law and her thesis paper and presentation ‘Police Brutality and Excessive Use of Force,’ I wouldn’t be surprised if she went to law school later in her career.” Sarah did her internship with the Vaughn Charter School Parent Resource Center. She helped parents in the underserved community find resources for their family and children, which included everything from providing food from a local food bank to helping parents find social services for their children. She is pursuing a career in federal law enforcement and has applied to Customs and Border Protection as well as the Federal Air Marshal Service. Sarah is the oldest of five siblings and the first to graduate from a university.
Like several of her classmates, Jesenia Reza started off shy and reserved, but as she progressed through the program, began to feel more confident and comfortable expressing her views. During the last semester of her junior year, she became particularly interested in immigration reform and continued to pursue this area in her studies. We know Jesenia will be an asset to this branch of the justice system and look forward to hearing what she’s been doing since graduation.
About Luis Cano, Jr., Professor Tang says he can’t recall a day when he didn’t have a smile on his face. His father, Luis Cano Sr., is part of the Woodbury University family, working as a maintenance technician for 16 years. Luis’ Introduction to Forensic Science class is often held in the upper parking lot adjacent to the maintenance building, giving Luis Sr. the perfect opportunity to observe Luis’ class in action. It was the first time Professor Tang had a parent observe his class! Luis is pursuing a career in law enforcement and is in the process of applying to federal and state law enforcement agencies. Luis did his internship with the Vaughn Charter School in Pacoima with Sarah Hernandez. Luis has three siblings and is the first in his family to graduate from a university.
“Yadira Beltran is the only student I have had the privilege to teach who is thoroughly interested in the Forensic Sciences,” Professor Tang says. “She is driven and has a great compassion for crime victims.”
For Yadira, the phrase that has stuck with her is “Forensic Evidence is the only way the deceased can tell investigators what happened!” Always concerned about diversity in the forensic sciences, Yadira feels that the economically challenged are underrepresented in the field and that bias affects the proper evidence collection. Yadira may be a reserved person, but if she knows you, Professor Tang says, “watch out, she’s not shy in sharing her thoughts and opinions!”
Cassandra Zuniga is known for her entertaining presence in the classroom and is forthright about sharing her opinion on any topic. She directs much of that passion toward immigrant rights and has the goal of working for a nonprofit that provides services for immigrants who have just arrived in the U.S. Cassandra did her internship with L.A. City Council President Paul Krekorian’s North Hollywood District Office, and she is now working for the councilman’s Community Engagement team. She has participated in the annual Citywide Homeless Count and once she graduates, she will become a caseworker for the Councilman helping constituents with citywide issues. Cassandra’s thesis was titled “The Broken Immigration System.” During her presentation, Professor Tang says, “her peers were moved by her personal statements and journey her family has taken in the pursuit of the American Dream.” Cassandra is the second in her family to graduate from a university.
About her career at Woodbury, Emily Basulto says, “Since the first day, I stepped on campus I felt so welcomed.” In addition to her many accomplishments, during her third year in 2021, she became a mom of twin boys. She says that “although it was tough being a first-time mom and full-time college student, my babies were my biggest motivation for me to continue my education. There was always help and support offered to me.” Emily is passionate about juvenile justice and its reform. Her thesis addresses the problems and solutions for reforming the county’s juvenile system, a project that coincided with current reform measures that were being discussed at the county and state level. In this regard, as Professor Tang says, “it’s easy to say that Emily was ahead of her time. I’m proud that she is pursuing a career with County Probation.” Emily’s goal at Woodbury was to graduate with a GPA of 3.0 or better, and she finished with a 3.51. She loved her classes, especially having guest speakers that work for different law enforcement agencies share their insight and experiences. She plans to pursue work with the Los Angeles County Probation Department. “I am so proud, and glad that I attended Woodbury!”
Last Updated on May 11, 2023.