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CHASS Student of the Month – March 2009

Christina Scarano


  • Home Town: High Bridge, NJ
  • Class: Senior
  • Major(s):
    • Criminology
    • Minors: Women’s & Gender Studies; Italian
  • Sample Courses:
    • US Criminal Law
    • Political Sociology
    • Women & Men in Society
  • Activities:
    • Volunteer, NC Correctional Institute for Women (Raleigh, NC)
    • Internship, NCSU Women’s Center
    • CHASS Computing Lab Teaching Assistant
    • Peer Educator, The Movement to End Interpersonal Violence at NCSU
    • Study Abroad, Lorenzo de’ Medici (Florence, Italy): Fall 2008
    • Internship, Center for Death Penalty Litigation (Durham, NC): Summer 2007
    • Member, Taylor Sociology Club
    • Member, Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (STAT)
  • Honors:
    • National Scholars Honor Society
  • Postgraduate Plans: Masters degree in Criminology, followed by law school
  • Career Goals: Work for an organization providing legal services to women in prison.
    Become an advocate for victims of relationship violence and sexual assault.

How have you gotten involved with your major outside of the classroom?

I have been working with the MATCH (Mothers and Their Children) Program at the NC Correctional Institution for Women since March 2008. The program provides a setting in which mothers who are incarcerated can form bonds with their children and spend quality time together. I spend three hours every weekend supervising and facilitating these mother-child visits. It has been so personally rewarding and has helped me develop my interest in the field of corrections. I have also gained a much better understanding of the potential influence the application of criminological research can have on the justice system.

What new doors has college opened for you?

My semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy allowed me to become completely immersed in another culture. I not only lived and studied there, but I was a Cultural Correspondent for two second-grade classes in Hendersonville, NC. The Italian university provided me with the technology to teach them via webcam about twice a month. When I returned to NC, I drove out to visit them – it was a very rewarding experience.

What do you enjoy most about NCSU?

What I enjoy most about NCSU are the relationships I have made with the students and faculty. I’ve gained life-long friends and have great professors and advisors, such as Rick Dellafave and Kris Macomber in the Sociology & Anthropology Department, to go to for help and advice.

What advice would you offer entering students?

Believe in your ability to achieve your goals and know that just one person can effect positive change if they are willing to try. There is not one definition of success; you alone define your success, and the only limit to your potential is self-doubt. Do not be afraid to explore – college has helped me to grow significantly, finding myself and my purpose and discovering passions I did not know I had.