ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (April 4, 2024) – Jordan Thornton was motivated by the diversity displayed in a university panel discussion, about law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and how to advance within those careers.  

“It was powerful to hear about their experiences navigating the world of law enforcement as minorities,” she said. “That image alone inspired so many of my peers in attendance.”   

Thornton, the 2023-24 Miss ECSU and a senior psychology student, attended and delivered the welcome at the Law Enforcement Leaders of America (LELA) event March 26, hosted by the university’s Career Development Center. The event included a panel discussion with special agents from organizations like Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Pasquotank Correctional Institution, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. 

During the discussion, ATF special agents along with other high-ranking, criminal justice executives and professionals had an open conversation with students about the tools and tips for the hiring process, overcoming their shortcomings, appearance and job attire, physical fitness requirements, psychological awareness, and other qualifications needed for positions in the field. Additionally, federal, state, and local organizations highlighted the importance of having a workforce that is diverse and inclusive.  

In February, the Career Development Center hosted a Business and Government Career Fair, open to the community and students with more than 30 employers, including Dollar General, Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, and the North Carolina Department of Revenue. Organizers are always looking for opportunities to ensure students are qualified once they’re in front of employers, said Tameka Gibbs, assistant director of employee relations and special projects.  

“This was beneficial for our students by providing an opportunity for them to ask questions that they are not able to ask at career fairs,” she said. “This event provided the students a one-on-one chance to discuss internship and employment opportunities with representatives in the industry.”