Graduating senior knows whodunit
It’s not too often that a college student gets to expose criminals as part of their undergraduate education, but Thuy Huynh, a senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has done just that.
“I was always interested in ‘whodunit’ books as a kid, and loved solving puzzles and mysteries,” said Huynh, a sociology major and Boettcher Scholar from Aurora who is graduating May 8.
Huynh participated in the CU Public Interest Internship Experience program, which provides fellowship grants to selected undergraduate students who have obtained full-time, unpaid, summer internship positions with nonpartisan public service and private nonprofit organizations in Colorado. She spent the summer of 2007 as an intern with the Aurora Police Department, working with a senior crime analyst and the fraud unit.
“We were able to find a ring of people defrauding banks with fake checks,” said Huynh, who worked on investigating fraudulent money, check forgery and check scams.
Studying at CU-Boulder has allowed Huynh to focus on criminology within her sociology major, and she recently wrote a thesis titled “Probationers’ Accounts of Intensive Supervision Probation: An Examination of Three Sources of Social Support.” Huynh received a $10,000 grant from the American Society of Criminology to conduct research for the project.
“Intensive supervision probation is a more extreme form of probation that acts as an alternative to incarceration,” said Huynh, whose project was specifically focused on intensive supervision probation in the Boulder area.
As part of her research grant agreement, Huynh presented her work at the American Society of Criminology National Conference in St. Louis earlier this year.
“It was exciting to be surrounded by so many experts in the field,” she said.
When asked what she wants to do after college, Huynh said she plans to be a teacher.
“I had an amazing teacher in fourth and fifth grade, and I’ve wanted to teach since then,” she said.
Huynh is waiting to hear from Teach for America, but plans to get her teaching certificate and Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction regardless of her acceptance.
“I hope to have a career that can integrate criminology and teaching,” Huynh said.
Each year 40 Colorado high school seniors are awarded the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship, which covers each student’s tuition, fees and books for four years at Colorado colleges and universities. CU-Boulder has historically been one of the top destinations for Boettcher Scholars.
By Annie Scott
CU Office of News Services
This story originally appeared on the news center site
May 7, 2009