'12, BA, Sociology
Alizia Moore has attained more than her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. In fact, she is part of an elite class. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, only 21% of Lucas County adults have obtained a four year degree. Her educational journey required diligence on her part as she moved from Clark Atlanta University in Georgia, to Owens Community College and finally Lourdes University.
"I had never felt so welcome, comfortable, and looked after at a college until I attended Lourdes," recalls Alizia. "The teachers really helped me to understand what was being taught in the classroom and took the time to help me not only further my education but find my place within my career."
Two professors inspired Alizia: Sharon Everhardt, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology and Justice Studies; and the late Lindsey Whitehead, Instructor of Sociology and Justice Studies. "Professor Whitehead was so inspiring. I really loved him. Dr. Everhardt lit the spark in me."
She chose sociology as her major because it "allowed me to be flexible with my area of work as well as to understand the behaviors and attitudes of the masses. It was definitely the appropriate area of study for me. My sociology degree allows me to take a macro perspective of behavior and apply it within a micro setting. I am very pleased with the access and knowledge that my degree has allowed me to obtain. I can actually say that the things I've learned I apply in my day-to-day life post-graduation."
While still a student, Alizia benefited from an internship made possible through Professor Larry Murphy with the Toledo Municipal Court. She so impressed her superiors that she was chosen to fill a newly-created permanent position that relies on the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS). Ohio has implemented this system to prevent prison sentencing and properly treat individuals concerning rehabilitation, thereby lowering the risk of recidivism. As an ORAS Probation Officer for the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, Alizia meets with several clients a day, gathers information, does assessments, enters all data into the ORAS system, and ultimately aids in determining their areas of need and improvement.
"The criminal justice system is a family," notes Alizia. "Some would say a dysfunctional one, but it has its strong suits and weaknesses just as any family does. Through research and trial and error, the system as a whole is developing ways to address the ever changing needs and areas of concern that are created daily. Time will eventually tell if the new systems actually work."
Alizia believes that by addressing an individual's evident areas of need the chance of recidivism can be reduced. "Time is the key," cautions Alizia. "Not one way of doing something is going to solve all the problems that are presented. However, the fact that our criminal justice system adjusts with society will keep the door open allowing the system to continually be enhanced."
In the end, she says her job keeps her very busy but the work is rewarding. Alizia is grateful to her family, especially her parents Al and Eola Moore. "My family was so supportive when I was attending college. They really helped me get to the finish line."
Now that she has obtained her goals, Alizia has her sights set on inspiring others. She hopes to pursue her master's degree and teach Ethics or Poverty and Society "in order to spark change in other young adults."