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November 15, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Alumni News | Amrine Sees M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture Themes Reflected in Her Child Welfare Work

Gillian Amrine, portrait

Gillian Amrine

Gillian Amrine draws on themes from her master’s degree, including study of conflict in Northern Ireland, in her work helping parents and children experiencing trauma and loss.

Amrine is an Ohio University alumna who earned a degree in Sociology/Criminology and Psychology with a Certificate in Law, Justice and Culture. Subsequently, Amrine enrolled in the M.A in Law, Justice & Culture and graduated in Spring 2019 as part of the program’s first cohort.

“I decided to pursue the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture after I went on the trip to Northern Ireland over spring break. I learned so much on that trip about peace processes and the role of memory in post-conflict societies. At the end of my senior year, I was honestly not ready to leave Athens. The M.A. program was perfect for me because it gave me the opportunity to expand on what I learned in Northern Ireland and explore those themes more in depth.”

Amrine currently serves as a Child Welfare Caseworker at the Franklin County Children Services. In this position, she interacts with many different people from many walks of life.

“I work with parents and youth who have experienced trauma and loss. I become involved when parents and/or children are at their worst time in their life and help link them with the appropriate services to help them move forward. My job reminds me a lot of the themes we focused on in Northern Ireland.”

Moreover, Amrine sees the themes she studied from the M.A program reflected in her job every day, as she took courses focusing on critical race studies, human rights, and prison reentry. Her favorite class was the graduate seminar on prison reentry with Dr. Nicole Kaufman. “In class, we read Falling Back by Jamie Fader. The book focuses on urban youth transitioning to adulthood from the streets. I see the most overlap from my job with this class and that book in particular.”

A piece of advice that Amrine offers to students considering the program is to go for it.

“I think the interdisciplinary nature of this program allows you to explore so many different aspects of law, justice, and culture in real-time. The classes offered in the program focus on real examples to challenge you to look at the world we live in differently and more critically.” Amrine implores that students currently enrolled utilize their resources and rely on their peers, “They are a wonderful resource to use to your advantage to bounce ideas off of.”

She also adds that current members of their program should not be afraid to brag about themselves and highlight the unique nature of the program. “The LJC program is fairly new across the nation and it is something to brag about. I did not practice talking about how this program set me apart from my peers and it cost me a fellowship. Practice talking about the program and your studies. This is a new, selective, interdisciplinary program that allows you to examine contemporary issues through a law and society lens. That is something to be proud about and brag about.”

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