Amny Shuraydi

Hometown: Dearborn, Michigan

Degrees: BA - Communications and Screen Studies,
University of Michigan-Dearborn;
MA - Communications and Social Justice,
University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Current Academic Pursuit: PhD - Criminology
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2017

UT Dallas Achievements & Activities

  • Criminology Graduate Student Association Service Coordinator
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • Research

Deciding on Criminology

Although my life goals constantly fluctuated as a child - from wanting to be a bus driver to wanting to be an archaeologist, I was always writing, be it short stories, poems or songs. I knew prior to my freshman year of high school that I wanted to pursue journalism major and I chose my undergraduate program accordingly. Upon receiving education in newswriting that also came with knowledge on multimedia, film, photography and web design, I realized that journalism was no longer what it was in the days of Walter Cronkite. "Communications" is so much more than a word used to symbolize speaking with one another, especially with the strides of present- day technology. I continued with graduate studies, entering a program that allowed me to combine my communications major with my sociology minor and study communications with a social justice twist. The social justice aspect was that which changed me the most, not only in terms of education, but also as a person. After taking time to think long and hard about what I wanted to pursue upon graduation, I realized that I wanted to be a better-rounded individual. I wanted to have the knowledge of why injustices exist, and the means to fix them. I wanted a higher level understanding of what I had been reporting in the past so that I could provide accuracy and understanding to others, no matter where I end up. Hence, I chose criminology in order to achieve those goals.

My EPPS Success

The key to my success in EPPS is understanding - understanding that I am human and will make mistakes, but also that I have the means and the will to accomplish anything that I am willing to work for, understanding that I am blessed to be here because both social justice and criminology allows one to see the injustices in the world that undeserving people are often handed, understanding on the part of my parents who deal with my ups, downs, mood swings and our time apart, and understanding on behalf of our EPPS faculty in realizing that students come from different backgrounds, and helping me to adapt and learn when I came in with no more than a basic understanding of the field they love.

Plans for the Future

I hope to successfully complete my degree plan, and to be a successful, well-rounded individual who provides positive output regardless of where I end up professionally. My ultimate goal is to be happy, healthy and surrounded by people I care about.

Advice to Prospective EPPS Students

Love yourself. Love your field. Love everything around you. Try to sincerely find something you care about or think well of in every endeavor. Even if you are unsure of yourself, your major or your life goals, note that you are not "stuck" or "wasting time". Everything you do shapes you as a person. When you question if this is the right field for you, know that everyone has doubts, and struggles or stresses at some point. The key is to look for the good in everything, no matter how small or hidden it may be, and use that to motivate you. When you feel stressed, look toward the light at the end of the tunnel, and use it to guide you. One good or bad class will not determine your entire university experience or career. It is important to work hard in order to be successful, but it is also important to make stops along the way and take care of your mental and physical health. To be successful in your educational pursuits, you need to complete them, and in order to complete them you have to make sure that you have the endurance to make it through. Follow your dreams and work for your goals, but make sure to always have balance in your life. Your entire life is a learning experience.

Other Interests

Aside from my educational endeavors, I enjoy spending time with the people I love and am close to, watching old sitcoms or long-running television shows, cooking, playing guitar, and doing arts and crafts, especially those that are holiday themed.