Lorjon Ali

Hometown: Duhok, Kurdistan

Major: B.A. in Criminology with Minor in Psychology
Expected Graduation Date: May 2017

UT Dallas Achievements & Activities

  • Member of Alpha Phi Sigma
  • Member of Phi Kappa Phi
  • Dean's List
  • Criminology Academic Excellence Scholarship Recipient
  • Maintaining a 3.862 GPA

Deciding on Criminology

I came into the U.S as a Kurdish refugee in 1997. Facing several challenges early on, I learned quickly on how to adjust to such a unique country after residing in Guam for about six months. Early on, I was unaware that this path would eventually lead me into pursuing criminology. As I got older, I was able to look back and pin point exactly how I overcame these challenges. I've always found it interesting how a certain percentage of the refugees turned to criminality. In light of this interest, I decided to major in criminology because a lot of kids that are new to the U.S. turn towards crime to survive and use drugs to cope. I wanted to get to the root of the reasons in order to create a brighter future for children.

My EPPS Success

One of the biggest attributes to my success was my curiosity paired with determination in learning. Regardless of the subjects, I wanted to absorb as much information as possible. If a professor were to briefly discuss a case, I dug deeper and gathered as much information as I could. I may not be able to remember every single detail of the cases, but I try to make note of the most important factors.

Plans for the Future

I plan to continue my education, obtaining a MS in criminology here at UT Dallas. My lifelong dream is to start ¬my own non-profit organization helping kids that are coming into the U.S. I want to be their helping hand, their leader and their shoulder to cry on. I am very passionate about helping others that is why I am in many volunteer programs around my community.

Advice to Prospective EPPS Students

As one of my professors, Elmer Polk, always says, "Get to know all of your faculty." We are growing and learning every second of the day; who better to help guide us than the people teaching us? These professors are not only our instructors but also our advisors. They have sat where you are today and can relate to what you're going through. So don’t be afraid: ask questions, meet your professors, engage in class discussions. Lastly and most importantly, make connections.

Other Interests

Reading, photography, music, cooking, and volunteering.