finds calling in criminal justice
By Billi London-Gray
Ashton Baran always has been curious about the world. From helping athletes heal to helping solve whodunits, the Texas State senior has found her calling through a quest for discovery.
Baran’s inquisitive mind and her desire to help people led her to Texas State. Knowing the strong reputation of the university’s physical therapy program, she originally enrolled as an exercise and sports science major.
Baran switched her major from physical therapy to criminal justice her junior year after deciding that her interests were more aligned with the criminal justice career field.
“Ever since I was little, I wanted to be an investigator like I saw on TV,” Baran says. “I have always been interested in the justice system. I love to help people out, and I enjoy solving problems.”
In addition to career fairs and coursework, Baran says her teachers have helped her select her career by sharing their personal experiences and taking the time to get to know her as a student.
“Erin Nelson is my favorite instructor,” Baran says. “Still to this day she will see me in the halls and say, ‘Hey, Ashton, how are you doing?’ It’s a good feeling to know that teachers don’t forget about you once you step out of the classroom.”
She also credits Dr. Georgen Guerrero, a criminal justice professor, with preparing her for working in the criminal justice system.
“I have taken him for four of my classes, and those classes have been the most valuable,” Baran says. “He always has real-life situations to go along with every lecture, and I think that is just as important as the text in the books.”
Baran, who expects to graduate in August, hopes to become a criminal detective or private investigator. But in the meantime, she says she’ll continue to make the most of her student experience.
“I love the campus here; it is so beautiful. I love going to the river and spending as much time as possible outdoors,” she says. “This is a great school. There are so many options for just about everything, and so many things I could list that I enjoy about Texas State.”