Alexis Carter, senior criminal justice major, says she is ready to serve her country in the United States Airforce upon graduation next spring.

“It’s something I am not unfamiliar with,” said Carter. “My dad has been in the Air Force, and currently the Air Force Reserves, now for over 20 years.” Carter’s husband, Nicholas, who served in the Marines Corps for four years, also supports the career decision of his wife.

In addition, she says her time in The Michael Sattler School of Public Service has provided her with knowledge and understanding of opportunities within the military.

Carter with Deputy Akins.

During the summer, Carter interned with the Barrow County Sherriff’s Department alongside her brother-in-law Deputy D. Akins. There she was able to experience both day and night shifts in areas such as uniform patrol and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).

Carter experienced a host of situations during her internship. She recalls one opportunity where she witnessed the interaction between the sheriff’s department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) during extreme situations.

“I was able to witness the entire interaction through the radio,” she explained. “Then they allowed me to be involved in the search efforts and other things that I had only seen on TV. It was interesting to see how detailed and organized these situations must be.”

She explained, “When you watch one of these crime shows on TV, you’re only seeing segments of the actual event – the most exciting parts. There is so much more detail that goes into each encounter.”

Opportunities within the classroom

Carter said each criminal justice course at TMU will be beneficial to her future career. “My favorite classes are law enforcement in America, ethics in criminal justice, corrections, and criminalistics – all of which were helpful during my internship.”

“For instance, I learned in class that civilians generally feel more comfortable responding to a female officer, especially in domestic violence cases. I experienced this while patrolling during the internship. I felt like people tried to address me more even though I wasn’t allowed to respond. I think, as a female, they felt I was easier to talk to.”

Future pilot

“Although my plans are to pursue a career in the Air Force, the internship helped me to realize that law enforcement would be my second or fallback career option. But for now,” she says, “I think the Air Force trumps that path.”

After graduating in May, Carter will attend officer training school for nine months with a goal to be a pilot. “There are few female pilots in the Air Force,” she said. “I am inspired by current female Thunderbird Michelle Curran to get my criminal justice degree and pursue this path.”

“If you are interested in pursuing a career in public service or serving in the military” the TMU senior said, “make sure to include an internship into your program. Keep an open mind about things you will see that you have never seen before. And always ask a lot of questions!”


Jenny Gregory is the Digital Content Specialist for TMU’s Marketing and Communications.

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