Markus Sturkey ‘13

I would describe myself as a professional student who has recently transformed into a working professional.  My post-secondary education has spanned across 6 schools where I have accumulated around 200 units.  Most notably, I earned a master’s degree in criminology, law and society from University of California, Irvine (UCI) in 2015, a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in criminal justice from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in 2013, and an associate’s degree in administration of justice: corrections from West Hills College Lemoore (WHCL) in 2010.  Additionally, I hold a few certifications related to law enforcement and first responders.  I am an alumni member of Theta Chi Fraternity.

During my time at CSULB, I interned at LA County Probation Headquarters and was a volunteer for the Hans Liang City Council Campaign of Monterey Park. I was appointed to both the Political Science Honor Society and the Criminal Justice Honor Society. At WHCL I was one of two individuals to receive the departmental honors award for Administration of Justice. On a personal note, I come from a law enforcement and military background, am an only child, and enjoy traveling.

I am a rookie correctional officer for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) assigned to California Institution for Men in Chino, California where I perform a variety of different jobs and functions.

  1. Describe a typical work day.

Typical usually ends right after I park my car in the parking lot. Seriously though it is the nature of my profession that every single day is different, poses new challenges, and requires learning something new.   

The best thing about working for CDCR is the myriad of ways that you can take your career within the institution as well as outside [the institution].  For example, parole, correctional counseling, investigative service unit officers, fire camp officers, k9, etc...  Another aspect I like about working for CDCR is that I am able to practice the lessons I learned as a student in higher education.  I can analyze and apply the theories that I learned to relevant real world situations and expand my perspective.  The rubber finally meets the road so to speak with my educational background and career.

The best thing about doing what I do is that I find reward on a daily basis in knowing that if I consistently demonstrate professionalism, respect, and integrity it can have a significant positive impact on the lives of others and could reciprocate within my own community and society as a whole.  I have always been drawn to and enjoyed being a part of organizations’ that are larger than myself and CDCR allows me that opportunity. 

  1. Do you display CSULB memorabilia at work?

I do not only because I do not have an office, however, I do have a CSULB alumni license plate proudly displayed on my vehicle.

Apply early, apply often, and to all the departments you find interest.  In my experience, the key into getting into most state or government jobs is to get into whatever “door” you can because it is much easier to lateral transfer than to come from the outside. 

It can be an extremely long process.  For the particular position that I hold my application process was nearly two years long, and that was without any hiccups.  Moreover, I have been trying to get into different government jobs for many years. 

Enrolling in classes at CSULB for the first time and joining Theta Chi Fraternity. As an undergrad, CSULB was my top choice. I worked very hard and passed up the opportunity to transfer to other universities sooner in favor of going to CSULB. One of my greatest accomplishments is a semester in a community college where I took 26 units (8 classes) and received a 4.0 in order to be accepted to CSULB.

Initially it was scary for me because my identity has been that of a student for a majority of my life.  The fear subsided when I leaned on the resources and support available to me and applied the tools and skills that I had gained during my education to transitioning to a career.  I have found that even when I am not enrolled in a college class that I never really stop being a student because I continue to learn each day. 

My indelible desire to remain a part of CSULB, network, and help those who are interested in similar interests to that of my own.

In a position of increased responsibility in my current career field and continuing to further my education. Additionally, my future goals are to work in higher education in some capacity part-time and to continue furthering my education.