Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
College/School: School of Integrated Science and Humanity; College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Ten years ago, Stephanie Padron laid on an operating room table for the first time. She was 18 years old – a freshman at FIU – and was having her colon removed because of complications from her Crohn’s disease.
Unfortunately, that surgery was not the last. It was the first in a string of others she’d have to endure. Following one operation, Stephanie received yet another devastating diagnosis: she had Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) – a chronic, long-term liver disease.
Despite her chronic illness, Stephanie also is a caregiver for her mother, who has multiple sclerosis.
If anything, Stephanie is a warrior. She has her fair share of battle scares, but never allows anything to stand in the way of her dreams. It’s why she’s graduating with two degrees and a 3.6 GPA.
She also participated in groundbreaking undergraduate research. Under the mentorship of Joseph Raiker, she worked at the Program for Attention, Learning, and Memory (PALM) laboratory, helping with ADHD research. She also worked at the TRIIIAD Lab, assisting with experimental research on different investigative interviewing techniques.
Stephanie is a member of the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta. She participated as a defense attorney in their national mock trial competitions in Washington, D.C. and helped her team place third in the nation.
After graduation, Stephanie hopes to attend graduate school and pursue a career in jury consulting.
By Angela Nicoletti