Siblings traveling same road to success in Criminal Justice program

Siblings Bethany, a senior, and Levi, a freshman, Roberts chose to attend West Virginia University Potomac State College, and they both chose criminal justice as their major.

Bethany became interested in the field of criminal justice at a young age.  “I just seemed to always know that this was something I wanted to do.  I had heard that Potomac State College had a great criminal justice program, so when a representative from the College came to our high school to talk to us, and I learned how affordable it was, I realized then that Potomac State was where I wanted to go,” said Bethany.

Levi’s story is somewhat similar.  “I watched a lot of television shows about police work which made me want to get involved with my community as a way of helping people.  What really made me want to give criminal justice a shot though was listening to all the stories my sister would tell about her professors and what they did in class.  It sounded amazing, so I thought – why not!  And it’s been great!”

The siblings agree that Professors Nicklaus Goff and Heidi Samuels do an excellent job of relaying information as they portray the reality of the criminal justice field.  “They really keep things interesting as we learn,” added Levi.

When asked about their favorite classes, Bethany said hers has been criminal evidence and abnormal behavior, because the projects they conducted taught her how to apply what she’s learned to real-life situations.  Even though Levi has just begun his journey into criminal justice, introduction to criminal justice is definitely his favorite class this semester.  

Participating in similar activities isn’t new for this brother and sister.  They both played in the Mountain Ridge High School marching/concert band, and both played the Tenors their junior and senior years of high school.  They also volunteered as trauma patients in the practical portion of testing for paramedic students in the Garrett College Paramedic program.

Bethany has been involved with the Criminal Justice Club since her freshman year of college; she currently serves as president of the CJ Club.  Bethany has also competed in the West Virginia Criminal Justice Educators Association Annual Conference for three consecutive years as part of the Potomac State team.  They’ve won the Quiz Bowl Competition twice and the Crime Scene Competition once. 

While a member of Campus Community Involvement, Bethany participated in many volunteer services which included creating and distributing crafts to the residents at Piney Valley Retirement Home, as well as painting Sunday school rooms for Grace United Methodist Church.

She has also given self-defense demonstrations to high schoolers, and participated in hands-on, mock-trial, court sessions.  Levi is also a member of the CJ Club and looks forward to participating in many of the events over the next several years.

Bethany is a recipient of the Scholarship of Distinction (level 3) as well and an honors student and a member of Sigma Phi Omega, the College’s Honor Society.  While serving as an intern for Professor Goff, she has taught the CJ 101 class and reviewed students’ synopsis for his tech writing class.

So what’s next for this dynamic duo?  Bethany is thinking about continuing her education at the University of Toronto in Canada, “… so I can get a global perspective on criminal justice and expand my knowledge, then possibly head to law school.”  After Levi completes his four-year degree at Potomac State, he plans to earn his master’s degree at WVU.  He would like to work for the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office or the FBI. 

Bethany and Levi are the children of Rebecca Hyde and Jason Roberts of Frostburg, Md. 

Siblings traveling same road to success in Criminal Justice program