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University Alumni Spotlight:
Shawn O'Neill '12

Major While on Campus: Applied Criminal Justice
Hometown: Alliance, OH
Current Job: Corrections Officer
Employer: Federal Bureau of Prisons

I supervise inmates and maintain safety and security of the institution. Approximately 2,500 inmates are housed at the facility.


Why Mount Union
I grew up watching Mount Union football and knew the campus was incredibly nice. Being from Alliance, it was nice that Mount Union was a separate community but I was able to stay close to home. I am in the Army National Guard and got deployed to the Middle East during college. When I returned, I spent a semester at Kent State before transferring to Mount Union. I liked the small class sizes and individual attention from instructors and advisors at Mount Union.

Favorite Professors
Dr. Rebecca Stevens, professor of criminal justice, and Dr. John Recchuiti, professor of history, both made class very interesting. They are both incredibly passionate about what they teach. It’s amazing how much Dr. Stevens’ classwork and the personal experiences she shared have related to my job in the prison.

As a student, I interned with the Stark County Parole Authority. I shadowed officers, went on home visits, conducted in-office interviews and visited halfway houses, county jails and prisons. During the internship, I got to attend a disciplinary hearing and visit a prison, which I really enjoyed.

I really enjoyed the classwork at Mount Union and I feel like that helped prepare me for my job. Also, the professionalism and the way faculty and staff handled themselves prepared me on how to present myself for future opportunities.

Favorite Part of Job
What I like best about working for the federal government is the amount of options available to me. There are prisons all over the country and if you’re willing to move, you can move up the ladder pretty fast. Also, because it’s within the Department of Justice, if you’re interested in any other branch you have your foot in the door and can easily make the switch.

I’d like to be an instructor for the Bureau of Prisons at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, GA.

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