Criminal Justice and Intelligence Alumna an Investigator for City of Pittsburgh Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Meet Barbara Arroyo
Job Title: Investigator
Employer: City of Pittsburgh Office of Municipal Investigations
Degrees earned: B.S. in Intelligence and National Security, 2010 and M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration, 2011
College Activities: Ambassador for United Student Government, Society for Intelligence and National Security club and sophomore representative for intelligence and national security program
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Hiking with my dog, Pittsburgh Sports League, spending time with my fiancÃ© and wedding planning
How did you become interested in criminal justice and intelligence studies?
My dad was a first responder for 9/11 so during that time is when I became inspired to pursue a career in this field and immerse myself in different cultures and languages. While I was in high school, I taught myself Russian and went to a Russian diplomacy school in the Bronx.
What factors made you choose Point Park for both your bachelor's and master's degrees?
Actually, I first came to Point Park with my younger brothers who are twins (David Arroyo '11 and Eduardo Arroyo '11, now alumni of the cinema and digital arts department) during an undergraduate open house. They were checking out schools for film. During the visit, I fell in love with the whole intelligence and national security program, its curriculum and everything it offered. I said to myself, "This is it. This is what I want to do. I found it. This is the school for me." I was attending Long Island University at the time and decided to transfer to Point Park during the second semester of my freshman year.
As for my master's degree, I chose Point Park because I was offered a graduate assistantship and since I was already in school mode, I figured I might as well go the full way. No one in my family has ever gotten their master's degree so I wanted to be the first one to do it. Also, the Saturday-only class schedule gave me the opportunity to work full time and gain experience in the field while going to school.
What internship and career-related experiences did you have throughout college?
- Diplomacy research analyst, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
- Forensic research assistant and forensic investigator intern, Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office
- Supervisory officer, FBI Explorer Program, New York City office
- Child care program coordinator, Mercy Behavioral Health
How do you incorporate what you learned in your classes into your current position?
In city government, it's very quick and fast-paced. You have to be able to get your point across in a short amount of time. In my bachelor's program, I learned how to write briefings. Being able to gather a lot of information and then condense it into one page is definitely an art form and has been a huge asset to me in my job. In my master's program, I learned how to do quantitative research and design. This has enabled me to look at various situations objectively.
Describe the teaching style of Point Park's criminal justice and intelligence studies professors.
The criminal justice and intelligence studies professors were very professional, responsive and hands-on with their students, which I really appreciated. They were critical but in a good way. If you were slacking, they would call you out on it. They knew my classmates and I on an individual basis and pushed each one of us to do our very best.
What are your favorite Point Park memories?
My favorite undergraduate memory was being in student government. I really enjoyed it. As a transfer student, it gave me the opportunity to network and meet people I otherwise might not have met. The graduate symposium was another favorite moment for me at Point Park. It allowed me to present a project I was really proud of and helped me with my public speaking skills.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Point Park helped pave the way for me to be in the position I am in now with the City of Pittsburgh. It's a very close-knit community at Point Park, almost like family. I never felt like just a number. Everybody always knew you by name. To be honest, the experiences I had at Point Park couldn't have been replicated anywhere else. I got the individual education I needed.