ENMU Criminal Justice Student Hopes to Help Those Affected by Crime in Future Role as Victim Advocate

Kagan West
Kagan West

ENMU Criminal Justice Student Hopes to Help Those Affected by Crime in Future Role as Victim Advocate

kagan west photo

Kagan West is pursuing a bachelor's degree in criminal justice with a minor in sociology at Eastern New Mexico University due to her lifelong interest in the justice system and a drive to "help those affected by crime.

"I hope to pursue a career as a victim advocate, and I hope to be able to help victims of crime get the resources they need, such as emotional support and help with victim's rights," shares the senior, who plans to graduate in spring 2023.

The Spirit Squad member chose to attend Eastern because "the environment felt like home, and the classes are small, so I knew I would get one-on-one help if needed, and I would have a support system not only through school/work but also through being on the Spirit Squad."

Kagan is very involved at ENMU; she serves on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as the representative for the Spirit Squad and has worked in Media Services in the Golden Student Success Center for three years.

The dean's list honoree explains that her late Media Services boss, Sherrye Burleson, was "a huge mentor to me, and she always helped me with anything school-related and life-related.

"My other boss, Richard Baysinger, has also been a mentor to me during my time at ENMU," she shares.

Kagan's favorite place on the ENMU campus is Greyhound Arena since it is "where we cheer at most games and have practices, and it is where most of my memories at ENMU are."

kagan west with teammates

The course that stood out to her the most so far was Psychology. "It was interesting to learn about different human behaviors and how your brain functions can affect the way you think," she says.

The best parts of being a Greyhound, according to Kagan, include the "social aspect because you know someone everywhere you go on campus because it is smaller, and getting to be involved in so many things on campus."

Kagan, a recipient of Spirit Squad and Greyhound Club scholarships, offers advice to students interested in her course of study: "This degree can be extremely rewarding in any career field you choose to go into if you put in the work and get experience within your career field during college."

The Greyhound was born and raised in Moriarty, New Mexico, with her three older brothers. Her father, Andy West, works on the family's farm, and her mother, Tracey West, works at a local elementary school.

Kagan's hobbies include cooking and baking. Her goals are to pursue another degree in the future and to travel.