Inmates Speaks on Their Educational Goals and Degrees

By Angelo Falcone

In U.S. academia, most school years begin in the month of September. “Asked on the Line” made an informal inquiry of men on the mainline and asked, “If you had the time, money or resources and you could study for and earn any type of college degree, what would it be?”

Alex Ross: “I would earn a degree in oceanography. I would like to study the environment, animals and plants of the ocean. I would enjoy spending time studying the oceans of the world.”

Phuoc Vong: “I would like to earn a science degree. Science is fun, and I would like to see if I could do it or not.”

Brian Asey: “I would like to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media. Because after all these years, I found something other than cutting hair that I really enjoy and can see myself doing.”

Pedro Espinal: “I would like to earn a medical degree. I would like to heal people and make the sick feel better.”

Somdeng Thongsy: “I would like to earn a PhD in Counseling, Psychology or Sociology. After deep introspection of my own life—with self-help groups, my spirituality and educational classes—and facilitating classes and counseling men, I have gained a deeper understanding of self, of others and of the world. I have found that I have a passion for this field.”

Juan Arballo: “I would like to earn a degree in Christian Theology so that my faith can be based on knowledge and that I may be able to reason and refute questions and issues.”

Kim McBride: “I would like to earn a PhD in Zoology and in Veterinary Medicine. I love animals, and there is a need for great animal doctors and veterinary technicians.”

Tommy “Shakur” Ross: “I would like to earn a PhD (nonspecific). A college degree would be something that I can earn, which cannot be taken away from me, and it can impact my future in a positive way.”

Orlando Harris: “I would like to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. I want to be able to understand social life in the world at large and in my community, and to be able to pursue a career in human services.”

Eric Lowery: “I would like to earn a college degree in biology. Even though your question states that we would have unlimited resources, we still would need to know how to survive. Biologists thrive on studying living things to understand what we need to survive. So, biology would have to be it. Plus, I think it would be a neat job to have.”

Philip Melendez: “A Master’s degree in Community Action and Social Change. I just heard of the creation of this curriculum at Dominican University. A student can minor in it right now. But rallying the community and enacting social change are important to me. I’d like to bring the restorative principles that I live by to the world.”

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