Student with dog on campus

Elizabeth Goida
Class of 2019
Criminal Justice Administration

Criminal justice administration student and Reading Police Academy Cadet Elizabeth Goida’s Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (S.U.R.F.) research finds that in addition to acting as a safety measure for officers patrolling alone, K-9 units bridge the gap between police officers and the community.

“Every K-9 officer I have talked to said that having a dog is a great conversation starter. It helps to change the public perception of police officers,” said Goida.

The S.U.R.F. program allows Alvernia students in every major to collaborate with faculty scholars through research. “Research about K-9 units in law enforcement is hard to find,” said Goida. “So, I’m excited to add to that body of knowledge.”

Completing a research project gives Goida a distinct edge as a future police officer. “Not many police officers have had the opportunity to combine a higher education program with training and certification to become a police officer,” said 30-year Pennsylvania State Police veteran and Criminal Justice Administration Program Chair Barry Harvey. “That’s because Alvernia is one of the few colleges in the country that give students the opportunity to attend a police academy as part of their academic program.”

After she graduates from Alvernia and the Reading Police Academy, Berks County-native Goida said she plans to work as a police officer in Berks County.

“This is my home. If I can make a difference at home, then I know I can make a difference anywhere,” said Goida.


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