Graduate Student Shares Her Love of Law Enforcement

Megan Suprenant continues her criminal justice education through the School of Applied Sciences

OXFORD, Miss. – Megan Suprenant, a second-year student in the Master of Criminal Justice Policy and Practice program at the University of Mississippi, is transitioning from practicing law enforcement to studying criminal justice policy and practice from nationally recognized experts.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with an emphasis in law enforcement and minors in anthropology and biology in 2019. After graduation, Suprenant has had internships that have helped open her eyes to the range of opportunities available – one of her favorites being at the Houston Police Department in Texas, one of the country’s largest and most respected police departments.

There, she worked in the juvenile sex crimes unit, where she transcribed interviews, observed interviews, participated in ride-alongs and attended special events. Through this experience, she learned how police departments really function and got to apply things she learned in the classroom at Ole Miss.

Megan Suprenant, a second-year master’s student, says she has a passion to work in the field of criminal justice, either as a law enforcement officer or in an academic setting. Submitted photo

Suprenant, from Olympia Fields, Illinois, credits the faculty in the criminal justice department as the reason she wanted to further her education.

“The environment that our faculty and staff have cultivated for the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies was something that I wanted to be a part of,” Suprenant said. “They make learning a fun experience, they challenge you to great depths and they are there to help you every step of the way.”

One of her favorite professors from her undergraduate time is Abigail Novak. Suprenant said Novak goes above and beyond to make sure students understand not only issues for her class but also any other topics they may be struggling with.

Novak praised Suprenant’s aptitude for the material and her success in using what she has learned.

“She does not shy away from challenging materials and hard questions and applies herself to her coursework,” Novak said. “She quickly makes connections between materials learned in the classroom and real-world policy and practice scenarios, and is able to apply her knowledge to think through its implications for the criminal justice system.”

Suprenant’s passion for forensics is what led her to this career field. In high school, she watched shows such as “Criminal Minds,” “NCIS” and “Law & Order.” She says these shows fueled her love for forensics that led her to enroll at UM as a forensic chemistry major.

She soon found that this was not a fit for her and decided to change to criminal justice. Once she started taking classes in law enforcement, she knew she loved it and wanted to pursue a career in federal law enforcement.

Suprenant said one of her biggest takeaways from the program is that there is no limit to what you can do. Her professors have made her realize that she is capable of so much more than what she used to think. They have supported her goals and pushed her to succeed.

“A fire has been lit inside me and a passion to work in the field of criminal justice is very much alive, whether it may be working in the field as an agent or pursuing my Ph.D. and teaching and conducting research,” Suprenant said.

For more information about the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, visit