Andy Main

Majors: Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Journalism
Hometown: Granby, Connecticut

Q. What makes the College of Arts and Sciences at URI unique?

A. I think the University of Rhode Island’s College of Arts and Sciences is unique for two main reasons, one being the abundance of opportunities that exist for students and the second being the dedication of the professors. During my four years at URI, I have been able to take classes in approximately a dozen different subjects within the College of Arts and Science. All of these courses were interesting, insightful, and helped me become a more well-rounded student. Additionally, in these courses, virtually all of my professors were clearly passionate, extremely knowledgeable, and have a wealth of experience regarding the subjects they teach. Furthermore, the professors in the College of Arts and Science are also dedicated to the success of students and work hard to develop positive relationships with students. I truly do not think you could find a better group of professors than the ones in URI’s College of Arts and Sciences. 

What accomplishments and/or activities at URI are you most proud of now?

The accomplishment that I am most proud of during my time at URI is that I have made the Dean’s List every semester thus far. I am proud of this because I have worked hard to learn as much as I can while I am here and to produce quality work, and making the Dean’s List shows that the hard work is paying off. I am also proud of being the news editor of URI’s student newspaper, The Good Five Cent Cigar, for two semesters. I am proud of this because working as the news editor helped me gain valuable writing and communication skills, and it allowed me to collaborate as part of an exciting team to put together a product that is important for the URI community. 

What research projects, internships, experiential learning, and/or study abroad programs did you participate in at URI? How did they enhance your education? 

One experiential learning opportunity I participated in was being a reporter, and subsequently a news editor, for The Good Five Cent Cigar. My work at The Cigar enhanced my education because it allowed me to apply the journalistic writing skills that I had learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios. Additionally, as I read through and examined budget reports, state statues, and other official documents for various stories, I gained firsthand experience in understanding what constitutes quality reporting.

In one of my criminal justice courses, I also participated in a form of experiential learning, as we had the opportunity to go to district and superior courts in jurisdictions throughout the state to observe court proceedings. This enhanced my education because I was able to gain firsthand perspective of the intricacies of penal law and judicial processes, challenges in the judicial system, and commonalities between defendants and how they are treated. 

In two other criminal justice courses, including the capstone course, I have been able to examine topics that are of interest to me and write research essays on the topics. By doing this, I was able to apply concepts discussed in classes throughout the major, such as matters of theory, methods of analysis, and the comprehension of pertinent issues, to produce a holistic essay that covered topics relevant to today’s legal and social landscapes. Applying lessons I had learned in various courses to these research essays helped enhance my education because it deepened my appreciation for the interconnectedness of the different topics we study in different courses. 

What do you value about your liberal arts education? 

I value how my liberal arts education has allowed me to gain a broad understanding of a diverse array of topics. In addition to my major-related courses, I have also gained knowledge from courses in philosophy, mathematics, and everything in between. The reason I value this is twofold. First, the general acquisition of knowledge is important. Second, lessons I have learned in classes seemingly not at all related to my major have ended up having utility in major-related classes; for example, topics from a mathematics course I took later connected to topics we discussed in a research methods course for my criminal justice major. Essentially, while a liberal arts education allows you to expand the scope of your knowledge past just your major, such a wide-ranging education can also influence how you study topics that are indeed related to your major. I also value my liberal arts education because it has exposed me to a wide variety of perspectives, as well as the factors that influence an individual’s perspective. I value this because it has supplied me with a more comprehensive understanding of how we must address the critical issues facing my major-related fields with an approach that aims to incorporate all relevant voices, in order to serve all members of society as effectively as possible.