Name: Kayla Victoria Almazan

Age: 23

Hometown: Dalton

High school: Northwest Whitfield High School

Major:  Criminal Justice; Minors: English and Psychology

Graduation date: May 2015

Why did you choose Dalton State? I decided to attend Dalton State because I knew I wanted to attend law school, so I decided it would be best to complete my undergraduate degree at a low-cost institution that had my discipline of interest, criminal justice, and allowed me to stay close to my family.

What do you plan to do after graduation? I completed an internship through the Georgia Legal Services Program in Dalton. I plan to attend graduate school and complete a master’s in sociology then attend law school. Currently, I am working as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

Who was your favorite professor and why? I have had many excellent and caring professors during my time at Dalton State, so it is hard for me to pick one as my all-time favorite. However, the professors who have impacted my life the most are Dr. Anthony Simones (former Criminal Justice Professor/Advisor), Dr. Jonathan Lampley, Dr. James Wright, Dr. Natalie Johnson, and Dr. April A. Kay. All of these individuals have helped me develop as a professional and as a scholar, and I have a great level of respect for their efforts and dedication.

What activities were you involved in on campus? I represented the School of Liberal Arts as Senator for the Student Government Association, and I serve as a student representative on the International Education Committee. I was a member of the Latin American Student Organization and involved myself as much as I could with Hispanic outreach. I was a member of Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the American Criminal Justice Association, and Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. I was also involved with the African Students Association and the Dalton State College Democratic Association.

What were some of your biggest achievements or accomplishments at Dalton State? My greatest achievements during my undergraduate career include appearing on the Dean’s List from spring 2011- fall 2014. I received the Dalton State Foundation Scholarship for five years as well as the Dalton State Study Abroad Scholarship (2014). I graduated with an associate of science in criminal justice, magna cum laude. I completed a minor in English of which I am especially proud of because during my first semester at DSC I was enrolled in remedial English. I was also inducted into the newly established DSC Psi-Chi Chapter, the International Honor Society in psychology, as a psychology minor. I represented in DSC’s first homecoming court and then again during the college’s second homecoming. I helped establish the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) and served as its first public relations chair. I served as a Student Government Association Senator for the School of Liberal Arts during the 2014- 2015 academic year. I am proud of my membership in Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the American Criminal Justice Association, of which I also served as treasurer and president. Because the college is a rising Hispanic Serving Institution, I also had the honor to represent the college on a student panel to speak to congressional delegates during a visit last fall.

Where was your favorite study spot? My favorite spot to study was the Writing Lab. Mrs. Terri Michelle Jenkins-Suggs is awesome and always willing to help!

What is the last book you read? Laughing Without an Accent by Firoozeh Dumas

Favorite comfort food? Tostitos Scoops with Tostitos Salsa con Queso

What do you feel most proud of? I feel most proud of my family, and my time as a college student.

If you won the lottery, what would you do? I would invest in my professional degree, my siblings’ education, and my parents’ well-being.  I would also support other individuals to whom I am close. I am passionate about Malala Yousafzai’s fight for girls’ and women’s education and would support her cause.

What is a skill you’d like to learn and why? I would love to gain artistic skills particularly painting and sculpting because these forms of creative expression allow the artist to transmit emotion, culture, and passion.

What cheers you up? What cheers me up is having my siblings around me.

What is your favorite book? The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

What is your favorite childhood memory? The times I went with my family to the park in Lincoln, Neb. Fun!

Where is your favorite place to eat? Chick-fil-A and Subway

What did you want to be when you were a kid? At home, I would say, “I want to be a lawyer,” but when asked at school, I would say, “I want to be a teacher.”

What does it mean to you to be part of the Roadrunner Nation? Being a part of the Roadrunner Nation means the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. It means spending time around others who are passionate, hard-working, caring, motivated, creative, and welcoming. It means learning the importance of serving others and looking out for others. I am a better writer, critical thinker, leader, and student because I received quality education from intelligent and dedicated professors. Being a part of this college was the best decision I made. I am sad to leave, but I am very happy and excited to see how much my college is evolving for the better.