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Graduate student shares how UNF has impacted his life

Isaiah Dorado, UNF graduate studentIsaiah Dorado, graduate student and assistant resident life coordinator for UNF Housing and Residence Life, is a proud Osprey graduating in May with a master's degree in criminal justice. Since he first arrived on campus in 2018, he has been an active member of several clubs and organizations including the Criminology and Criminal Justice Club, the Alpha Phi Sigma Pi Omega Chapter at UNF and he's a founding member of The Brotherhood at UNF, an organization that promotes the success of minority men professionally, personally and academically. The Mulberry, Florida native plans to teach at his former high school and trailblaze a criminal justice academy or enter law enforcement. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, reading and exercising.
Why did you choose UNF?
My best friend got accepted into UNF and he made a joke about us being first-year roommates. When I realized he was serious, I ended up applying and I got accepted. I decided to visit and tour the campus and instantly fell in love with it. The rest is history.
Why did you choose criminal justice as your major?
I’ve always had a passion for serving and protecting others while advocating for a fair justice system.
What one course prepared you the most for this major?
For my undergraduate, I would say Intro to Criminal Justice. It solidified my desire to continue pursuing my major of criminal justice. As for my MSCJ, I would say Advanced Criminological Theory. Theories are the backbone of the science in Criminal Justice. Having a solid understanding of those helps you expand along the way within the MSCJ program.
You are a co-recipient of the Albert Ernest Jr. Caring Award. What does it mean to receive this award?
My mentor Dr. Mark Dawkins nominated me for the Caring Awards. He has been so influential in helping me advocate for my accomplishments, and saw me as an individual who embodied the values of the humanitarian-focused Caring Award. To me, I don't serve to be seen, but this award has allowed me to realize that my efforts have an impact. It has also connected me with amazing volunteers, philanthropists and leaders of Jacksonville who inspire and encourage me to continue to serve others.
What has been your most enjoyable experience at UNF?
The friends I’ve made and the journey along the way. I’ve spent the last six years of my life at UNF and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 
Did you complete any internships while at school?
I interned at the Office of the Public Defender (PDO) of the 4th Judicial Circuit in spring 2022. That experience opened my eyes to the criminal justice system outside of the classroom. It gave me a fresh perspective and understanding of the external and internal factors that play a role in crime. It also helped me learn the urgency of keeping accurate accounts of details for court cases and how to conduct investigative interviews. Not to mention the amazing network of what I would call friends at the PDO as well.
Tell us about your educational experience at UNF? How has it prepared you for work in the real world?
I came to UNF in the summer 2018 and finished my undergraduate degree in criminal justice in spring 2022. I’m achieving my Master of Science in Criminal Justice this spring 2024. UNF has instilled valuable principles and experiences that give me the confidence and understanding to apply myself to any job, career, or task required of me. I do not doubt that wherever I go, I will make an impact.
UNF doesn’t just create the next generation of thinkers — it creates trailblazers. I’ve met some of the most extraordinary people at UNF, and through their insight and guidance, I know I can make an impact beyond UNF.
You were recently featured in UNF’s inaugural edition of the College Tour. How was that experience?
It was an absolute blast! Spending half the day filming gave a newfound respect for production. Alex Boylan, the executive producer and host, and his crew are amazing. It was something I will never forget! I’m grateful to have been an ambassador for UNF.
What extracurricular activities/sports have you been involved in?
I have served as a Panel Hearing Officer and Forgiveness Reviewer for the Student Conduct Board.
Was there a professor(s) who influenced you/guided you the most?
There were many along the way that have helped me greatly. From my pre-internship to the practical advice and chats after class with my professors, to the Taylor Leadership Institute, I’m forever grateful for the advice and guidance of all my professors, especially my mentor Professor Mark Dawkins. These individuals are not just professors or educators, they are leaders in the highest capacity.
Have you held any leadership positions?
Aside from the positions within the clubs I’ve been involved in, I was a resident assistant my senior year of undergrad. Since then, I was promoted and have been the assistant residence life coordinator of training, recruitment and student leadership for Housing and Residence Life at UNF. Working in residence life has given me the confidence and skillset to accomplish any job I apply myself to. From a personal standpoint, it’s allowed me to grow as a leader and impact those that are in a position I once was in. As well as working in a team setting where multiple people rely on one another to accomplish a common goal.