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Alumni Spotlight:

Q&A with Maribel “Mari” Tapia

California School of Forensic Studies at Alliant International University

Master of Science in Forensic Behavioral Science, Online Program

Professional Information

Crime Analyst at the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office

Q: How did your Alliant experience prepare you for your career path?

A: My experience at Alliant prepared me for my career path by quite simply providing me with the knowledge of the various fields available to me. Since an early age I knew I wanted to be in law enforcement but the only career paths I knew of in law enforcement were a police officer, corrections, and probation in location level and large federal agencies; some of which did not draw my attention as a career path. I did not realize how many options were available to me. The multi-disciplinary aspect of the graduate program at Alliant opened those doors for me to learn about the various career options available to me. 

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work? 

A: What I enjoy about my work is the overall crime prevention role. I believe we all have a calling, a purpose and that is manifested through our passions; for me, my purpose is to be a public servant. Working alongside investigators in solving crimes and ultimately preventing crimes to better serve my community is what I love; it is absolutely rewarding. 

Q: What inspires you to make a positive difference in the world? 

A: My inspiration to make a positive difference in the world comes from family. I am a first-generation Hispanic female and the sacrifices of my parents, my family, and the people before me have allowed me to live my life with a purpose to make change. I have been blessed with the ability to have the choice and make the choice to not only get one degree but two. An opportunity and privilege not many have. I have the privilege and use my gifts, my knowledge, my blessing, and passion to help others and make a positive change in the community around me. My parents came to this country to provide a better life for myself and my siblings and I have ensured that their sacrifices were not in vain. My master’s at Alliant has ensured that the family after me sees that it is possible to live your life with purpose, do be who you want to be, and achieve all your goals. 

Q: Share your advice for current students.

A: My advice to current students is to listen to the voice inside of you, we are all intuitive beings; we unfortunately have learned to ignore it, suppress it, or second guess it. If you took the leap of faith by believing in yourself to continue your education; hold strong, keep pushing, achieve those goals, be the person you see in yourself, the person you were meant to be, the person you were called to be. Listen to your gut about who you could be and what you could do! Your actions and your sacrifices will benefit not only you, but they will also influence those you have touched. Someone may be watching your actions, your strength, your willpower, your work ethic, devotion, to better yourself; your actions on how you do this for yourself will inspire them to follow in your footsteps. We can’t take nothing from this world when we leave but we can leave this world with our lasting impact; it's up to you to decide on what that impact will be. 

If you would like to share your reflections in an Alliant alumni spotlight, please click here or email

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