16 Apr 2021
New USC graduate Tayla Dangerfield is applying her in-depth understanding of the psychology behind criminal behaviour to her role as a case manager at Queensland Corrective Services.
The former Xavier Catholic College student from Hervey Bay received a University Commendation for Academic Excellence when she graduated on 7 April from USC with a double degree in Social Science (Psychology) and Criminology and Justice.
“I combined my study of Psychology with Criminology because I have a desire to help people and am interested in the way the human mind operates, particularly what drives criminal behaviour,” Tayla said.
“Additionally, I wanted a role that enabled me to work face-to-face with clients and deal with new cases and challenges every day.
“I have been fortunate to find this after being offered a full-time position as a case manager at Community Corrections in Brisbane, supervising and supporting clients on probation and parole in the community.”
The four-year Social Science (Psychology)/Criminology and Justice combined degree, which is offered at USC’s Moreton Bay and Sunshine Coast campuses, provides students with insights into the motivations and consequences of criminal behaviour, and the application of psychology to understand crime.
Tayla said she was now daily applying the theoretical, interpersonal and practical skills she gained through her studies.
“I had an excellent experience at USC because I was given ample opportunity to explore my potential and interests, and I received extensive support in achieving my goals,” said Tayla, whose overall grade point average was an impressive 6.5 out of 7.
“My main interest area is the effect of childhood experiences on psychological development and abnormal psychologies, such as personality disorders and the effects of extensive substance use,” Tayla said.
“My developmental psychology studies have particularly enabled me to better understand the ongoing impacts of childhood trauma.”
A key highlight of her time at USC was being selected to complete a student placement with the Queensland Police Service’s Intelligence and Covert Services Command.
“This work-integrated experience included conducting research for the State Intelligence Group, which provides the Police Service with intelligence to assist in preventing, investigating and reducing crime and other risks to community safety,” Tayla said.
She also participated in voluntary work with Crime Stoppers during her studies.
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