UMSL alumna Jericah Selby

UMSL alumna Jericah Selby is pursuing a law degree at the University of Denver. (Photo courtesy of Wayne Armstrong/University of Denver)

Jericah Selby is one for the books, not only for the countless number of hours she spends in the library but also for the lasting impression she has made on the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Selby was a student who shined, graduating top of her class last year with a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice.

But for Selby, being a student embodied more than reading books and writing essays. It encompassed an active role in campus life. Among other activities, she was president of the Student Government Association, president of the Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity and chair of the UMSL Homecoming Committee.

As SGA president, she launched the “Check the Rec” campaign in support of a student referendum to build a recreation and wellness center on North Campus.

“We were encouraging students to vote,” Selby says. “Not to vote yes or vote no. Just to vote!”

The referendum passed with overwhelming support, and the recreation center is expected to open in fall 2015.

A first-generation college graduate, Selby attributes her drive to values she learned from her mother.

“We live in a place where opportunities are at arm’s reach,” she says. “Of course it may be difficult to grasp what you want, but if you make sacrifices and fill your life with dedication and passion, you can do anything.”

That dedication and passion helped her achieve another goal – getting accepted to law school. She’s now pursuing a degree in the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver. She says she wants to be a prosecutor and hopes to gain experience this summer through an externship at the District Attorney’s Office in Denver.

“I’ve always wanted to help others, especially when they cannot help themselves,” Selby says.

At UMSL, she studied criminal conduct and deviant social behavior, and she credits the university for preparing her for law school.

“I received the best education for the best value and was able to stay in St. Louis to maintain my part-time employment,” Selby says. “This put me in the best financial position to attend law school.”

Since she started law school in the fall, Selby won Best Defense Team with her partner in a mock trial competition and has been appointed student representative for the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. In other words, she’s doing what she does best – setting the bar and setting it high.

This story was originally published in the spring 2013 issue of UMSL Magazine.

Marisol Ramirez

Marisol Ramirez

Eye on UMSL: Walk about

Oluchi Onyegbula, a psychology major and co-president of the Able-Disable Partnership, leads an accessibility walk Thursday on the UMSL campus.