Education

Lindenwood senior will either catch criminals — or defend those arrested

Lindenwood-Belleville student loves art but chooses law enforcement career

Ginger Stockett, a senior at Lindenwood University in Belleville, Illinois, talks about her participation in mock trial team competition. Ginger initially wanted to have a career in art, but is now majoring in criminal justice. She hopes to be a p
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Ginger Stockett, a senior at Lindenwood University in Belleville, Illinois, talks about her participation in mock trial team competition. Ginger initially wanted to have a career in art, but is now majoring in criminal justice. She hopes to be a p

Ginger Stockett turned from a future in art to pursue criminal justice, and this year will find out if that future is on the police side or in criminal defense.

The dichotomy is lost on the Lindenwood University senior, who sees a solid future and a fulfilling career along either path.

Q: What’s next after graduation this spring?

A: “After this I want to either — if I get a full scholarship — go to law school. If not I’ll go straight into the (police) academy.”

Q: Why law enforcement?

A: “I’ve always looked up to my brother; he’s a sergeant for the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department. And my uncle is a correctional officer. I enjoy helping people and doing what I can to help people.”

Q: What’s the planned career?

A: “Criminal defense. Last semester we had a mock trial team competition ... we were divided into firms (and) presented opening and closing statements. It was set up as a trial; it was really fun and I learned a lot. After that, I learned this is something I want to do. Even though it was a lot of work and very stressful.”

Q: Think that will cause any drama at Thanksgiving?

A: “No, it shouldn’t.”

Q: Has your brother talked about law enforcement?

A: “My brother was talking to me about it, like ‘are you sure you want to do this?’ My mom and dad, and my grandma, have tried to talk me out of (police work).”

Q: If you go into police work, what do you see pursuing?

A: “You have to first start off with patrol on the street. So if I do like five years on the street, I could eventually apply as a detective, and that’s what I want to do.”

Q: What’s been your path to and through college?

A: “I graduated high school in 2011 and took a couple of semesters off (to work). So it’s taken me longer. I went to SWIC (Southwestern Illinois College) and double majored in administration of justice and fine arts; that’s why it took longer. Then I decided to do fine arts, being an artist, as a hobby.”

Q: Ever show your work?

A: “Dr. Shauntey James got me into the Black and White and Art All Over show (part of Art on the Square.) I showed her my artwork, she liked it; then months later she randomly emailed and asked if I’d be interested in showing some of my artwork. Yes, of course I’d love to.

“He asked all artists if they would donate (their pieces) — someone bought (my piece) for $100; we ended up raising a couple thousand dollars to Racial Harmony.”

Q: What’s it like being one of 11 children?

A: “I was entertained every single day.”

Meet Ginger Stockett

  • Age: 24
  • School: Attends Lindenwood University in Belleville, graduated from Granite City High School in 2011
  • Lives in: Swansea
  • Hobbies: Art and she has recently started running
  • Parents: Henry and Peggy Stockett. Dad recently retired from Cargill; mom was a stay-at-home mom.
  • Siblings: Ginger has six sisters and five brothers, ranging in age from 18 to 46.
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