by Sheryl Marlar
Tyler McArthur was looking for a school to attend after finishing two years at Georgia Highlands College.
After visiting UWG and several other Georgia schools, the Rome, Ga., native found the right fit at UWG.
“I felt like I belonged here,” McArthur said. “And I got to feel what it was like to be an actual college student here.”
After finishing his undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in criminology, McArthur went straight into graduate school, intending to become a counselor.
Somewhere along the way, though, he realized being a counselor might not be his true calling.
“I’m the kind of person who really wants to help people,” McArthur explained. “I felt like I might have a hard time by becoming too involved as a counselor and not being able to shut that off.”
Having a passion for the outdoors and physical conditioning, McArthur began to look toward his minor in criminology. He soon realized it might fit his personality better.
McArthur credits Michael Mansour, adjunct instructor of criminology, with influencing him make the decision to follow a path to criminology.
“I took as many of his classes as I could,” McArthur recalled.
Mansour, a former police officer for the city of Carrollton, now serves as the chief of police for the city of Villa Rica.
“Tyler was a very sharp student who always participated in my classes,” Mansour said. “He was always very conscientious of his grades and getting his work done.”
Last spring, when McArthur was looking for an internship, Dr. Vanessa Griffin, associate professor of criminology, told him about a U.S. Marshals internship in Atlanta. With her assistance, McArthur was able to make contact with the Marshals office and get an interview, which resulted in his getting the internship.
“The internship lasted from August until December 2017,” McArthur said. “Unfortunately, it came to an end. I really do miss it, but my number one goal in life now is to work with the Marshals.”
Although he eventually took part in many different activities with them, there never was a typical day with the Marshals.
“Many days in the beginning, I sat and answered the phone or organized files until they needed me for something else,” McArthur said. “And I cleaned their guns. I never knew how to clean a gun before the internship, but I do now.”
He also took part in training exercises, everything from vehicle takedowns to hostage situations.
“The training was the best experience,” McArthur remembered. “Watching everything they did was fun, but the actual training I’ll always take with me.”