MILTON — Ronald Cowell’s son, DeQuan, is a University of South Alabama senior who will be inducted April 19 into the Criminal Justice National Honor Society.
DeQuan is one of three finalists for a Criminal Justice Student of the Year award. Here, we talk with him about his efforts to combat sexual violence.
What inspired the Sexual Assault and Violence Educators program?
Towards the end of my junior year, we started this program on campus called SAVE. I was one of the first members of it. It helped me … get into the Mobile Rape Crisis Center. I’ve since chaired a few committees we have. I do a lot of speaking … about sexual assault.
We have a bunch of advocates on campus as well as teachers who do a lot of work in the field of sexual assault. Dr. Sarah Koon-Magnin is a very popular teacher, the biggest name in the criminal justice department. She’s an original (SAVE) member. She started a sexual violence class as well as a gender studies (class).
She is one of the main reasons we were able to start SAVE. She got me into SAVE. I took her sexual violence class. She recommended me to the Mobile Rape Crisis Center.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I’m learning Spanish. I want to be able to work internationally, whether in another country or between countries through the government. I’m not sure yet.
I’m talking to a professor who worked for the Secret Service. Maybe (I’ll work with) the state department to get usage out of my second language, but while there I want to be able to (work) with victims and be an advocate.
Any favorite sports?
I play rugby for the university. I didn’t plan on coming to South to play any sports. I wanted to come to get my education. One of my friends was on the rugby team and played football with me in high school. I didn’t think I was big enough for college football. Didn’t want to go through trying out, didn’t feel I wanted to do that. He was playing rugby, a new sport, so I tried out.
Once I tried out I absolutely loved it, and I’m not one to quit. For me, I love it more because it’s a little more camaraderie, a focus on teammates. In football, you can have great athletes that stand out. In rugby, everybody has to know what they’re doing and work together because things happen so fast.
It’s a mix between soccer and football. Players are constantly moving until there’s a stoppage. You rely a lot more on the person next to you to play. It’s just different. I really enjoy it.
How else do you spend spare time?
I do a lot of events with SAVE. I play a lot of intramural sports. I play computer games, Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch. I’m in a few honor societies, Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Phi Sigma (which is) the national criminal justice honor society, and as well as the NSCS (which is) the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I also got an award for Student of the Year. I have an award ceremony April 19; it also came with small book scholarship.
I’ve made the dean’s list every semester and made president’s list once. The dean’s list requires above a 3.5 grade point average and the president’s list requires a 3.9 or higher.