December 1, 2023

CSU Alumna Uses Criminal Justice Experience to Pen Thriller Novels

Cortina Jackson writes more than essays and term papers.

A master’s graduate in both the criminal justice and occupational safety and health degree programs at Columbia Southern University, another proud accomplishment for Jackson is taking on the title of author. Her first thriller novel, “On Earth as it is in Hell” released in 2012 while she completed her first master’s degree with CSU. Later, in 2018, Jackson released a second thriller novel, “The Sounds of Silence are the Loudest.”

According to Jackson, her 18-year career in law enforcement served as inspiration for her writing. Although her stories are entirely fictional, she was able to loosely pull from her experience in the criminal justice field.

“The degrees [I received from CSU] will propel me further as I pursue greater management responsibilities in safety and security,” says Jackson. “CSU seemed to have all of the qualities needed for my busy lifestyle. They were able to use some of my work experience to transition into a degree plan easier. The staff was very friendly and professional. They made everything so streamlined that it became an easy choice.”

Currently, Jackson works as a contract monitor with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. In both her criminal justice career and writing career, Jackson says that her time at CSU has made her a confident competitor.

“I have gained greater career responsibilities and feel well prepared to compete with other applicants.”

Whether behind a case or behind pen and paper, Jackson has used her talents and the lessons learned at CSU in order to pave a unique path to success.

To learn more about CSU’s online criminal justice degree programs, visit