Photo of Judith Cusack

Spartan Showcase: Judith Cusack

Majors: History, sociology, psychology
Minor: Social justice

Photo of Judith Cusack

After her first year of high school, Judith Cusack took a criminology course at a community college that set her sights on the legal field. Now, she’s triple majoring in history, sociology and psychology at Case Western Reserve. 

She’s accomplished an incredible amount throughout her life, but Cusack notes that, as a Black woman, it wasn’t always easy—she’s had to overcome setbacks, ignorance and ostracization related to her race and gender.

Despite those challenges, she persevered—and now finds herself as “the same Black woman she was when she started college, just a lot smarter and a lot closer to graduating.”

In fact, she’s about to graduate early from one of top universities in the U.S. Cusack is currently a third-year student at CWRU, but she holds senior status with her three majors—and she’s on the pre-law track.

As Cusack applies to law schools, she’s reminded of the criminology course she took years ago. It’s what first piqued her interest in becoming a lawyer.

“I fell in love with the field of study and the idea of pursuing a career related to, if not in, criminal justice,” said Cusack, who earned her associate’s degree in criminal justice from Brookdale Community College a month before she graduated high school.

Cusack hopes to become a criminal defense attorney to explore the issue of mass incarceration in the U.S. and the detrimental effects it has on society and, in particular, on African Americans, who tend to face the most backlash from the criminal justice system. 

“Hopefully, in just a few years after I graduate from CWRU, I will be a lawyer,” she noted. “Later on at some point during my career, I hope to have the opportunity to work within a social justice-related nonprofit organization such as the ACLU.”

Cusack is the treasurer of the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta; she serves as the president of Spartans for Special Olympics; she’s on the executive board of the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning; a member of Alpha Kappa Delta; and a member of the Black Student Union. Cusack also completed a summer internship with the American Historical Association’s marketing department.