An Unsolved Murder Propelled A Career Path
Julian Brown’s interest in law enforcement began with a friend’s unsolved murder. The incident and its aftermath propelled her toward that career path, and in 2012 she graduated from The University of Findlay with a degree in social work and criminal justice.
She is now a general probation officer and treatment court officer for the Hardin County Juvenile Court. There, she supervises 40 juvenile offenders between the ages of 12 and 21 who have been through court for charges ranging from rape, murder, assault, drugs, breaking and entering, truancy and more.
A normal day for Julian can consist of conducting drug screenings; giving updates on case notes; meeting with families, counselors or school staff; collecting attendance/grade/behavior reports or medication; home searches with K9 units; performing assessments; and assisting teachers in the classroom when the offenders behave poorly.
In addition to her already busy life, she is the soccer coach and 4H Club coordinator at Hardin Community Juvenile Court School (a court-supervised school where her office is located), a car teen’s facilitator for Hardin County Traffic Court, and the H.A.Y (Horses and Youth) coordinator.
Julian’s interest in attending The University of Findlay started when her high school guidance counselor, Tiffany Hamilton, also a UF alumna, took Julian for a visit. She was offered a scholarship to play for the girls’ soccer team and accepted. Julian was introduced to Lisa Snyder, a financial aid specialist at The University of Findlay, where she took the time to make attending UF financially possible. Her next meeting was with admissions counselor, Charlie Webb, whom she described as “amazing, friendly, and sincere.” It was that visit where Julian realized that UF was perfect for her. Division II soccer, the size of the campus and the faculty-to-student ratio also appealed to her.
The people she met are the reason Findlay was such a great choice, she said. The social work internship program helped her gain career confidence, and she heaped praise program instructors, whom she said wanted her to succeed just as much as she did. As she entered the workforce, the note-taking skills and professionalism she had gained at UF were vital, she said.
One of Julian’s most memorable college experiences was being involved in multiple events and student organizations such as being a part of the social work club and getting to meet spoken word poet, Carlos Robson as well as Author of “Turning Away From Hate”, T.J. Leyden. She also enjoyed working with the mobile food pantry outside of Winebrenner Theological Seminary and helped to provided food for community members in need.
Julian started at UF as a criminal justice and psychology major. She wanted to be a part of the punitive system that puts criminals, especially those who are violent, behind bars. Then she met Robin Walters-Powell, assistant professor and Social Work Program chair, who introduced her to “all the aspects of what social work was and could be.” Walters-Powell, with the “love, encouragement and support” she offered throughout Julian’s classes, “changed my life,” Julian said.
Her classes, which she enjoyed, prepared her well for the hectic situations she now encounters on the job. Her most memorable by far: while walking out of the courthouse one day, an inmate in her custody slipped out of her handcuffs and ran in front of oncoming traffic. Julian chased her three blocks before recapturing her.
In her work, Julian said she has learned that she herself can’t change people. “You can only help guide them and make them realize that there are always other choices rather than drugs and crime,” she said.
Julian has a love for helping young children and adults make better choices and create better lives for themselves. “I love the positive impact that I have on the people and their families. I love that I have the ability to start any sort of program I want to better these kids and get them more positively involved with their families and the community,” she said.