2022 Graduate Stories

Criminal Justice Program Helped Clarify Student Leader’s Career Direction

By Melanie Thibeault
image of RWU senior Christian Thomas on Bristol Campus beneath the Mount Hope Bridge, a popular student hangout

After Criminal Justice major and Psychology minor Christian Thomas ’22 graduates later this month, he’ll be at RWU another year in the Criminal Justice 4+1 master’s program. During his time as an undergrad, Thomas has hosted a radio show on campus called Uptown Vibes, worked at the Intercultural Center, served as a Barbershop Club executive board member, and currently serves as the Student Senate vice chair for the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council.  

Eye-Opening Experiences: “The Criminal Justice program has taught me a lot about the process of how the Criminal Justice system works. Before coming to RWU, I had a brief sense of what it was. I’ve learned, for example, how police systems operate and the process of how an arrest can lead to a sentencing. The program also showed me potential (career) options and helped me see what qualities I want to look for in a position. The day that we went to the ACI in Rhode Island, I learned that I don’t see myself in corrections. It’s given me a clearer direction of what I want. I've thought about working with an Attorney General's office or in victim advocacy." 

A Sense of Community: “Throughout my four years, I’ve lived in the Black and LatinX LLC, which has been especially helpful for me. For people who look like me to have that learning experience and live with people who look like me, I’m definitely grateful for that experience.” 

Beyond Academics: “It’s important to find things that you can enjoy outside of the classroom. Doing radio, I learned more about myself in terms of my talking style and how I present myself. Find more activities that you can relate to what you like: that’s how you can meet your group of friends. Be open-minded as well.” 

Thomas is from New Britain, Conn. 

Every May, as Commencement nears, RWU spotlights members of the graduating class. Suggestions are welcome. Email: stories@rwu.edu.

2022 Graduate Stories