2022 Graduate Stories

Travel, Internship Propel Criminal Justice Major’s Career Path

By Melanie Thibeault
A headshot of Kayla Natalo

After graduation, Kayla Natalo ’22, a Criminal Justice major who minored in Political Science and Anthropology+Sociology, will continue her studies at RWU in the Criminal Justice 4+1 master’s program. Natalo said a master’s degree would give her a step up in her future career, which she hopes will be working on the administrative side of corrections, perhaps in mental health counseling.  

Learning from Experts: “The Criminal Justice program has been great. I love the professors. They’ve always been very caring, and it’s easy to build relationships with them. They were very good at helping me figure out what I want to do, which is the correctional side of Criminal Justice. A lot of the professors have experience in the field prior to teaching, so they really teach that hands-on experience. It’s not just reading from a book. My education has flourished because of it.” 

Hands-on Training: “Last semester I interned at a nonprofit in Arlington, Virginia, called Offender Aid and Restoration. I was a re-entry intern. I worked with people recently released from incarceration, helping them get back on their feet. The organization works toward an antiracist goal. I was able to have these hands-on learning experiences. I loved it. They offered me a job if I want to go back.”  

Travel Opportunities: “I was able to travel with Dean Bronson to Louisiana for a class called ‘Dead Man Walking.’ We toured one of the largest prisons in the world, the Louisiana State Penitentiary. That helped me figure out I want to be more corrections-oriented.” 

Natalo is from Somers, New York. At RWU, she has been a tour guide, student orientation coordinator, Parliamentarian in Student Senate, a member of the John Jay Society, and a member of the Women’s Rugby team. 

2022 Graduate Stories