Though the idea of visiting a prison might seem daunting to some, Adrianna Rosadio ’16 recalls feeling inspired after participating with classmates in an excursion to the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk to learn about its adult education program.

“This experience taught me to see inmates as people,” said the criminology and communication double major. “You always need to consider the crime, but also look at various mental health and societal issues that might be the root cause of their actions.”

One of the reasons Stonehill’s criminology program is nationally ranked is the Sociology & Criminology Department’s emphasis on experiences that connect students firsthand with the people, issues and organizations around which they will build their careers. Students in the department’s sociology and anthropology programs benefit from the same approach.

Like many of the department’s students, Rosadio found that her combination of knowledge and experience opened important doors after graduation. She currently provides counseling services to at-risk youth at Advocates, a Framingham-based organization that champions people facing developmental and mental health challenges. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice and behavioral health at William James College in Newton.

Stonehill not only gave me the knowledge I needed to pursue this career, but also the experience and confidence to decide what I wanted to do with my criminology degree

Providing Students With a Solid Foundation

Stonehill’s criminology, sociology and anthropology majors all gain a competitive advantage in their fields because they graduate with competencies in critical thinking, writing and research.

“We provide students with the theoretical and academic foundation for each of these majors, while also encouraging them to explore experiential learning through internships and directed study research opportunities. We want to provide our students with the key for a successful future, which requires both knowledge and experience,” said Professor Pamela Kelley.

That emphasis on experiential learning could be seen this summer in a Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience project examining genetic ancestry Testing. For eight weeks, Professor Erica Tucker, director of the Anthropology Program, and sociology major Cheyenne Zinnkosko ’22 examined how test results have shaped individuals’ understandings of their own identities and the broader issues surrounding DNA tests.

The department also offers various internship opportunities that help students not only put into practice what they’re learning in class, but also make valuable, long-lasting professional connections. Among the many organizations at which students have interned are Brockton Hospital, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Coalition for Social Justice, local police departments, district attorney’s offices, the U.S. Marshals Service and victim advocate agencies.

Molly Parent ’20 was a sociology/criminology double major and anthropology minor. After having previously interned for the Brockton YMCA, she spent her final semester at Stonehill working as a legal intern for DOVE, a group that provides services to domestic violence survivors.

The Kennebunk, Maine, native is now a member of the therapeutic training and support staff at Arbour Counseling in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She said internship with DOVE gave her a great deal of insight into working with special populations.

Parent also said it made her feel well equipped to pursue a master’s degree. Her anthropology classes taught her valuable research skills that will serve her in graduate school, while her criminology and sociology coursework has intersected by exposing her to various problem-solving skills that will allow her to tackle criminal justice issues faced by the homeless, she said.

An Experience That Can Lead to Countless Career Options

Students majoring in criminology, sociology or anthropology have gone on to successful careers in law enforcement, counseling, research and education. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, The Home for Little Wanderers, the Social Security Administration, and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department are just a few of the organizations where graduates have secured employment.

Katie Brosca ’11, who double majored in sociology and criminology, has held positions at Interpol and the Department of Homeland Security since graduating. She has since transitioned to Point72, a hedge fund in New York City. As an intelligence officer, Brosca said she helps the group assess risk through predictive analysis.

“A lot of the risk profiles I’m responsible for creating involve determining actions someone might take based on their background,” said Brosca, who also holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from John Jay College. “There’s a lot of overlap with the work I did in my sociology classes, learning about human behavior.”

Brosca believes the experiential learning opportunities offered by the Sociology & Criminology Department provided her with the skills needed to find success in her field.

“Gaining experience through internships was so useful,” she said. “I also valued the fact that many of my criminology and sociology professors at Stonehill were once practitioners in their fields. Having exposure to teachers who had actually done the work I was interested in had an effect on me. My professors were so hands-on and helped me decide what I wanted to do with my life.”

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