In January 2015, Kelly Tea graduated from UNH with her B.S. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Psychology and a minor in Psychology. She then accepted a two-year placement as a Graduate Assistant at the Tow Youth Justice Institute (TYJI) as part of the Experiential Graduate Assistantship Program (EGAP) at the University of New Haven. This unique and highly competitive program offers graduate students tuition assistance as well as placement within a department to work on projects or programs that will support the career goals of the student. Kelly is pursuing her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Psychology.
On November 10, 2015 Kelly presented on her EGAP and TYJI experience at the Graduate Student Showcase 2015, which was held in the Alumni Lounge on campus. The showcase allowed Kelly the opportunity to discuss the Tow Youth Justice Institute with University administrators, members of the Board of Governors, alumni, President Kaplan, faculty, staff, deans, and undergraduate and graduate students. Some of her responsibilities at TYJI include writing for the TYJI Newsletter and youth justice-related events, managing the website and communications for the Institute, assisting with the Juvenile Justice Policy & Oversight Committee meet-ings and supporting research projects. Kelly says that one of the most rewarding parts of working with the TYJI is being able to contribute to something bigger than herself and being able to work on a small part of a large project or event that really makes her feel like an asset to the team. Some of the most valuable experiences for Kelly have been working with the TYJI team at UNH by attending meetings with the legislators and advocates at the State Capitol as part of the staff support of the JJPOC. She hopes to grow to be more like the people she has worked with so that she can continue to make big changes in the juvenile justice system.
“I have had hands-on experience on the legislative side, research side, and administrative side of the juvenile justice system and am very excited to see what the future brings for me while working at the Tow Youth Justice Institute. The Tow Youth Justice Institute is rapidly expanding its responsibilities, projects, and membership, and I am so happy I was able to present some of my involvements in helping them move forward to the rest of the UNH community,” she said.
Kelly has proven to be an invaluable asset to TYJI and its projects while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.