Kayla Bates received her criminal justice minor in 2018 and is a Class of 2020 graduate with a master's degree in Criminal Justice.  During her last semester at GVSU, she has received a few prestigious awards:

Graduate School Dean's Citation Award - Academic Excellence in a Degree Program Award
Student Convocation Award - Excellence in a Discipline Award

She has successfully defended her thesis entitled, "The Analysis of Trauma-Informed Risk Assessments Within a Juvenile Justice System in a Midwest State".  The study explored whether risk assessments were asking about traumatic experiences within justice-involved youth and whether they were capturing information regarding intersectionality (e.g. gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and race). The research provides insight on the literature regarding trauma among justice-involved youth and provides recommendations on how risk assessments can be improved.

Next year, Kayla will be attending Northeastern University (on a five-year, full-ride research assistantship) and working as a research assistant for Dr. Natasha Frost.  Dr. Frost is currently working on multiple studies within correctional facilities and Kayla will join the projects come fall.  She is excited to be obtaining her Ph.D. to develop a deeper understanding of my interests while also pursuing my passion for research and applying my knowledge to continue to help vulnerable individuals.  Her passion lies in corrections to understand and communicate with and for a population many have ignored. 

A bit about Kayla, she loves doing research and learning about new topics.  She plans to use her degrees to elevate the criminal justice field and be a part of the change by inspiring others the same way her professors at Grand Valley have done for her.  When she's not working on research, you can find her trying to develop a green thumb, reading, or traveling.

Congratulations Kayla!  You are a positive inspiration to us all and we wish you the best in your future pursuits!

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Page last modified May 4, 2020