Summer 2013| Posse Chicago Quarterly


Carleton Scholar Wins Prestigious Watson Fellowship

Carleton College graduate Robin Wonsley won a prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which offers “college graduates of ‘unusual promise’ a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel in international settings new to them.” Over the course of the next year, Robin will research and analyze reintegration programs for women who have been incarcerated in Dublin, Ireland; Oslo, Norway; Ontario, Canada; and Accra, Ghana.

After careful research, Robin selected these countries to give her a broad spectrum of anti-recidivism programs and models to explore. She is eager to work with various governmental and nongovernmental agencies that work with prison populations to learn more about what strategies have been effective. She hopes that her research will have an impact on the prison reform movement in the United States.

“This issue really resonates with me,” says Robin “People in the communities where I was raised in Chicago disproportionally interact with the prison system.”

At Carleton, Robin helped organize a prison reform conference to increase awareness about mass imprisonment and recidivism. Among the many issues that she has explored in relation to the penal system in America include race, class, mental health, and the economic incentives of the for-profit prison industry.

Beyond the Watson Fellowship, Robin intends to pursue further education in either criminal or restorative justice and hopes to bring more attention to prison reform initiatives.

She is most grateful to Posse for providing her with the opportunity to pursue a great education at Carleton and to her Posse peers who will continue to motivate her to excel.

“Seeing all my Posse peers doing great things and reach their full potential is what motivates me,” says Robin. “They inspire me to find the time and energy to push myself to bigger and better things.”

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