- by Mount Saint Mary College
Samantha Soehnlein of Washingtonville, N.Y., a Criminology major at Mount Saint Mary College, graduated one year early on Saturday, May 18

From graduating a year early to being hired by Court Consultation Services in Goshen, N.Y. after her excellent internship performance, Samantha Soehnlein of Washingtonville, N.Y. had plenty of reasons to celebrate at Mount Saint Mary College’s 61st Annual Commencement on Saturday, May 18.

In high school, Soehnlein began her college level studies the moment the opportunity arose, and came to the Mount in the Fall of 2021 with more than a semester of college credits already under her belt. A few summer and winter classes over the last three years allowed the dedicated student to reach her goal of graduating early as a Criminology major with a minor in Psychology.

“The Mount is the reason why I am where I am today, not only because of the opportunities that the school presented to me, but also because of the connections I have been able to make with others over the last three years,” said Soehnlein. “I will forever be grateful for everything that the Mount has provided me with.”

Her can-do attitude would serve Soehnlein not only in the classroom, but in the workplace as well. With the aid of Anne Ferrari, associate professor of Psychology at the Mount, Soehnlein would land an internship at Court Consultation Services (CCS), a firm where sentencing advocates work with capital mitigation and sentencing advocacy. As the internship ended, Soehnlein was asked to remain as an employee.

“Being offered a job of this kind from CCS has shown me that hard work pays off, no matter how many obstacles and struggles we face throughout the journey,” she said.

Her responsibilities include coordinating with agencies such as the Social Security Administration, area hospitals, medical centers across the United States, a multitude of school districts and academic academies, and more.

Soehnlein will work the summer as a part-time employee of CCS with the goal of transitioning to full-time in the Fall. She will also be looking into earning a master’s degree or advanced certificate degree in her field.

None of it would have been possible without the aid of Jenifer Lee-Gonyea, professor of Criminology at the Mount, said Soehnlein.

Lee-Gonyea “gave me so much valuable insight and knowledge into the world of criminal justice and criminology,” Soehnlein explained. “She not only presented the course materials in a way that made sense and made real-life connections to the current events in our society, but she added her own personal experiences into what we were being taught, which allowed me to really get an understanding of how the field of criminology really works and that there are a multitude of paths that one can take in the field.”


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