Natalie Hollis: 2024 Outstanding Senior

April 22, 2024

Photo of Natalie Hollis in front of Beaumont Tower on MSU's campusNatalie Hollis has been named the 2024 Criminal Justice Outstanding Senior in recognition of their academic achievements, involvement in student groups, and professional development activities while a student at MSU.


What interested you in studying criminal justice?

When I first started at MSU, my academic direction wasn't entirely clear. However, I’ve always been interested in Criminal Justice, particularly the complexities surrounding the juvenile justice system. The unique challenges faced by young offenders – both in terms of their psychological development and the potential for rehabilitation – ignited a passion within me to explore more effective intervention and recidivism prevention methods.


What else are you studying in addition to Criminal Justice? Have you participated in any extracurricular activities as an undergrad?

I have an additional major in Psychology and a minor in LGBTQ+ and Sexuality Studies.

During my time at MSU, I have been involved in two research opportunities: one with the Adolescent Development in the Justice System Lab and one with the Clinical Psychophysiology Lab. I have also been a member of Alpha Phi Sigma, The National Criminal Justice Honors Society, Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Tabletop Games club here at MSU. Additionally, I have been a resident assistant in the West Circle neighborhood for the past two years and a mentor through the Honors Peer Navigator program.


How does it feel to receive the Outstanding Senior Award?

Receiving this award is truly humbling. It came as a complete surprise, and I'm incredibly grateful for this recognition. This achievement wouldn't be possible without the unwavering support of my family, friends, and the exceptional faculty at MSU.


How has the School of Criminal Justice helped you?

The School of Criminal Justice has helped me significantly during my undergraduate studies. Their support has opened up numerous avenues for me to delve into various career options, aiding me greatly in discerning my post-graduation plans. Moreover, they've broadened my horizons by exposing me to diverse viewpoints and providing ample opportunities for personal development and growth. I'm truly grateful for the invaluable contributions the School of Criminal Justice has made to both me and my peers.


Do you have any recommendations for current or prospective students?

My best advice for current or prospective students is to not shy away from new opportunities. Trying new things like finding a mentor or joining clubs that match your interests can not only help make your college experience more exciting but also teach you skills and help you network, setting you up for future success!