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Prison Break

Aaron Kinzel ’10 Uses Education to Be on the Right Side of the Criminal Justice System

If Aaron Kinzel ’10 was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, it was probably stolen.

At age 5, he was taught to pick locks and steal. Continually surrounded by bad people and bad influences at home, the angry, pot-smoking 15-year-old shoved a teacher at a basketball game one night, and then tangled with police who tried to arrest him. That landed him in the juvenile detention center. From there, he moved on to drugs and guns.

The tipping point for Kinzel came at age 18, when his violent confrontation with police led to a five-felony conviction. He served nearly 10 years in federal prison, but spent some of that time learning. He learned about the legal system. He learned about the cultural stigmas of being a convicted felon. And he learned that he didn’t have to be angry any more.

Turning to education, one prison correspondence class sparked an amazing educational journey that continues to unfold. Now a Siena Heights University graduate on his way to a doctorate, Kinzel is teaching others about the criminal justice system—from his own unique perspective.

Read more . . .

From the President:

Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD, President
Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD, President

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”— Romans 3:23

When Paul wrote this, he didn’t make any exceptions (except for Jesus Christ, of course). In fact, before his conversion to Christianity, Paul was one of the biggest offenders, ruthlessly persecuting the followers of Jesus before his conversion on the road to Damascus.

But God found redemptive qualities in Paul, eventually choosing him to tirelessly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles before his eventual death at the hands of the Romans. What a transformation!

I believe God is still transforming people like Paul today. He certainly believes in redemption, and following His example, so do we here at Siena Heights. In fact, it’s embedded in our mission statement to “respect the dignity of all.”

In this issue, we highlight two alumni who were originally on the opposite ends of the criminal justice spectrum, but are now championing efforts to improve the system—and those in it—from the inside out.

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From the Editor:

Doug Goodnough, Reflections Editor
Doug Goodnough, Reflections Editor

Small Things

I work with such creative people.

By nature, I guess we have to be. As the office that handles many marketing and publications projects for the University, we are asked to come up with all sorts of “fun stuff.” Posters, postcards, brochures, fliers, videos, photos—even logos and a bus wrap from time to time—are part of our day-to-day duties. And, of course, the magazine you are reading.

So when our new dean, Matt Draud, asked me about improving a rather drab entrance-way to the back entrance of the Science Building, my answer was “Sure, let’s see what we can come up with.”

Now, usually with such spaces that have large, concrete block walls, our solution is a graphic printed on either a large poster board or durable PVC (plastic). So when I asked one of my team members, Angie Sieler, to head the project, that was my suggestion.

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From the Alumni Office:

Jenny Engle ’12, ’15/MA<br />Director of Alumni Relations
Jenny Engle ’12, ’15/MA
Director of Alumni Relations

Thankful for so Many Things

As I reflect on my time here at Siena Heights and my last day as the Director of Alumni Relations, I am thankful. I am thankful for many things; amazing colleagues, my Siena education, opportunities for growth and learning, alumni I have had the privilege to serve, students I have met, experiences that have taught me so much, and lessons that I will carry with me everywhere I go. Most of all I am thankful for the friendships I have made and the kindness that has been shown by so many. As graduates and friends of Siena, I am confident that
you can relate to my experience.

I was privileged to be a member of the first cohort of Torchbearers, as part of the Heritage Project. Along with my fellow torchbearers, I explored and discovered so much about The Adrian Dominican Sisters and Siena’s history. This was an experience that I will carry with me down every path in my life’s journey. My hope is that everyone feels as lucky and as accomplished as I do, to have had an education with the influence of Adrian Dominican traditions.

Homecoming 2017 is just around the corner. Plan to come to campus October 13-15. Whether you are interested in the Arts, Academics, Athletics, or looking to connect with old friends, there is sure to be something of interest.

Read more . . .