COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Expected date of graduation: 2022
Shawn Enright is known by his professors as a kind and extraordinarily driven student with a passion for social justice. As a Navy veteran, Shawn has a concern for his fellow veterans and has gone out of his way to help them navigate the ropes to re-entry into civilian life. As a student, Shawn questions his role in the world and how he may be of service to those who have similar experiences to his own.
Shawn selected his major in sociology after taking his first sociology class in college. In this class, he connected to many of the topics which were discussed, such as the loss of normalcy and regulation in one’s life. It was this connection which sparked Shawn’s interest in the criminal justice system. He has since then devoted himself to being an advocate and a resource for those who are marginalized and in need of help.
Here, Shawn discusses the research he's conducted at Loyola and what he hopes to do with his degree.
Are you involved in any community service or extracurricular activities? What have those experiences meant to you?
I spent time at the Howard Area Community Center, where I volunteered to help create a new re-entry program for people coming out of a carceral setting. It was centered on social reintegration. When I got out of the Navy and took my first sociology class, that’s the one thing that stuck out to me—who are the other people who experience this type of confusion and loss of who you are, where you're supposed to be, and how to fit in? I knew that veterans obviously feel that way, but they get a lot of benefits and have access to resources. That’s when I realized people coming out of carceral setting have no resources but feel the same way. So it’s meant a lot to try and help people who feel the same way as I did.
What are you planning to do with your degree? How has Loyola prepared you for your future goals?
I want to continue working in re-entry. I want to ensure people can break the cycle of recidivism in the prison system. Loyola has helped prepare me for that through my capstone research, which is centered around looking at how long after release from a carceral setting one has to find employment before their likelihood of returning to a carceral setting increases. It’s about looking at the employment opportunities, or the lack thereof, for people with felony backgrounds. It's meant to show that we need better programs for people returning from prison. In order for them to succeed and stay out of the prison system, they need to have autonomy, and autonomy comes largely from employment. My research reflects what I hope to do with my degree.