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Criminal Justice Month Student Profile: Katelin Weldin

Katelin Weldin
Katelin Weldin

For Criminal Justice Month, UA Little Rock is profiling some of its most impressive students in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Meet Katelin Weldin, a first-year student in the Ph.D. program who will graduate in Spring 2026.

What made you decide to pursue criminal justice?

I decided to pursue criminal justice due to my experience working in the criminal justice field. I have had opportunities to work with the Attorney General’s Office and serve as a Magistrate Court judge. These experiences led me to pursue an education in criminal justice, to learn the criminal justice system better, and hopefully to contribute to the system in the future.

What made you choose UA Little Rock?

I chose UA Little Rock because of the diversity of opportunities the Ph.D. program gave me over four years. As a Ph.D. student, it is essential that you can master an assortment of skills, and I believe the program allowed me to work on those skills, which will make me competitive in the future for criminal justice careers.

What opportunities have you gotten through UA Little Rock that you might not have had otherwise?

I am currently working on a federal grant, looking at correctional facilities across Arkansas to provide feedback on facilities. I am also working with faculty to publish literature regarding child abuse crimes and victimization. Furthermore, these projects have supplied me with award opportunities, including a 1,000 grant that I received for research in Fall 2022.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

After graduation, I would like to work for a government agency. Specifically, I hope to work with the department of Indian Bureau Affairs as my interests surround Native Americans.

Do you have any advice for prospective criminal justice students?

Criminal justice is a field that offers a range of career opportunities. The criminal justice system constantly evolves and needs individuals to be there for those changes. If anyone is interested in becoming part of the criminal justice career field, I encourage them to contact people who have experience in the field and reach out to the criminal justice department to see if there are opportunities to participate in to see if it’s something they are interested in pursuing.

Who have been your mentors in Criminal Justice?

One of my mentors that I have for Criminal Justice is Dr. Suzanne Coble. She has supplied me with many learning opportunities and skills I need for my Ph.D. career. Furthermore, she has advocated for me as a student and supported my interests throughout my Ph.D. program.

Other mentors I have regarding the criminal justice system are members of M18 Recovery. This program is to help those who are addicts and have been involved in the criminal justice system in a negative way to be rehabilitated and become productive members of society. The people in this program and who run this program have provided great insight and perspective from a different angle.