Photo: Dustin Fenstermacher
Molly Montalvo ’19 leads Bucknell students through the prison yard to the classroom where they will meet the inside students
Prison Class Helps Student with Career Prep
Every week during the fall semester, Molly Montalvo ’19 left the tranquil confines of the Bucknell campus and traveled 28 miles to SCI Coal Township, a medium-security prison. Montalvo was the teaching assistant for Experiencing Prison — a new class led by Professor Carl Milofsky that aimed to introduce students to new views on how individuals are shaped and affected by the community around them.

More than a year ago, Montalvo was the first Bucknell student to enter the prison with Milofsky to lay the groundwork for the course. After a successful trial class last spring, Milofsky selected Montalvo to help lead a more intensive course, through the auspices of Temple University’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.

Montalvo, a sociology major and multi-talented thrower for the women’s track and field team, says the Inside-Out Program and the experience of learning with and from the students she has met at the prison has been “one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve had at Bucknell.”

Working with the individuals at SCI Coal Township was especially relevant to her envisioned future career in law enforcement.

“I have been able to see how policy affects real individuals and how my job can translate to creating effective and fair policies,” she says. “It is one thing to do your job and another to understand how your job truly impacts others.” — Haley Mullen ’19