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Research in Criminology & Justice Studies

At any given time, the research faculty in the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies are actively conducting research across a variety of settings, some funded, others out of pure interest (and with the intent of producing pilot data that can be used for subsequent funding). For example, Robert D’Ovidio, PhD, recently completed a federally funded study of identity theft related to corporate data breaches. Other faculty who have worked on federally funded grants include Lallen Johnson, PhD, who studied police foot patrol, crime and police legitimacy in Philadelphia; Robert Kane, PhD, who completed a randomized controlled trial that examined the effects of the Taser on cognitive functioning; and Jordan Hyatt, PhD, – the department’s newest research faculty member – who is currently working on several federally funded projects, mostly in the areas of juvenile justice and alternatives to long-term (and repeat) incarceration.

Undergraduate Research

Though their research interests are varied, our research faculty share the same goal of including undergraduate students in their research projects. This can be accomplished in a number of ways: Students may take an independent study with a faculty member to work on his/her research project over an academic term; or they may get hired by the faculty member for a research co-op to work on a funded project for an extended period. Students may also work with a faculty member as a Drexel University STAR scholar. Robert Kane, PhD, for example, is working with a STAR scholar during the summer of 2015 on his current book project: "No Justice No Peace: Reconstructing the #Ferguson Rebellion."

The benefits of undergraduate students conducting research with faculty are vast. First, for students with an interest in graduate school, it gives them an opportunity to collect and analyze data as part of an actual research project (often as a member of a larger research team), which makes them more competitive (and competent) during the graduate school application process. Additionally, for all students, conducting research with faculty more fully develops their knowledge of research methods, analysis, and a specialized substantive area (e.g., policing, technology and crime, urban victimization, etc.), which enhances their overall educational experience. Finally, students who work on faculty research project typically become more engaged with their academic department, leading to productive working relationships with faculty outside the classroom, and more detailed (and positive) letters of recommendation upon graduation.

Students interested in conducting research with our faculty members should contact either the Criminology and Justice Studies Program Coordinator Mica Storer at mls46@drexel.edu, or individual faculty members.