Criminal Justice Students and Faculty Participate in 14th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

For the past year, several criminal justice faculty members and undergraduate students have worked on research to present their findings at the 14th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS).

The URS has been hosted by the Honors College Ambassadors as a way for undergraduate students to share their research in a multi-disciplinary environment. Students typically conduct funded research for a year and then present their findings at the URS Conference each spring. Each project is funded through a fast grant which is sponsored by the E.U.R.E.C.A Program. The annual URS Conference is a great way for students to network and prepare for graduate school, where students are typically expected to present research in front of large audiences. The program gives students the opportunity to hone in their public speaking skills while preparing them to present research findings to people from various backgrounds.

Though this year’s symposium was subject to some setbacks due to COVID-19, students were still able to conduct and present their research virtually at the URS Conference. This year, the College of Criminal Justice had two students and four faculty members participate in the URS program. With Dr. Connolly and Dr. Cooke supervising Syasya Ismail’s presentation on “Gender and White-Collar Crime”, Dr. Azimi supervising Kelly Martinez’s poster titled “Social Disorganization and Juvenile Delinquency”, and Dr. Vaughn serving as a moderator, the College of Criminal Justice was well represented at this year’s symposium. The students research and presentations were all well received with Kelly Martinez even being recognized with the Dean’s Choice Award for her research on juvenile delinquency.

Dr. Ingram, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, was very excited to see the College of Criminal Justice’s participation in this year’s symposium, saying, “The URS continues to be a great opportunity for our students to gain experience conducting research on important criminal justice issues. The College is grateful to Drs. Azimi, Connolly, and Cooke for mentoring Syasya and Kelly through the research process and to Dr. Vaughn for helping moderate the event. This year the Honors College and Student Ambassadors did a great job navigating COVID-19 challenges to organize and host a virtual event that allowed students to present the results of all their hard work.”

Outside of the opportunity to work on research and public speaking skills, the URS program also provides several awards and scholarships to outstanding students to present their research at various conferences. Students who are interested in research and presenting at future symposiums can register on the URS website.