Student Activity

November 2017

Graduate Students to present at ASC Annual Meeting in Philadelphia

The MSU School of Criminal Justice will be well represented at the 2017 American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, November 15-18 in Philadelphia, PA.

Alongside leading scholars in the field of criminology and criminal justice, more than 20 students will attend and present their research on a wide variety of topics that include cyber crime, police legitimacy, terrorism, product counterfeiting, victimization, aggression & delinquency, and community reintegration.

We are very proud of all our students and faculty attending and presenting at ASC!

Elizabeth Adams – Understanding Female Offender’s Child-Centered Motivations and Behaviors in Relation to Neighborhood Crime

Kylei Brown – Intimate Partner Homicide Offenders and Victims: Histories of Justice System Involvement

James Carr – Civilian Assessments of Risk and Vulnerability to Police

Yi Ting Chua – Understanding Changes in Beliefs among Members in Online Extremist Web Forums

Gio Circo – Exploring the Spatial Distribution of Shooting Incidents

Alison Cox – Managing Barriers to Visitation: A Mixed-Methods Examination of Family Members of Prisoners

Kathleen Darcy – Staff Sexual Misconduct of Women on Parole: A Call for Trauma-Informed Practices and Policies

Greg Drake – Evaluating the Effects of the Blue Courage Police Training Program

Christine Kwiatkowski – Intimate Partner Homicide Offenders and Victims: Histories of Justice System Involvement

Jin Ree Lee – An Examination of Sexting and Nonconsensual Pornography Involvement Through Perception Analysis

Carrie Li – Fear of Crime and Victimization

Rebecca Malinski – Routine Activities Theory and Cyberbullying

Michelle Malkin – Transgender Prison Housing Policies: State by State Compliance with PREA

Mikaela Wallin – Judicial Decision-Making and Firearm Removal on Civil Domestic Violence Protection Orders

April 2017

Senior Madeline MacLean presents research at TEDxMSU Photo of Madge MacLean

In her research, Madeline sought to understand which mass shootings make it into the national television news, hypothesizing that certain characteristics of mass shootings, such as whether they took place in public, make them more newsworthy than others.

Focusing on all of the mass shootings that took place between 2009 and 2014, she found that the majority of them were not reported in the national television news. At TEDx MSU in April, she discussed how the characteristics of those mass shootings differ from the ones that do make the national news, and discusses how this skewed picture might impact our perceptions of risk. This research was conducted under the mentorship of Associate Professor April Zeoli.

February 2017

Forensic Science Masters students present at AAFS

A number of Forensic Science Masters students, alumni, and faculty presented their research at the American Academy of Forensic Science’s 69th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Thank you for representing MSU so well!

Analyses of Necrobiome Structure and Function for Utility in Forensic Science
Heather R. Jordan, PhD*; Zachary M. Burcham, BS; Jeffrey L. Bose, PhD; Jennifer L. Pechal, PhD; Jason Rosch, PhD; Carl J. Schmidt, MD; M. Eric Benbow, PhD

An Analysis of Forensic Scientists’ Job Stress and Satisfaction
David R. Foran, PhD*; Kristie Blevins, PhD; Ruth Waddell Smith, PhD

An Autopsy Fingerprint Technique Using Fingerprint Powder
Lee Morgan*; Marty Johnson, PhD; Jered B. Cornelison, PhD; Carolyn V. Isaac, PhD; Joyce L. deJong, DO; Joseph A. Prahlow, MD (Poster)

A Transition Analysis of Pediatric Fracture Repair Stages
Nicholas V. Passalacqua, PhD*; Michael W. Kenyhercz, PhD; Diana L. Messer, MS

Changing the Mentorship Paradigm: Survey Data and Interpretations From Forensic Anthropology Practitioners
Allysha P. Winburn, MA*; Audrey L. Scott, PhD; Cate E. Bird, PhD; Sean D. Tallman, PhD

Comparing the Response of Portable Hydrocarbon Detectors to Laboratory Analysis of Household Substrates
Jamie M. Baerncopf, MS; Carl Anuszczyk, MS

Concentrated Four-Point Bending and Fracture Behavior in the Human Femora
Mariyam I. Isa, BS*; Todd W. Fenton, PhD; Patrick E. Vaughan, BS; Feng Wei, PhD; Roger C. Haut, PhD

Coupled Microbiome and Insect Evidence in Death Investigation
M. Eric Benbow, PhD*; Jennifer L. Pechal, PhD; Heather R. Jordan, PhD; McKinley Brewer, BS; Carl J. Schmidt, MD

Digging Up the Past — An Atypical Medical Examiner’s Case
Haley K. Scott, BSc*; Joseph T. Hefner, PhD; Philip R. Croft, MD, JD

Forensic Implications of Multi-Species Blow Fly Larval Masses and Their Associated Microbiomes
Courtney Weatherbee, BS*; Jennifer L. Pechal, PhD; McKinley Brewer, BS; Trevor I. Stamper, PhD; M. Eric Benbow, PhD

Internal Microbial Community Translocation Throughout Decomposition in a Controlled Vertebrate Model
Zachary M. Burcham, BS*; Jennifer L. Pechal, PhD; Jason Rosch, PhD; Jeffrey L. Bose, PhD; Carl J. Schmidt, MD; M. Eric Benbow, PhD; Heather R. Jordan, PhD

Introducing the Macromorphoscopic Databank (MaMD): A Data Collection and Analytical Tool for the Analysis of Macromorphoscopic Trait Data
Joseph T. Hefner, PhD*; Amber M. Plemons, MA

Long-Term Observer Error, Observer Experience, and the Value of Trait Standardization in Macromorphoscopic Trait Analysis
Kelly R. Kamnikar, MA*; Joseph T. Hefner, PhD (Poster)

Observer Error and Its Impact on Ancestry Estimation Using Dental Morphology
Donovan M. Adams, MS*; Marin A. Pilloud, PhD; Heather J.H. Edgar, PhD; Joseph T. Hefner, PhD

Postmortem Microbiome Changes During Thaw for Autopsy: Two Pediatric Case Studies
Jennifer L. Pechal, PhD*; Carl J. Schmidt, MD; Heather R. Jordan, PhD; McKinley Brewer, BS; M. Eric Benbow, PhD

Storage Conditions and Time Alter the Association of Known and Questioned Soil Evidence Derived Via Next Generation Bacterial DNA Profiles
Alyssa J. Badgley, MS*; David R. Foran, PhD

The Challenges of Comparative Radiography in the Developing Skeleton
Carolyn V. Isaac, PhD*; Jered B. Cornelison, PhD; Joseph A. Prahlow, MD

The Development of a Characterization Scheme for Emerging Synthetic Phenethylamines
Alexandria Anstett, BS*; David Alonso, PhD; A. Daniel Jones, PhD; Ruth Waddell Smith, PhD (Poster)

The Recovery of Mitochondrial and Nuclear Touch DNA From Spent Cartridge Casings
Emily R. Heinz, BS*; David R. Foran, PhD

The Role of Stigma in the Medicolegal Investigation of Unidentified Persons
Cate E. Bird, PhD*; Jaime D. Sykes, BA; Jason D.P. Bird, PhD

The Short-Term Effects of Surface and Subsurface Burial on DNA From Human Skeletal Remains
Brianna B. Bermudez, BS*; David R. Foran, PhD

The Skeletal Trauma Casework of Walter H. Birkby, PhD: Setting a Standard for Future Generations
Todd W. Fenton, PhD*; Caitlin C.M. Vogelsberg, MS; Jennifer M. Vollner, PhD

*Presenting author

October 2016

Doctoral student Rachel Boratto to speak at ABCG conference

Doctoral student Rachel Boratto has been involved in a two-year pilot project funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society and its partners, working to identify the key drivers behind urban bushmeat consumption in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo.

Getting Consumers to Care: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Urban Bushmeat Demand in Congo will be presented Tuesday, October 11 at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC.

She and other featured speakers will discuss the interdisciplinary framework of that project at the African Biodiversity Collaborative Group seminar, and will present preliminary criminology, social, and market research results which will be used to develop a media behavior change campaign.

July 2016

Esbeydy Villegas at 2016 NEA Joint Conference on Concerns of Minorities and Women

Criminal Justice junior Esbeydy Villegas recently participated in a panel discussion on racial justice in education at the 2016 National Education Association’s Joint Conference on Concerns of Minorities and Women. Ms. Villegas is a College Assistance Migrant Program scholar, and has a unique perspective into the issues faced by minority or migrant students.

Learn more at MSU Today, or listen to the panel discussion HERE.

May 2016

Robert Peacock publishes article in Public Administration and Development

Doctoral student Robert Peacock and co-author Gary Cordner (Kutztown University) recently published “Shock Therapy” in Ukraine: A Radical Approach to Post-Soviet Police Reform in a special issue of Public Administration and Development. The issue was devoted to the politics and management of policing reforms in newly industrialized, industrializing and developmental states.

Robert Peacock and Gary Cordner serve as advisers on the stand up of the new National Police of Ukraine.

February 2016

Forensic Science students and alumni present at AAFS

Several Forensic Science Masters students, alumni, and faculty presented papers and posters at the 68th Annual American Academy of Forensic Science in Las Vegas, Nevada. Congratulations on a successful conference!

Characterization of Synthetic Phenethylamines Using High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry. Alexandria Anstett, BS*; Fanny Chu, MS; Ruth Waddell Smith, PhD

Differentiation of Cathinone Isomers Using High Resolution Collision-Induced Dissociation Mass Spectrometry (CID-MS). Cynthia Kaeser, BS*; A. Daniel Jones, PhD; Ruth Waddell Smith, PhD

Differentiation of Commercial Ammunition Sources of Unburned and Corresponding Burned Smokeless Powders based on Chemical Composition using Mass Spectrometry and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Kristen L. Reese, BA*; A. Daniel Jones, PhD; Ruth Waddell Smith, PhD

Elemental Composition of Tattoo Inks as an Identification Tool. Trevor Curtis, BS*; John Buchweitz, PhD; Ruth Waddell Smith, PhD

Examining the Factors Affecting Forensic Scientists’ Job Stress and Satisfaction. Thomas J. Holt, PhD*; Kristie R. Blevins, PhD; Ruth Waddell Smith, PhD; David R. Foran, PhD

Mathematically Modeling Chromatograms of Evaporated Ignitable Liquids for Fire Debris Applications. Rebecca J. Brehe, BS; John W. McIlroy, PhD; Ruth Waddell Smith, PhD*; Victoria L. McGuffin, PhD

Missing Data Imputation Methods Using Morphoscopic Traits and Their Performance in the Estimation of Ancestry. Michael W. Kenyhercz, PhD*; Nicholas V. Passalacqua, PhD; Joseph T. Hefner, PhD

Spatial Analysis on a Global Scale: Cranial Non-Metric Trait Variability. Joseph T. Hefner, PhD*; Caitlin C.M. Vogelsberg, MS

The Interpretation of Human Pediatric Cranial Fracture Patterns Using Experimentally Generated Porcine Ground-Truth Data. Jennifer M. Vollner, MS*; Caitlin C.M. Vogelsberg, MS; Patrick E. Vaughan, BS; Todd W. Fenton, PhD; Steven C. Clark, PhD; Roger C. Haut, PhD

Understanding the Role of Contact Area in Adult Cranial Fracture Variation. Mariyam I. Isa, BS*; Todd W. Fenton, PhD; Patrick E. Vaughan, BS; Roger C. Haut, PhD

*Presenting author

November 2015

SCJ Graduate Students present at ASC

The MSU School of Criminal Justice was well represented at the 2015 American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting held November 18-21 in Washington, DC.

Alongside leading scholars in the field of criminology and criminal justice, more than 20 students attended to present their research on a wide variety of topics that included cyber crime, police legitimacy, terrorism, product counterfeiting, victimization, aggression & delinquency, and community reintegration.

We are very proud of all our students and faculty that attended and presented at ASC!

Elizabeth Adams – Mothers Under Community Supervision: The Effect of Parent-Related Motivations on Recidivism

Yi Ting Chua – Understanding the Process of Becoming a Successful Carder: Knowledge and Risk Avoidance Techniques

Alison Colby – A Quest for Knowledge and Belonging: Family Members Breaking Down Barriers to Visitation

Greg Drake – Michigan State Police Smart Policing Initiative

Marva Goodson – A Test of General Strain Theory: Female Offenders’ Abuse History and Continued Substance Use (presentation); Delinquent Girls’ Prior, Current, and Future Self Perceptions and Perceived Changes in Social Roles (poster)

Jina Lee – The deterrent effect of transferring juvenile offenders to adult court on recidivism: A review of empirical research; The effects of criminal sanctions for intimate partner violence: A meta-analysis of individual level effects (with Christopher Maxwell and Joel Garner)

Sung Lee – The Impact of Prisonization on Korean Inmates: Deprivation and Importation Model Perspective

Carrie Li – A Qualitative Study on Comparison of Pre- and Post-separation Intimate Partner Violence Against Women

Lauren Magee – Gunshot Wound Severity in Fatal and Non-Fatal Shootings

Rebecca Malinski – Theorizing Cyberbullying: A Preliminary Review of Theoretical Tests of Cyberbullying Behavior (poster)

Seung Paek – The Effects of Fear of Crime and Perception of Risk on Constrained Behaviors

Alec D’Annunzio student rep at Washington Center Academic Seminar

Photo of Alec D'AnnunzioUndergraduate Criminal Justice and Political Science dual major student Alec D’Annunzio was selected to be a student representative attending the Washington Center National Political Convention Academic Seminar in July 2016.

Alec is interested in criminal justice procedures and policies as they relate to the U.S. Constitution as well as analyzing similarities and differences among political partisan behaviors, both inside and outside of government institutions. He hopes to pursue a Masters of Public Policy at MSU and eventually go on to Law School. Alec is interested in a career in law enforcement at the federal level or practicing law from as a prosecutor.

The Washington Center’s National Convention Academic Seminar is of great interest to him because it grants a perfect opportunity to rigorously examine the underpinnings of the political process as an active participant and further his education about the history and function of the conventions within the democratic process itself through educational seminars. The program will also allow a rare opportunity to engage as a reflective and critical participant in thought-provoking discussions with the nation’s preeminent political and media figures. Alec is most excited to participate in one of the most important events in the presidential nomination process, the political convention.

October 2015

Youth Advancement Through Athletics (YATA)

Photo of Marva GoodsonMarva Goodson is the co-founder and director of Youth Advancement Through Athletics (YATA). Under the guidance of Dr. William Davidson, Ph.D and Sean Hankins, MSW, the project provides 12-week strength-based mentorships, athletic opportunities, career building activities, and community engagement to 12-15 Lansing boys who attend a court-run high school. Participants are placed at Ingham Academy due to a range of behavioral errors including truancy, fighting, non-compliance with probationary requirements, and/or additional petitions within the juvenile court.

The multi-faceted youth development program is designed to reduce truancy, promote self-advocacy, and reinforce academic achievement by attacking 3 domains of the YLS/CMI, the risk assessment tool utilized by 30th Judicial Circuit Court, Family Division. During its five year of service, Marva Goodson and Jayme Danzig have facilitated the professional growth of approximately 50 undergraduate student-mentors and assisted over 70 youth in their exploration of a wide range of career interest. The broader impacts of the project are evident in the positive interactions witnessed between juvenile court officers, who work in the school, and participating youth. YATA provides a platform for the students to showcase strengths in an environment that is traditionally punitive.

Undergraduate students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply for the mentorship opportunity. Each mentor will enroll in a corresponding course that explores the history and structure of the juvenile justice system, criminological and psychological theories of deviance, and provides each mentor with goal-driven case guidance. The application deadline is October 15, 2015. Please visit for more information. Interested applicants should email their resumes to Marva Goodson at

September 2015

Annual Forensic Science Apple Picking and BBQ

Students and faculty enjoyed a beautiful day of apple picking and good food at the Annual Forensic Science Apple Picking and Barbecue event.

Presentation at Gender Mainstreaming Seminar in Tanzania

Photo of Michael ContehDoctoral student Michael Conteh spoke at the 2015 Gender Mainstreaming Seminar in Arusha, Tanzania, stating that leadership is a critical component in attaining gender equality in the military.The week-long seminar was a joint venture of the U.S. Army with military and civilian entities from 16 African nations, and was co-hosted by U.S. Army Africa and the Tanzania Peoples Defense Force. The panel discussions centered around gender integration polices and how positive and proactive leadership is crucial to successful integration.

“Leadership is about influencing people to achieve an objective that is important to the leader, the group and the organization,” Conteh said. “A leader is a person who has a vision, and the drive and commitment to achieve that mission.”

“Leadership,” Conteh said, “is about leading, motivating and inspiring others.”