Makayla Burden Receives Prestigious NIJ Fellowship

October 9, 2023 - JJ Thomas

Makayla Burden, doctoral student in the School of Criminal Justice, has received the National Institute of Justice’s Graduate Research Fellowship – one of the most prestigious fellowships available to doctoral students in the field of Criminal Justice.

Photo of MSU School of Criminal Justice Doctoral Student Makayla BurdenMakayla received the fellowship to support her dissertation research titled "Military Sexual Trauma Experiences of Female Veterans in Michigan." Her research aims to delve deep into the military sexual trauma faced by female veterans and decode the intricate repercussions stemming from sexual harassment and assault in the lives of those who served in the U.S. military.

One of the unique aspects of Makayla's research is her examination of technological aspects (messages, photographs, videos, location tracking, etc.) involved in the sexual violence experienced by female veterans.

“This study will provide much needed insight into the sexual violence inflicted on female service members and what the State of Michigan can do for survivors. Importantly, it provides the opportunity for survivors to feel empowered and supported in the sharing their stories without fear of repercussion.”

In conjunction with veteran affairs agencies across the state of Michigan, Makayla will conduct a comprehensive survey and in-depth interviews with female veterans who wish to share more detailed information about their experiences. Makayla hopes this research will lead to positive change, policy implementation, and support for survivors.