2023 PURI Awards: Sammi Hernandez

December 6, 2023

What is the title of your research project?

The title of my research project is “The Effect of Memorable Messages” and it will be looking at the messages people on probation and parole get from their probation and parole agent and how it influences them.


What interested you in this research?

I became interested in this research as I find the field of criminal justice to be extremely interesting. While my major is in psychology, my minor is in law, justice, and public policy. I think it’s essential to combine these fields to get a better understanding of how we can help all different sorts of individuals and how to approach people on probation and parole. The system overall needs help, that much is evident from my CJ 101 class, participating in the Adolescent Diversion Program with Mr. Sean Hankins, and from my research work with Professor Merry Morash. I thought that maybe if I could combine my major with my minor, I could make an impact and help these individuals grow, instead of fearing the system. While there are many issues currently, it would surely help to start with how the agents are talking to these individuals.


How will the PURI funds be helpful to your research?

It allows me to focus more on the research instead of my other jobs as I currently work multiple jobs and am involved in many activities on campus.


Do you have any advice for students interested in undergraduate research?

Yes! I think it very important for students who are interested in research to get involved on campus and to talk with their professors or instructors. Michigan State University is a large college, and I feel as if students can find that intimidating, as I once felt as well. However, I noticed that talking to my professors and peers helped me a lot with the opportunities I had been offered and connection I have made. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and be direct.