by JESSICA HOLLAN
Not every university undergrad student has the opportunity to present his or her research to a panel of distinguished members of the criminal justice community. However, that is exactly what a group of Tiffin University students were invited to do.
Tiffin University professors Dr. Liz Victor and Dr. Feng-Mei Law were accompanied by 11 students to present their respective research at the 55th annual Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences convention from Feb. 13-17 in New Orleans, La.
"Being able to present my research with my colleagues was a life changing experience," said Senior Jeff Diez. "It made me realize what I finally want to do with my degree from Tiffin University."
Diez presented on research he had conducted the previous year with classmates Jessica Hollan and Ariana Seanor. The study determined if sexual knowledge had any correlation with opinions on Planned Parenthood and abortion.
"The study found that those who were more knowledgeable on sexual education were more likely to be liberal in their opinions of abortion," Hollan said. "Some of the answers from the education test proved alarming, there is still a lot that needs to be taught in our public education system."
The group went on to note that the alarm sprang from numerous male faculty of a small Midwestern university answering that a woman carrying a child to term would be pregnant for a total of 60 weeks.
"It’s impossible," said Diez. "The woman in question would be pregnant for over a year."
The research conducted proved impressive for the members of the criminal justice community.
"After our presentation the committee chair came up to myself, Jeff [Diez], and Jessica [Hollan] and congratulated us on our research," Seanor said. "He told us that he found our research to be an accurate portrayal and that our presentation was one of his favorites. We are truly grateful."
Despite the somber tone of the presentations the students enjoyed the conference immensely.
"The first time being at a research conference with ACJS was interesting and a new experience," stated Senior Megan Porter. "[I] met so many different people… and learned new things about the career I want to enter."
Fellow researcher Raymond Goodrum agreed.
"Research there was diverse and added new prospective to what I saw research as," said Goodrum. "I learned a lot from my experience and it fuels my already thriving passion for more."
The convention offered great insight to the current problems in the criminal justice field, and the research conducted to solve those problems. As the up-and-comers of the field, the students found it useful to both their education and their futures.
"Research is what I want to do with my life," said Seanor. "Opportunities like these help me prepare."
The trip allowed some time in-between presentations for the students to experience New Orleans.
"We were very lucky to have been able to be in New Orleans during Mardi Gras," said Hollan. "Even though I tripped over Mardi Gras beads about every two steps."
"We went on ghost tours, ate blackened alligator tail, and had beignets at Café Du Monde," she said. "Presenting in New Orleans was such a great experience. I can’t wait to go back."