My name is Ember Milstead, and since my junior year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dr. Jeffrey Ulmer and Dr. Gary Zajac as a paid research assistant for Penn State’s CJRC. Presently, I am assisting them with a study on the demographic and prosecutorial factors which may influence homicide prosecution in the great state of Pennsylvania.
From working as an undergraduate research assistant with the help of graduate students Marjan Davoodi and Kerby Goff, I have exponentially increased my knowledge on being a researcher and topics related to Criminal Justice and Criminology.
Working as an assistant researcher for Dr. Ulmer, Dr. Zajac, and the Criminal Justice Research Center has been an immensely academically enriching experience that I would recommend to any student with interest in real world application of Criminology and Criminal Law.
Completing research with Dr. Ulmer has been a great opportunity…I have gained real-life experience in the Criminology field. Being able to work with a faculty member and gain insight into a new subject matter…has been invaluable.
My academic and professional growth is attributable to my experience as an assistant researcher for the Criminal Justice Research Center, where I gained hands-on experience during my undergraduate education at Penn State. This experience significantly helped me during my graduate program search and aided my understanding of what type of career best fit my professional and personal interests.
Interning at SCI Rockview in their Reentry Services allowed me to expand my interests into parole and probation, eventually teaching two classes to inmates in a course myself and a fellow intern developed. The connections I made with professors at PSU and staff at SCI Rockview were invaluable, and I highly encourage everyone to explore as many options as possible through academic or internship involvement.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to research within the Criminal Justice Research Center and am currently using some of the data to supplement my thesis, which focuses on the importance of reentry programs on reducing recidivism rates.
I was able to conduct research through the McNair Scholars Program with Dr. Derek Kreager to analyze the role that fatherhood may play in the reentry process for men with substance abuse issues. I hope to continue my research with incarcerated and recently released populations as I pursue a doctoral degree upon completion of my undergraduate studies.
The Criminal Justice Research Center strives to provide the students of Penn State’s SOC/CRIM Department with a variety of experiential learning opportunities that will allow you to grow personally and professionally. An important part of the college experience is developing the skills to become effective leaders, successful graduates, and competitive professionals.
Outreach and Enrichment provides resources for undergraduates in the areas of career information, internship and employment opportunities, mentoring, info and networking events, and study abroad. We collaborate with agency partners, alumni, faculty, and the Career Enrichment Network to continually provide these exciting opportunities!
The Government and Public Sector Career Expo was a great success! This career exploration event strives to bring together practitioners and researchers to provide opportunities for employment and enrichment to students. Information about next year’s expo will be posted soon!