April 22, 2019

Students present at international criminology conference

Four students from the University of Wisconsin-Superior Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Program recently traveled to Baltimore for the 2019 annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). ACJS is an international organization that showcases current scholarly efforts in the fields of criminal justice and criminology.  

Graduating Legal Studies senior Sydney Mastey presented an in-progress research project, “Bridging the Gaps: A Qualitative Analysis of a Victim Assistance Network,” as part of a panel called, “Stalking and Homicide in Intimate Partner Violence.” Mastey interviewed victim service providers from the Superior Police Department, the Douglas County District Attorney’s office, and the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA) to understand and evaluate how Superior and Douglas County meets the needs of victims of intimate partner violence.

Mastey’s project was supervised by her mentor, assistant professor of criminal justice Allison Brooke Willingham. Willingham also presented at the conference; her work, “Head Injuries and Intimate Partner Violence: What We Know, and What We Don’t,” was part of a panel called “Mental Health Issues and Marginalization.” Additionally, Willingham presented “Transgender Victim-Survivors: Evidence-Based Practices for Effective Victim Services,” as part of a panel called “Victimization and Resilience in LGBTQ+ Communities.”

The trip to ACJS this year was supported by funding from Alpha Phi Sigma and the Pre-Law Society. Legal Studies and Criminal Justice students Autumn Bass, Kahley Kallberg, and Edriana Dennard accompanied Mastey and Willingham to the conference.

“Before attending the ACJS conference in Baltimore, I had never been to a conference that large and diverse,” said Bass. “Being able to see the amount of people, even at an international level, who are interested in bettering the criminal justice system through research and collaboration was a really cool experience.”

“The most impactful part of the ACJS conference was listening to so many different topics and still learning a lot and in some ways being forced to think deeper about things,” said Dennard. “The most memorable moment would have to be watching Sydney present because I've seen all of the hard work that she's put in and it was awesome to see her share some of that hard work in that setting.”

For Mastey, ACJS was an incredible way to end her time at UW-Superior.  

“ACJS was an amazing experience. I loved hearing all the current research and all the different ideas that people had,” said Mastey. “However, my favorite part was getting to present my research. I was so grateful to not only to have a support system there for myself but also a room full of people to share my research with. It was an amazing few days, and I hope students in the future are given the opportunity to attend.”

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