MA in Sociology

Shannon Jacobsen, 2012

Shannon Jacobsen

I received both my BA (in Integrative Studies, 2009) and MA (in Sociology, 2012) from Mason, and my PhD in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University in 2018. Since then, I have been a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies at Drexel University.

My research utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the intersections of gender, race, and class in violence and victimization; perceptions of risk and fear of crime; and crime on college and university campuses. It was my work as an undergraduate and graduate student at Mason that initially helped me explore these interests. As a senior, Dr. Karen Rosenblum got me involved with the university-wide Ethnography of Diversity project, which was a study undertaken by undergraduate, graduate student, and faculty researchers who were all interested in investigating the meaning of diversity on campus in a variety of ways. Through the use of interviews and focus groups, I chose to examine students’ perceptions of safety on campus and the ways in which those perceptions were (and were not) gendered. This project became the basis of my master’s thesis, as well as peer-reviewed articles that were published in Deviant Behavior and the Journal of Criminal Justice Education soon after.

My dissertation research at Rutgers further expanded on these issues by looking at how the campus setting – and specifically, the suburban versus urban context – influences gendered perceptions of fear and risk on campus. I was interested not only in the implications that these perceptions had on the perpetuation of gender inequality within institutions of higher education themselves, but also in the broader society beyond the university setting. I am currently working on several publications and projects that are related to this research.

In addition to this research, I coauthored the second edition of the book, The Gender of Crime (with Dana M. Britton and Grace E. Howard), and have published my work in various journals, including Race, Gender, and Class; Innovative Higher Education; and Gender & Society, among others. Before starting my position at Drexel, I was a Lecturer of Criminology in the Department of Sociology at the College of William & Mary. I regularly teach courses on criminology, gender and crime, victimology, and statistics. Although I am primarily interested in issues related to gender, crime, and victimization, it is clear that sociology provided an integral foundation for my current research interests and continues to function as a lens for me in my daily work as a teacher and as a scholar.