I received both my BA (in Integrative Studies, 2009) and MA (in Sociology, 2012) from Mason, and I am currently working on my PhD in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, with the goal of ultimately pursuing a career in academia.
As a senior at Mason, 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 (or were not) gendered. This project soon became the basis for my master’s thesis; an article from which is now forthcoming in Deviant Behavior.
My dissertation research at Rutgers further expands on these issues by looking at how the campus setting – and specifically, the suburban versus urban context – influences gendered perceptions of fear and risk. I am interested not only in the implications that these perceptions might have on the perpetuation of gender inequality within institutions of higher education themselves, but also in the broader society beyond the university setting. 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 student, teacher, and scholar.