Stoltz Receives Summer Presidential Scholar Fellowship

Stoltz Receives Summer Presidential Scholar Fellowship

Megan Stoltz, doctoral student in Criminology, Law and Society, has received a Presidential Scholar Fellowship from the Provost Office to support her research on police effectiveness this summer.

Megan is working on three projects under the supervision of Professors Cynthia Lum and Chris Koper. The first project is an evaluation of a state police intervention designed to reduce traffic fatalities associated with driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances. This project tests the principles of the Koper Curve – which has been shown to maximize deterrence in hot spots of crime – as applied to drunk driving.  Megan will collect and enter data over the summer and then conduct an outcome evaluation comparing treatment and control areas to estimate the program’s impacts on traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities, as well as various forms of crime.

Megan is the lead research assistant on a second project which examines job satisfaction among officers in a local police department. For this project, Megan coordinated and conducted a series of site visits, and helped to design and distribute an online survey that explores topics such as training needs, workplace climate, salary and compensation, promotional aspirations, use of force, perceived support from the public, and emotional health and wellness. Megan will co-author a report to the department’s senior leadership and plans to write academic papers on the results from this study.

For the third project, Megan is examining the factors that inhibit the implementation of effective policing interventions by analyzing the research fidelity of experiments in policing. Using the policing studies collected in the CEBCP’s Evidence-Based Policing Matrix, Megan will analyze the real-world issues that forced researchers to make adjustments to their planned experimental design. The results of this research will demonstrate the difficulty and importance of translating experimental research into policy.

These three projects will help Megan develop new ideas around effective policing that will inform her dissertation plans. She and her supervisors hope they will also help to build and strengthen collaborative relationships between researchers and practitioners and lead to better implementation of evidence-based research.