My thesis focused on understanding citizen perceptions in a rural area. I wanted to see if concepts relating to collective efficacy and procedural justice generalize well to a non-urban area. I worked with Dr. Gill, Dr. Yang, and Dr. Houston and they were absolutely excellent and encouraged me to think outside the box.
I chose Mason's MA/PhD program for two specific reasons. The first reason is because of the relationships I established with professors during my undergrad. Mason's faculty is one of the most caring and these relationships mattered a great deal to me. The second reason is due to the program's focus on both theory and practice. Some criminology programs focus heavily on one or the other without a lot of room for movement and it was important to me that my research has both theory and practice implications.
My favorite class in the program has been Evidence-Based Crime Policy with Dr. Lum. I learned so much about criminology in such a short amount of time and Dr. Lum is very empowering for her students. Her ability to break down complex information is unmatched and I still find myself referring to her briefs.
My piece of advice for incoming students is to ask questions and speak up. One of the best ways I got familiar with theories was by talking to others in my cohort and asking questions during class.
The accomplishment I am most proud of has been being the first in my family to graduate with an undergraduate and graduate degree.
I am currently in the process of obtaining my PhD. I am in the MAP phase at the moment and hope to submit that for the February 2022 deadline.