For my dissertation, I created a video-based training program designed to teach youth about their rights when they are stopped or interrogated by police (www.youtube.com/c/katedoylefeingold). I carried out a randomized control trial to test the effectiveness of the video with almost 90 youth from two large cities participating and found that the video helped reduce serious misconceptions and increase comprehension.
I chose the Criminology PhD program at Mason because it is a highly ranked program with strengths across many topic areas, including policing, sentencing, criminal procedure & data analysis.
My advice to incoming graduate students would be to challenge yourself, be ambitious with your work, take risks and look for opportunities to develop and work on impactful research.
Now I am working as an attorney advisor for the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs. I am also helping a filmmaker create a better version of my video to hopefully impact a larger audience.