PhD in Criminology, Law and Society

Jordan Kenyon, 2021

Jordan Kenyon

Describe your dissertation, thesis, or capstone (if you completed one):

My dissertation-by-article applies quantitative and qualitative methods to bridge the gap in procedural justice knowledge between policing and corrections. The first paper is a comprehensive literature synthesis that asks what we know about procedural justice and the law enforcement contexts in which that knowledge has developed. The second paper uses a hierarchical ordinal logistic regression model to understand differences in self-reported personal support for procedural justice among municipal patrol officers, sheriffs’ patrol officers, and sheriffs’ jail officers. The third paper applies a phronetic iterative approach to primary and secondary cycle coding of semi-structured interview data to investigate confined individuals’ perceptions of procedurally just treatment by correctional officers.

How did you choose your specific area of study?

I learned a lot from GMU’s undergraduate Criminology, Law and Society (CLS) program but knew there was a lot more to learn before I could effectively lead research and evidence-based policymaking initiatives. Staying at Mason was an easy choice. The opportunities I saw students access through the program (and its unique focus on organizational science) made Mason my first choice for my PhD. Studying at Mason also ensured I’d have continuing access to DC’s unique job market, which ended up being even more important when I decided to shift my studies to part time so I could begin working full time.

How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you?

CHSS offers a unique experience. It is the largest college at Mason and houses an incredible variety of programs. While all three of my degrees are from the same department, that department’s place in CHSS made it easy for me to learn across a broad range of disciplines throughout my time at Mason. That multidisciplinary mindset serves me well in my career as a consultant, a role that also confers constant opportunities to learn from colleagues with different areas of expertise.

Of which accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud?

I’m actually most proud of the things that don’t make it onto a resume or LinkedIn. I’m proud of the relationships I built and nurtured with mentors and mentees. I’m proud of how I managed my time to make the most of the opportunities graduate school offers. Ultimately, I’m most proud of how I’ve already been able to translate my graduate learning into practice through my work as a federal consultant.

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career?

Faculty can be a defining factor in your doctoral experience. I was incredibly lucky to benefit from Dr. Rudes’ mentorship throughout my time at Mason. Her expertise and motivation pushed me to sharpen my thinking through my coursework, comprehensive exams, and dissertation. I fell in love with research from the moment we began working together when I was an undergraduate student in the 2013 CLS Honors Seminar, and it has been a privilege to continue learning from her each year since. I am eternally grateful for her mentorship and the many research—and life—lessons she has taught me.

What advice would you give to an incoming cohort of graduate students?

I encourage students to plan for change. The things that pull us toward graduate education aren’t always what sustain us through it. When I began my graduate journey, I imagined it would be the start of a career in academia. As I gained exposure to other career paths, I realized there were a variety of ways to pursue what I was most passionate about. Revisiting my initial assumptions about the career I wanted enabled me to make the most of my time in graduate school and balance it more effectively with the start of my career.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

I’m driven by a desire to apply data and technology to support public service missions and have been very lucky to do that over the past five years as a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton. As a Senior Lead Scientist, I have led a variety of projects focused on data strategy, analytics, statistical process improvement, and evidence-based policy. More recently, I’ve joined Booz Allen’s team of scientists and engineers studying cutting-edge quantum computing, communication, and sensing technologies. I’m excited to continue finding new ways to contribute to critical federal data and technology strategies as my career continues to evolve.