Lake Erie College students Maria Kisha ‘23 and Lyric Stancliff ’21 will have a chance to present a research project at the American Society of Criminology Annual Conference in November 2021. Their presentation, “Campus Safety”, was inspired by researching ways to help improve security on the Lake Erie College campus.
Kisha and Stancliff first worked together in their First Year Experience course. For their final project, they were tasked with finding a problem on campus, doing research and then presenting a poster covering the issue and a proposed solution. Both of them are criminal justice majors and were drawn to the topic of safety. After the class ended, they were still excited to make a difference with their ideas and started to work with faculty and staff around campus to make it a reality.
“I was curious to see how students perceive their own safety in an open campus environment,” Stancliff explained. “We also noticed differences on our campus compared to other college campuses and wanted to know how students of Lake Erie college felt in regard to their safety on our campus.”
Kisha hopes to be a police officer one day, and sees how this project can prepare her for that role. Their research taught her how campus security works and brought her attention to areas where security could be improved.
Their original study involved a survey of campus to identify security needs, in collaboration with Director of Security Rick Kline. Supervised by their advisor for the project, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Brenda Prochaska, they have redone the survey to get a broader picture of campus safety with hopes of having more student participation for a better sample size. Kisha and Stancliff have also worked with Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dr. Jennifer Swartz Levine and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Bryan DePoy to find research grants for the conference.
“Once we have the data, the students will be working with me to learn how to analyze the data prior to attending the conference,” Prochaska explained. “I attend this conference on a regular basis and as they talked about their excitement I thought they could benefit from the experience, so I asked them if they would like to take it a step further and present it on a national level.”
In a typical year, people from all around the world attend the American Criminological Society Annual Conference to present their research and stay up-to-date in the discipline. Kisha and Stancliff will be presenting their project as a poster presentation among experts in the field of criminal justice. Kisha is looking forward to the conference and how it may lead to future opportunities.
“I think it is so cool that we have this opportunity to be able to share the results of our research,” Kisha said. “I think that it is amazing that Lyric and I have the chance to represent Lake Erie College in this way. In addition, attending the conference with the work I am doing in my research methods course.”