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Student Spotlight: Melissa Smith '15Ph.D.

Criminal Justice

Melissa Smith 
Our research with the New Haven P.D. was presented at the American Society of Criminology Conference and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Conference.
About Melissa

I am originally from Noble, Okla. I received my bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Oklahoma and my master's degree in criminal justice management and administration from the University of Central Oklahoma. I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven. My specialization in the Ph.D. program at the University of New Haven is victimology and corrections.

Why did you choose the University of New Haven and what attracted you to your graduate program?

I chose the University of New Haven because it is an institution that is well known for its criminal justice program and for professors who possess experience in the field. Additionally, I was offered a research assistantship for my first year, which was an opportunity that was very important to me.

How have your experiences at the University of New Haven helped prepare you for your desired career path?

I have had the opportunity to work with several professors on papers for publication in academic journals. This has been an invaluable experience as a student in a Ph.D. program. Furthermore, during my second year at the University of New Haven, I was awarded a teaching fellowship. This, too, is a great opportunity for me to advance my skills as an educator, and it has prepared me for teaching at the university level.

Tell us about a memorable hands-on learning experience such as a class project, applied research or an internship that you have participated in.

Under the supervision of Dr. Chris Sedelmaier, Tracy Tully, a fellow Ph.D. candidate, and I were given opportunity to conduct research with the New Haven Police Department. Tracy and I were then able to present our research at the American Society of Criminology Conference and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Conference.

What are your post-graduation plans?

After receiving my Ph.D., I plan to teach at the university level and continue my research career.