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Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice Student involvement

Much of the success of the Institute is built on the tireless work of our highly skilled graduate students. Although trained and supervised by faculty, each student member assists and often leads an Institute project during the course of their tenure. Student members assist in data gathering, analysis, publication and grant writing. They are encouraged to work directly with Washington State Criminal Justice Agencies and often utilize Institute data and projects as part of their dissertation.

Mia Abboud M.A. – Senior Research Associate

Mia Abboud is a second year Ph.D. student at WSU. Her current institute projects include the evaluation of WADOCs offender programs and managing the repository of evidence-based practices through the Evidence-Based Practices Provisio, working with the Spokane Regional Law and Justice Council (SRLJC) to meet research needs and and the development of WADOCs offender risk assessment system (STRONG-R). Her work to date has focused on program and policy evaluation, with emphasis on treatment courts and correctional programming.

Chyla Aguiar, M.A. – Senior Research Associate

Chyla Aguiar is in her third year at WSU, pursuing her Ph.D. Her primary institute project involves a process and outcome evaluation of Washington State’s Parenting Sentencing Alternative. The intervention allows for the early release of primary guardians in an effort to reestablish their lives and relationships with their children. She is currently surveying stakeholders and analyzing outcome data.

Courtney Bagdon, M.A.

Courtney Bagdon is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate at WSU. Her current institute project involves working with faculty to examine how work takes place in a prison environment and how inmate work and work environment may relate to various positive work and prosocial outcomes. Her research interests include institutional corrections, rehabilitative programs, prisoner reentry, prison and criminal subcultures, juvenile delinquency and prevention, and correctional facility design.

Eunsuhk Choi, M.A.

Eunsuhk Choi is in her second year at WSU, pursuing her Ph.D. Currently, she is examining functionality of Washington State’s risk assessment instruments, STRONG-R and PACT. Her work to date focused on risk assessment, sex offending, sexual violence victim support models, and community policing.

Elizabeth Drake, M.A.

Elizabeth Drake has professional experience conducting outcome evaluations, meta-analysis, and benefit-cost analysis in adult and juvenile corrections. Beth received her M.A. from Washington State University in 2000. After 15 years of applied research experience, she is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology at WSU. Her current institute projects include the development of adult and juvenile offender typologies as part of the STRONG and PACT series. Her research interests include corrections, crime control policies, evidence-based public policy, quantitative research methods, and outcome evaluation.

Melissa Kowalski, M.A.

Melissa has professional experience working with both youth and adults involved in the criminal justice system. Melissa received her M.A. in forensic psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2014. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in criminal justice and criminology at WSU. Her research interests include corrections, youth crime, the influence of trauma on offending, and gender differences in criminal offending.

Nick Pimley, M.A. – Senior Research Associate

Nick Pimley is a third year Ph.D. candidate at WSU. His current institute project investigates the use of early release dates and their effect on various recidivism outcomes. His current research examines the impact of body-worn camera implementation on the rates of cases accepted for prosecution.

Brianne Posey, M.S. – Senior Research Associate

Brianne is in her first year in the Ph.D. program at WSU in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her research interests are juvenile delinquency, violent crime, gender and crime, and community corrections. Her current projects involve working with a team of researchers to examine findings from the statewide implementation of Washington State’s Swift and Certain (SAC) program. Additionally, she works with fellow faculty members to assess the current internal operations and outcomes of four programs offered by the Washington State Department of Corrections: Co-occurring Inpatient and Intensive Outpatient Treatment, Anger Control Training/Alternatives to Aggression, Moral Reconation Therapy and Moving On.

Youngki Woo, M.A.

Youngki Woo is in his third year at WSU, pursuing his Ph.D. Currently he is examining social support factors as they relate to recidivism and behavioral changes for inmates. His research provides a comparative focus between Washington State offenders and a similar sample gathered from Korea.