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Students win scholarship to attend criminology conference

Published 11/8/18

Caitlyn Mooneyham


TNE Writer


The National Institute of Justice offers a scholarship for students to travel and attend national conferences. This scholarship is the Native Student Travel Scholarship, which covers expenses for 12 students. Three students from NSU have received it this year. Two of which are Olivia Augustin and Gemini Creason. They are attending the American Society of Criminology in Atlanta.


“These conferences are an excellent networking opportunity and they introduce students to the most up-to-date research in the fields of criminology and criminal justice,” said Dr. Lasky, Criminology, Justice Studies and Global Security assistant professor. “Olivia will be presenting a poster on the research she has been working on concerning sex trafficking in Oklahoma. This is an incredible opportunity for her.”


Olivia Augustin, Tahlequah senior, believes that sex trafficking is an important topic in Oklahoma. Her research covers  Oklahoma’s state-specific vulnerabilities.


“It is important because Oklahoma has a big population of Native Americans, and unlike other states with Native American populations, we do not have any reservations,” said Augustin. “Native American women are vulnerable because of many social problems and Oklahoma is different because of the jurisdictional issues. Perpetrators are most commonly non-Native individuals and tribal governments rarely have the authority to prosecute them, which leaves a high number of crimes unreported. There needs to be studies and research done to address these issues.”


Dr. Lasky said this is a prestigious award. Students who have received it have been dedicated to their field.


“I am looking forward to getting to meet new people and listen to their research and panels,” said Augustin. “I am eager to find out what is going on in the criminology world today.”


This conference is going to focus on the vast research done in criminology. Researchers are  presenting on a variety of topics, including sexual assault, juvenile delinquency and corrections. It is an opportunity for the students to network with criminology professionals and learn more about the issues happening today in their field.


“I enjoy conducting research projects that force me to think about the issues plaguing the criminal justice system and help supply solutions,” said Gemini Creason, St. Louis graduate student. “Going to conferences is a great way to get inspired. Sometimes you learn about things that you did not know existed or even were problems. In addition, as I’m thinking towards the future and a doctoral program, conferences allow me to network and feel out potential schools and professors.”


Creason has presented at the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice as well as at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. She has also presented for other fields, such as communication studies and languages and literature.


“I was overwhelmed with the knowledge, research, ideas and inspiration the conferences offered me, which is why I continue to go and still get excited about the opportunity,” said Creason.


The American Criminology Conference is Nov. 14-17 in Atlanta.

For more information about the conference or the scholarship, email Dr. Lasky at lasky@nsuok.edu.

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