Chinese exchange students from the Zhejiang Police College swept the awards at the Undergraduate Research Conference at the College of Criminal Justice with research posters and papers studying emerging crime issues in the United States and their native country.
The winning research paper by Tong Ni explored why the floating population in China, defined as those who have not migrated from another country and will not become part of a permanent settled group, commits crime. The study would use the perspective of anomie and strain to explain why this transient population accounts for more than 68 percent of criminal offenders in China. Her faculty advisor was Dr. Phillip Lyons.
A research poster by Shu Cang and Yingyu Le compared the self-reporting of victimization and reporting crimes to police among school-aged students in China and the United States. While victimization, including robbery/extortion, assault, theft and bullying, is higher in the United States, Chinese students are less likely to report the problems to police, the study found. The team was advised by Dr. Ling Ren.
"Both of the winning projects were excellent pieces of research that were well thought out and would make a contribution to the field," commented Dr. Holly Miller, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs at the College of Criminal Justice.
The Undergraduate Research Conference, which is in its third year, was created to give criminal justice students an opportunity to show off their research and presentation skills, which are in high demand in the job market. It also allows students to test the water to further their education through graduate studies or law school.
A total of 22 students presented 10 papers and six posters as part of the competition, which provided scholarships ranging from $200 to $500. In addition to the scholarship, the students were recognized at the Honors Convocation on April 28.
Among the other winners were:
- Second place. Minming Chen for “Asian's Attitudes toward the Police and Fear of Crime, and Victimization in Houston: A Comparative Study.” Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jihong (Solomon) Zhao.
- Third place. Haibo Zhang, Xue Zhang, and Shuye Xie on “Exploring Asian Drug Crime in America.” Faculty Advisor: Dr. Melissa Tackett-Gibson.
- Second place. Kexin Lie and Jun Wu on “The Relationship Between Attitude and Use of Marijuana: A Longitudinal Study of Eighth Grade Students.” Faculty Advisor: Dr. Steven Cuvelier
- Third place. Zhanhong Guo and Qing Lin on “Police Practices in China and Texas: A Comparative View.” Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mitchel Roth
The winning students are part of an exchange program with Zhejiang Police College in Hangzhou, China. For the second consecutive year, 16 police cadets from China will spend their junior year at SHSU learning about the criminal justice field, while faculty from SHSU will go to China to instruct classes at the police college.
In addition to presentations by the Chinese students, the Undergraduate Conference featured other research from College of Criminal Justice students, including restorative justice, sex assault among college students, spousal violence, child abuse, sexual offenders, blunt force trauma, cyberstalking and intelligence gathering.
"The College of Criminal Justice Undergraduate Research Conference is a wonderful opportunity to show off our best students and for these students to add another impressive experience on their resumes for graduate school or employment," Dr. Miller said. "We hope the conference continues to be successful and we can increase the number of students who participate each year."