Western Connecticut State University will showcase the research of WCSU students in a wide range of academic disciplines and present a keynote lecture by a WCSU alumnus active in the law enforcement and criminal justice fields at the 14th annual Western Research Day (WRD) on Friday, May 4, in the Science Building on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.
The WRD 2018 program will begin at 10 a.m. in Science Building Room 125 with welcoming remarks offered by WCSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Missy Alexander and WCSU President Dr. John B. Clark, who will introduce the keynote talk. The featured speaker will be Dr. Jeremiah Johnson, a patrol sergeant with the Darien Police Department and practitioner in residence on the faculty of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven.
The annual event’s focus on promotion of interdisciplinary dialogue and research will provide the theme for the WRD exhibition of student posters detailing research projects conducted during the current academic year, continuing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Atrium of the Science Building. Student participants will be present during the exhibition to explain their research or creative work to the public and to judges drawn from WCSU faculty, staff and alumni. Alexander will award the WRD Provost Prizes honoring students for outstanding research presentations in diverse academic fields during a session beginning at 1 p.m. in Science Building Room 125.
Admission to all WRD 2018 program events will be free and the public is invited to attend. WCSU students also will have the opportunity to attend a resume writing workshop hosted by the university’s Career Success Center and Sigma Xi chapter from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in Science Building Room 244.
Johnson holds an M.S. in Justice Administration from WCSU, an M.A. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College and a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York. A 16-year veteran in law enforcement, he has served in many capacities including detective, field training officer, accreditation manager and acting lieutenant. From 2013 to 2017, he taught at WCSU as an adjunct professor in the Justice and Law Administration Division of the Ancell School of Business.
Johnson has received numerous honors including selections as a Policing Fellow of the Police Foundation and as a Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science Program Scholar in the National Institute of Justice. He has served as an accreditation assessor for the state of Connecticut since 2011 and as a member of the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee of the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency. He was invited to the White House as a participant in the 21st Century Policing Briefing held in June 2016.
In his lecture titled “The Significance of Non-Significant Findings: Negative Results from a Randomized Control Trial of Patrol Visibility,” Johnson will share research insights gained in the course of a study investigating the impact of police patrol visibility on overnight vehicle crime rates in four Connecticut jurisdictions.
Student research and creative work exhibited at WRD will encompass diverse academic disciplines in the sciences, arts, professions, business and humanities. Participation requires prior approval by the student’s faculty adviser and submission to the WRD planning committee for review. Dr. Michelle Monette, assistant professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences, serves as chair of the 2018 planning committee. Other members include Dr. Bernard Gee, assistant professor of Psychology; Debbi Johnson, adjunct professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences; Brian Stevens, university archivist and special collections librarian, and Dr. Emily Stevens, associate professor of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences.
“Western Research Day provides a platform to showcase our best student work and to give our students experience in communicating their findings to individuals within and outside their own academic discipline,” Monette observed. She noted that the WRD event offers an opportunity to bring students from many disciplines together to discover the many forms that research takes, and to encourage exchanges that promote an interdisciplinary approach to research. The inclusion of a resume workshop in the event recognizes the importance of preparing students to pursue future graduate studies and professional employment opportunities, she said.