Danielle is a first-year doctoral student in sociology. Before coming to WVU, she attended the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) where she obtained her BA in Psychology and her MA in Crime and Intelligence Analysis. While Danielle was at UCO, she worked with Dr. Rashi Shukla to examine global methamphetamine trends in production and trafficking and the challenges rural Oklahoma law enforcement has in responding to drug and crime problems. She has also worked on a project for the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies in which she examined private sector collaboration with fusion centers.
Her research interests include violence against women, rural crime, drug use and policy, and transnational and organized criminal networks. As an advocate with the YWCA, Danielle responded to numerous sexual assault and domestic violence exams at the hospital. She elaborated on her experiences with victims stating, “interacting with victims and advocating on their behalf when they are going through such traumatic events has made me aware of the progress that has been made in victims’ services throughout the years, but I also witnessed the desperate need for improvement.” She is eager to begin her journey at WVU and more specifically the Research Center on Violence, because she believes it is only the beginning of an incredible excursion to further her education, build her character, and become a distinguished scholar.
Years of studying psychology, criminal justice, and sociology have transformed her into a well-rounded student with a plethora of interests. Those interests, however, can be narrowed down to one desire: helping others. She stated, “I dream that one day my research and passion will initiate change to education and critical issues in criminal justice, such as violence against women and drug use.” As a first-generation college student, great mentors have had long-lasting impacts on her life. She hopes to serve as a mentor to students in the future and states, “it would be the ultimate reward to share my research experience with students and encourage them to develop their own research interests as my professors have done for me over the years.”
Outside her role as a student, Danielle loves to stay busy. Her favorite past times include reading, traveling, and attending concerts. She is an avid watcher of Shark Week and hopes to swim with whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium later this year.
The previous semester's student spotlight can be found here: Spring 2018 Student Spotlight - Kaity Foster