Penn State Altoona student wins Best Paper award at criminal justice conference

ALTOONA, Pa. — Penn State Altoona student Nicholas Glunt won the “Policy Paper Award” for this year’s annual meeting of the Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Glunt, a psychology major and sociology minor, co-authored the paper with Nathan Kruis, assistant professor of criminal justice, and Nicholas Rowland, professor of sociology, both at Penn State Altoona, and Richard Donohue from the RAND Corporation.

The manuscript presented at the conference, “Race and Policing: Exploring the Medial Effects of Police Performance and Police Legitimacy on Citizen Race and Disposition Toward Compliance and Cooperation with Law Enforcement,” examines public perceptions of the police and the public’s willingness to comply with police personnel based on data collected from a representative sample of Pennsylvania residents.

“We presented this paper based on research we conducted in the Integrated Social Science Research Lab,” noted Glunt. “Working with the ISSR lab has been a highlight in my college career. I am very thankful for the support offered through the University, [lab co-directors] Dr. Kruis and Dr. Rowland, and my fellow peers in the lab – without them, it would be impossible for me to conduct research at this level.”

The award comes with an implied expedited submission to the journal "Criminal Justice Policy Review," where the article is currently under review.

At the same conference, Kruis received the Rosalyn Muraskin Emerging Scholar Award, presented annually to a member of NEACJS for an outstanding scholarly contribution to the advancement of criminal justice within the first five years of his/her professional career.

“Working closely with Dr. Kruis on this project was an honor," stated Glunt. "He guided me through the rigorous process of cleaning, coding and analyzing data in such a way that allowed me to grow as a researcher and learn valuable research skills that I otherwise would not have developed on my own.”

The ISSR Lab currently enrolls a dozen undergraduates and involves former members of the lab now in careers or advanced graduate training.

This project was supported by a Research Development Grant from the Office of Research and Engagement headed by Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor of Architecture Corey Gracie-Griffin.