Research Assistants

At the CCJ, undergraduate and graduate students work closely with faculty to generate practice-informed research and analysis designed to enhance knowledge and foster system improvement. Read about our current Research Assistants below. 

 

Kaitlyn Foust

RA Bios

Kaitlyn Foust is from Denver, Colorado. She is a first year graduate student in Criminal Justice and Criminology at Loyola University. In May 2020, she graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Psychology and Criminal Justice & Criminology from Loyola University. Kaitlyn has been working at the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice since October 2019. Her research interests include probation programming, reintegration, and recidivism. Kaitlyn is looking forward to a career that combines her interests in psychology and criminal justice.

 

Cynthia Guzman

RA Bios

Cynthia is from Joliet, Illinois. She is a first-year graduate student in Loyola’s MA Program in Criminal Justice and Criminology. She earned her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology in the Spring of 2019 at Saint Xavier University. Cynthia began working in the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice in January of 2020. Cynthia’s research interests include juveniles, police misconduct, and probation. In the future, Cynthia would like to pursue a career in Chicago working with the Cook County Juvenile Probation Department.

 

Isabella Munro

RA Bios

Isabella is from Yarmouth, Maine. She is a second-year graduate student in Loyola's MA program in Criminal Justice and Criminology. She received a BS in Biology and Psychology from Loyola University Maryland in the Spring of 2019. Isabella began working as a research assistant for Dr. Maribeth Rezey in the Fall of 2020 and recently joined the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice in May of 2020. Isabella's research interests include victimization trends, child maltreatment, and the relationship between biology and crime. In the future, Isabella would like to pursue a career in investigations working specifically with special victims wherever that might take her.

 

Vinnie Palazeti

RA Bios

Vinnie is from Flint, Michigan. He is a graduate student in Loyola’s Applied Statistics MS Program. He finished his Bachelor’s of Science from Ball State University in the Fall of 2017. Vinnie began working in the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice in March of 2020. Vinnie’s interests include data engineering, feature creation, and model optimization. In the future, Vinnie would like to have a career as a statistician in the public sector—specifically the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Energy, or Bureau of International Labor Affairs.

 

Avery Pankratz

RA Bios

Avery is from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee. She is a graduate student in Loyola’s Five-Year BS/MA Program in Criminal Justice and Criminology. She graduated magna cum laude with undergraduate degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminology and Psychology in the Spring of 2020. Avery began working in the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy. and Practice in January of 2019. Avery’s research interests include recidivism, bail, and reintegration. In the future, Avery plans to pursue a career in criminal justice research that will allow her to continue to live and work in Chicago. 

 

Dominique Smith

RA Bios

Dominique is from Ottawa, Illinois. She is a first-year graduate student in Loyola's MA program in Criminal Justice and Criminology. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Psychology and a certificate of undergraduate study in Criminology from Northern Illinois University in 2018. Dominique began wokring as a research assistant at the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice in January 2021. Her research interests include police integrity and misconduct, restorative justice, and bail. Dominique would like to pursue a career that relates to her interest in criminal justice and criminology. 

 

Vontesha Stanfield

RA Bios

Vontesha is a first-year graduate student at Loyola University Chicago. She received her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice/ Criminology with a minor in Legal Studies and Social Welfare from Indiana State University. Her research interest include juvenile justice, law, and probation. She would like to continue her education and attend law school.