Professor and Student Present Research on Mass Murders at National Conference

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 24, 2014 – Kathleen Kelley, a senior criminal justice major at High Point University, along with Dr. Heather Ahn-Redding, associate professor of criminal justice, recently attended the Academy of Criminal Justice Science Annual Meeting in Philadelphia to present their research on the profile of mass murderers.

Kelley and Ahn-Redding presented their original research, titled “Operationalizing Attempted Murder.” Their work looks at whether the demographic profile of traditionally defined mass murderers changes when the definition is expanded to include instances of attempted mass murder.

“The traditional definition of mass murder often includes three or more lives lost,” Ahn-Redding explains. “However, we are examining cases where there was an evident attempt to take at least three lives, but some individuals survived. Our research also discusses implications for prevention.”

The Academy of Criminal Justice Science (ACJS) is an international association established to foster professional and scholarly education, research and policy analysis within the discipline of criminal justice. The theme for the 51st Annual Meeting was “Perceptions of Crime and Justice.”

According to Kelley, this experience has been invaluable in preparing her for graduate school and a future career in the criminal justice field.

“Attending the ACJS conference with Dr. Ahn-Redding showed me that influencing public policy through detailed research is what I truly want to do,” says Kelley. “The research that I have done with Dr. Ahn-Redding has provided me the confidence to pursue a position as a research assistant, and given me the advantage of having criminal justice research experience.”

Ahn-Redding adds that she has been able to relate her findings in the classroom at HPU.

“I have shared the nature of our research with students in my violent crime class, and have been able to incorporate some observations from my project into the classroom,” says Ahn-Redding. “As I proceed with my data analysis, I hope to share additional findings with students in future semesters.”

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