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December 13, 2013

Danielle Christenson has been accepted to present her research at the National Collegiate Research Conference (NCRC), held at Harvard University.

Mentored by Dr. Richard Wright, the criminal justice major’s study looked at bias in media coverage of homicides. The research was funded by an Adrian Tinsley Program for Undergraduate Research summer 2013 grant.

Jenny Shanahan, director of undergraduate research, spoke highly of the young scholar. "This is another indicator that Bridgewater students’ research is among the best in the country, she said. "Danielle’s acceptance is an exciting distinction, too, for work that engages BSU’s commitments to social justice and inclusion. Her study shows evidence that white victims of homicide are deemed more 'worthy' of attention by mass media than are victims of color, as exemplified by the slim coverage of last year's shootings at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin as compared to other mass shootings."

Recently, we asked Danielle, a Norwood resident, about her research:

“The title of my project is ‘Victim Worthiness: The Effects of Media Coverage on the Portrayal of Homicide Victims.’ The purpose of the research was to assess whether bias exists in the media coverage of homicide victims based on such factors as a victim or offender’s race, age, or socioeconomic status. My intellectual interests centers on crime victims, their recovery process and their public portrayal. In November, I presented this study at the American Society of Criminology’s (ASC) Annual Meeting in Atlanta.”

Q: What does it mean to be accepted to the NCRC at Harvard?

“It is humbling and simultaneously affirming. I, like many young people in Massachusetts, know the tremendous prestige that Harvard has. I am nervous and extremely excited to present my research among some of the brightest students in the country. I am looking forward to meeting the students from Harvard as well as those from other universities and exchange ideas and experiences. This will be my first undergraduate research conference. Although presenting at ASC among criminal justice scholars was exhilarating, I’m excited to present amongst my fellow undergraduate students. It was an honor to have been accepted to this conference and I hope to make Bridgewater State proud.” 

The conference will be held Jan. 23-25.