Please describe your project and how you came up with the idea.
My research involved investigating whether or not the criminal justice system within England upholds the rights given to prisoners through the United Nations Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners. Such rights, as dictated by the U.N., include humane treatment that recognizes inherent dignity, nondiscrimination based on non-legal factors of the prisoner, and the use of cultural and social activities or therapeutic programs that promote the development of human personality.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your Connecting Experience?
My Connecting Experience taught me to pull research from several different disciplines to support a central theme. Through my research I looked at factors that affect prisoner life in the areas of social work, sociology, government, psychology, and law. This process illustrated to me the importance of interdisciplinary analysis when solving a research problem, especially regarding something as multifaceted as a human being.
In what ways has this Connecting Experience shaped your plans for the future?
My goals for the future include becoming a physician; however, I have a strong interest in human rights in an international context. My Connecting Experience furthered my interest in human rights’ violations and has allowed me to include some clinical perspectives in my analysis of healthcare rights of prisoners. My research has inspired me to pursue medicine, with the hope that one day I may have the opportunity to conduct medical evaluations that influence the decision of judges in granting asylum to those who seek it.
Discuss the relationship you had with your faculty mentor and how she helped you during this Connecting Experience.
Professor Vicki Packheiser was one of the faculty members that led the Maymester program I participated in at the beginning of summer. It was such an inspirational experience that brought me closer to issues in criminal and social justice faced by the people of England. Professor Packheiser was there to mentor my work as a part of the course and the Connecting Experience. She saw me through all phases of the process, from being inspired in England to the culmination of my ideas into research.