Margaret Storms received her Master’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony on Saturday, where she was recognized as a Spring 2021 Alumni Association Outstanding Master’s Graduate.
While excelling in her coursework and research endeavors, Margaret made numerous contributions to the Department of Criminal Justice.
She communicated with prospective graduate students about the program and mentored incoming students. She also served as the research supervisor for Dr. Jeanis’s undergraduate research lab, SPRUCE@UL.
As a supervisor, she oversaw the research progress of all lab members, and helped to locate research problems and create effective solutions. She also trained members in data collection and coding, and helped to direct undergraduate students in their research efforts.
Margaret also gained valuable experience in data collection and coding, manuscript writing, and data analysis during her time in the lab, contributing to the Missing Persons Project.
Based on her work with this project, she has presented at national and regional conferences, including the Graduate Research Symposium, the American Criminal Justice Society, and the Southern Criminal Justice Association.
Her co-authored manuscript on missing persons in the news, “The New Milk Carton Campaign: An Analysis of Social Media Engagement with Missing Persons’ Cases,” was recently published in the high-ranking journal Social Forces. Building on research exploring how factors such as race lead to unequal news coverage of missing persons’ cases, the article examines whether marginalized victims similarly receive less social media engagement from the public.
Margaret also worked with Dr. Jeanis on an additional manuscript that aims to identify the effectiveness of traditional and social media attention in the recovery of missing persons based on data collected in the lab.
After graduation, she plans to pursue work in crime data analysis, law, or restorative justice programming. Her main goal, she says, is to “be a part of effecting positive change in the lives of disadvantaged people who are disproportionately affected by crime and societal harms.”