Junior majoring in criminology; Expected to graduate May 2025

Courtney Glover

"As an undergraduate student, I had been searching for ways to expand my academic horizon at Virginia Tech. "FIRE Starters was the perfect opportunity for me to do so; a blank slate of which I could create something original."

Q: Can you please share about your current research that you are doing as a result of the program

This opportunity is my first official research experience, so I was hesitant to advance beyond my current level of prior knowledge and studies. I chose to stick to what I know best and explore the research of my criminology major.

A lot of my courses focus on the criminal justice system and ways to bring positive change to it, which inspired my research topic of policing. My current research involves a comparative analysis of on-campus versus off-campus/general population policing training programs and techniques and any potential racial implications that may have on the social atmosphere of both spaces.

Q: Can you please share about your faculty mentor and what that relationship has been like?

Dr. Anne Brown is one of my faculty mentors of FIRE Starters. Throughout the entire experience she has offered her hand, help, and advice for any and every concern or issue I may have had; whether it be time management, availability, mental health concerns, or things involving the actual act of the research project. 

Q: What have been some of the stand-out moments with your student cohort?

During the 2022-2023 academic year, we had a relatively small student cohort, which had its pros and cons. Because of this, there have been some very refreshing moments where one of us will hesitantly ask a question and others will then admit they also needed advice on the same thing. It was refreshing to feel like we were all in the same boat and could lean on each other for this project. 

Q: Will you be engaged in research this summer as a result of the program? If so, can you please share more about that?

I will be in Midlothian, Virginia, with my family for the summer, but I have been keeping my eye out for other research opportunities. It is nice to have something to stand on in the research world; something I can build on and mold as much as I want. 

Q: What would you tell other students who may be interested in the program or just learning about it?

If you are interested, apply. There is no harm in doing so; an acceptance into the program is an offer if you are showing continued interest. Getting this experience under your belt during college only puts you in a better position when looking for and applying for more advanced and sophisticated research programs.