UM Criminology Research Group Awarded ‘Outstanding Program’ Status

March 24, 2014

MISSOULA – The Montana Board of Crime Control recently awarded the University of Montana Criminology Research Group a Certificate of Outstanding Program award to recognize its contributions to public safety, crime prevention and victim assistance to the state.

The Criminology Research Group, part of the Social Science Research Laboratory within UM’s032114crim College of Humanities and Sciences, accepted the award on March 14. The award was presented by Laura Olbert, chair of the MBCC board of directors.

The MBCC typically honors two programs each year – criminal justice programs and community-based programs – that provide effective services to address public safety-related issues.

This year, the CRG was recognized along with one of its collaborating community partners, Alliance for Youth of Great Falls. Alliance for Youth and members of the CRG worked with MBCC on a project that examines explanations for disparities between arrests of white and minority juveniles in Cascade County.

This work is being funded by a $100,000 grant award from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The Montana-based collaboration received one of only four awards that were funded nationally through the Community and Strategic Planning Initiative at OJJDP.    

The CRG is led by UM sociology faculty members Dusten Hollist, James Burfeind, Daniel Doyle and Jackson Bunch and Social Science Research Laboratory Administrator Chuck Harris.

From its inception, the CRG has involved graduate and undergraduate students in grant-funded research. The CRG is founded on the belief that student learning through research is an essential component of the learning experience at UM.

The current membership of the CRG includes Patrick McKay, sociology research associate; Aislinn HeavyRunner-Rioux, doctoral candidate in education leadership; Department of Sociology graduate students Daniel Acton, Nicole Camp and Gabe Downy; and sociology undergraduate students Luke Stenslie, Murphy Moran and Kenneth Westphal.



Photo cutline: Members of UM’s Criminology Research Group accept the Certificate of Outstanding Program award from Laura Olbert, chair of the Montana Board of Crime Control. From left to right: Daniel Acton, Aislinn HeavyRunner-Rioux, Jackson Bunch, Patrick McKay, Olbert, Dusten Hollist, Gabe Downey, Luke Stensilie and James Burfeind.






Contact: Dusten Hollist, UM sociology associate professor, 406-243-4811,