Erica Dalzell, M.S., is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University. In addition to assisting the Juvenile Risk Assessment Team, Erica works with Public Policy Associates Inc., to study disproportionate minority contact in Michigan’s Juvenile Justice system, and as a graduate Research Assistant to Dr. Cavanagh. Her
primary research interests include juvenile justice, the law, and behavior. Email:

Mary (MK) Kitzmiller is a second year doctoral student in the Ecological-Community Psychology program. Broadly, she is interested in systems change through policy reform, intervention, and evaluation. Moreover, Mary seeks to understand the applications of community psychology in regards to youth interactions with the legal system. In her future research, she hopes to study familial cohesion following parental incarceration. Email:

Jen Paruk  is a first-year doctoral student in the School of Criminal Justice. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from Boston University, and she continues to pursue her research interests in violence prevention and adolescent health at MSU. Email:

Alyssa Fredericks is a first-year Master’s Student within the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. She is interested in juvenile corrections and sentencing practices. Specifically, Alyssa is interested in juvenile educational, recreational, and treatment programming in juvenile correctional settings, and improving the juvenile correctional experience so as to improve its effects on familial relationships, recidivism, and adulthood. Email:


Dr. Cavanagh plans to accept incoming graduate students for 2020-2021. Students interested in graduate mentorship under Dr. Cavanagh at the masters or doctoral level are encouraged to apply.


The MSU School of Criminal Justice is a top-ranked program offering Masters degrees and Doctorates in criminal justice. Frequently asked questions about graduate programs in the School of Criminal Justice can be found here.

The MSU Department of Psychology offers doctorates in Community Psychology. Frequently asked questions about the Ecological/Community Psychology program can be found here.


For information about grad student life at MSU or in the lab, please contact one of Dr. Cavanagh's current graduate students.