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Each semester, the ADJust Lab evaluates a need for Research Assistants. There are three ways to become involved as an RA:

   1. The Juvenile Risk Assessment study is an ongoing, large scale project, for which new RAs are selected at the end of every spring semester for a full calendar year. The purpose of the study is to test diagnostics to improve treatment and risk assessment for youthful offenders in Ingham County. Research Assistants are primarily responsible for data entry, literature searches and reviews, analyses and presentations for court personnel, and file management tasks.

   2. The Crossroads Mothers study is an ongoing longitudinal project that tracks the mothers/female guardians of juvenile offenders from the time of their first arrest to nearly a decade later. Research Assistants are responsible for managing case files and conducting hour-long telephone interviews with participating women.

   3. Short-term RA positions may arise on an as-needed basis throughout the academic year.

All research assistants must have:

  • Dedication, motivation, and an interest in psychology, criminal law, juvenile justice, and research

  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher

  • 10 hours per week to commit to lab, including mandatory bi-weekly meetings

  • Project-specific requirements. For the Juvenile Risk Assessment study, this includes:

    • The ability to devote 12 full, consecutive months (including summer months) to lab

    • The ability to work in the Ingham County courthouse 

We maintain a waitlist for applicants interested in joining the lab, whether or not we are not actively recruiting RAs. Interested in applying? Email Dr. Cavanagh ( You will be notified when positions become available.


Meet the 2023-2024 RA team for the Juvenile Risk Assessment study!

Casey Orr - Casey is a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in Criminal Justice and Anthropology. After graduation, Casey intends on attending graduate school for Library and Information Science. 

Caitlin Reed- Caitlin is a freshman at Michigan State University, majoring in Psychology. After graduation, Caitlin plans to pursue higher education through graduate school and hopes to work as a forensic psychologist. 

Riley Starr- Riley is a junior at Michigan State University, majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Human Behavior and Social Services. Riley plans to attend law school after graduation. Her main interests involve juvenile justice and general criminology.

Sam Metz- Sam is a senior at Michigan State University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Law, Justice, and Public Policy. After graduating in the spring, he plans on going to graduate school with an end goal of achieving a PhD in Clinical Psychology. His main goal with my degree is to help people with mental health struggles through research as well as still staying involved with academia and the court system.

Autumn David- Autumn is a senior at Michigan State University,  she is a double major majoring in Human Development and Family Studies as well as Pre-Med. After graduation, Autumn plans to pursue a higher education through medical school. Her main goal is to work in pediatrics.

Sara Sundaram- Sara is a junior at Michigan State University studying Criminal justice and psychology. After graduation, Sara plans to pursue higher education in a related field. Her main goal is to have a concentration in juvenile justice.

Natalie Hollis- Natalie is a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology with a minor in LGBTQ+ and Sexuality Studies. After graduation, Natalie intends on attending graduate school to achieve a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her main goal is to work as a pediatric psychologist


Juvenile Risk Assessment Study


Ashley Anderson 

Kelsey Bees 

Marissa Cortwright

Rebecca Flynn

Alivia Foster

Blake Kocsis

Anastasia Machasic

Taylor Mclaurin

Rojet Morrow 

Ema Smith

Jessica Urch 

Zarria Bronner

Clare Chie

Kaylie Williams

Makenzie Smith

Karissa White

Angela Altman

Maddie Allen

Samantha Bowers

Mariah Bonfiglio

Jade Elder

Alissa Hakim 

Sophy Smithson

Crossroads Mothers Study


Sabina Goldstein

Shantanique Jackson

Guadalupe Moreno

Erin Menich

Anna Semidei

Leandra Pinero

Marina Henke

Amanda Osuna

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