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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 2022-2023 RA team for the Juvenile Risk Assessment study!

Casey Orr - Casey is a junior at Michigan State University, majoring in Criminal Justice and Social Relations & Policy. After graduation, Casey plans to pursue higher education through grad school in a related field. Her main goal is to work in research or academia. 

Samantha Bowers - Samantha is a Sophomore at Michigan State University, majoring in Psychology. After graduation, Samantha plans to join the FBI.

Mariah Bonfiglio- Mariah is a sophomore at Michigan State University, majoring in Management.  She is especially interested in the programs designed to prevent juvenile recidivism.

Jade Elder- Jade is a senior at Michigan State University, double majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies of Social Science and Communication. Her goal after graduation is to work in a non-profit or governmental program that works to help migrant youth coming to the U.S.

Alissa Hakim - Alissa is a third-year student at MSU, double majoring in Arts and Humanities and Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy with a minor in Muslim Studies. Her main goal is to give back to her communities through public defense reform. 

Sophy Smithson


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

Crossroads Mothers Study


Sabina Goldstein

Shantanique Jackson

Guadalupe Moreno

Erin Menich

Anna Semidei

Leandra Pinero

Marina Henke

Amanda Osuna

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