The American College of Forensic Psychology held its 38th annual symposium of forensic psychology in San Diego, California, from March 30 to April 2, 2023. More than twenty Fielding School of Psychology students presented their research in the student poster competition. Three of those students took the top awards, making it a Fielding sweep of the student poster category. 

Autumn Banks

Autumn Banks

Ph.D. psychology student and a graduate of the Fielding post-baccalaureate program Autumn Banks won 1st place for Campus Carry: Safety Perceptions and Implications for At-Risk Groups.

RESEARCH: Campus Carry: Safety Perceptions and Implications for At-Risk Groups

Objectives: This research conducted a systematic review examining literature on perceived safety surrounding concealed weapon carry (CC) on college and university campuses. The main objective was to identify how students, faculty, and campus personnel experienced campus safety when considering the legalization of CC in several states. The main outcomes from the reviewed studies showed that most students, faculty, campus security, and other academic staff believed CC would negatively impact campus safety.

I am grateful to have been allowed to pursue it as a systematic literature review topic under Dr. Jacquin’s guidance. I live in Colorado, where concealed carry on college campuses has been legal since 2012. I was taking a political science course in undergrad, where many of the discussions became heated. Several students made inflammatory remarks, spread hateful rumors, and made threats toward people of different racial/ethnic or gender identities. Not long after these remarks were made, one of the students open-carried a firearm to class. I immediately left the lecture and contacted campus security, feeling unsafe given the comments this student had made about women and people of color. The student was removed, and the class continued in an online format for the rest of the semester. This incident made me curious to learn about the policies regarding firearms on campus and how having weapons on campus influenced safety. I want to continue exploring this topic in future projects. — Autumn Banks

Autumn Banks

Autumn Banks research poster: Campus Carry: Safety Perceptions and Implications
for At Risk Groups

Morgan Baumgartner

Morgan Baumgartner

Postbaccalaureate alum Morgan Baumgartner won 2nd place for Ethical Considerations of Using Phallometric Test Stimuli Depicting Juveniles. Ms. Baumgartner is a current research student in the lab of Dr. Kristine Jacquin.

Research: Ethical Considerations of Using Phallometric Test Stimuli Depicting Juveniles

Introduction: Phallometric tests are used in forensic settings to evidence sexual interests in the sex offender population. Audio and visual stimuli of people of varying ages, genders, and stages of undress are used in phallometric testing. Penile arousal responses evidence target(s) of sexual interest. Phallometric tests aid in specifying treatment interventions and directing risk-reduction strategies. Phallometric test stimuli depicting nude juveniles is illegal, but photos of children in other stages of undress are used. This research examined the ethical implications of producing and using stimuli of real juvenile individuals.

The idea of conducting a systematic literature review on the topic was born out of my work as a clinician working with formerly incarcerated sexually dangerous individuals. We occasionally perform penile plethysmographs, a form of phallometric test. Upon hearing about the method of assessment and the stimuli that are used, I began to question the ethical thought process behind allowing stimuli of juveniles in various stages of undress to be used. Ethics has always been one of my favorite topics, and I wanted to expand my ability to think about taboo topics in complex ways. — Morgan Baumgartner
Morgan Baumgartner poster

Morgan Baumgartner research poster: Ethical Considerations of Using Phallometric Test
Stimuli Depicting Juveniles

Muhammad Abubakar

Muhammad Abubakar

Clinical psychology PhD student and postbaccalaureate alum Muhammad Abubakar won 3rd place for Maintaining Spirituality as a Societal Support to Prevent Recidivism.

Research: Maintaining Spirituality as a Societal Support to Prevent Recidivism.

Introduction: Records show that 600,000 people are incarcerated every year in the United States. Some research has indicated that within the first three years after being released from prison, up to 67.5% of inmates recidivate. Factors attributed to higher recidivism rates may include familial criminal behavior, peer involvement in criminal behavior, and insufficient strategies for coping. Lowering recidivism rates will help successfully reintegrate more ex-prisoners into society and reduce the financial burden on taxpayers. Research has shown that inmates who have strong social support systems are less likely to recidivate. These support systems also lead to better employment and mental health prospects. Additionally, external social support such as visitation can reduce the likelihood of and even delay recidivism.

I became interested in my topic several years ago. Growing up as a religious minority in the United States, there were typically not many people that attended our neighborhood mosque. Due to this, if any newcomer was to arrive, they would be noticed and welcomed into the community. As I grew, I observed a trend where several previously incarcerated individuals would come and engage in our religious activities. However, only a small number of them stayed, and the vast majority ended up leaving the community after some time. This made me curious about the struggles of individuals post-incarceration, and through Dr. Jacquin’s research lab, I was able to explore my interests. Since 2019, I was able to focus on several aspects which impact incarcerated or previously incarcerated individuals, and this project was my most recent! I hope to continue to pursue this area of study and add to the body of literature regarding recidivism. — Muhammad Abubakar


About the ACFP

The American College of Forensic Psychology (ACFP) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Under the direction of new Program Director Dr. Kristine Jacquin, the goal of the ACFP symposium is to keep forensic psychologists abreast of important issues which lie within the interface of psychology and law, recent developments in psychology that require new knowledge for expert witnesses, and new case law affecting forensic practice. The program offerings are intended to benefit practicing forensic psychologists, psychologists in other subspecialties, and attorneys who litigate civil and criminal cases involving psychological evaluations and expert testimony. For more information visit 

About the Author: Fielding News

Stories about people, issues, research, and innovation across the Fielding global community as reported by the Fielding News Team.

Share This Post!

Filter by Category

Recent Posts

Join Over 7,500 Fielding Alumni Located Around The World!

Change the world. Start with yours.™