CVI Graduate Research Assistants

Amanda Goodson, M.A.

Amanda Goodson graduated with a Master of Arts degree in criminal justice and a Graduate Certificate in victim studies from Boise State University in 2015. Her thesis, titled “Does Geography Matter? Barriers Encountered by Service Providers,” assessed different barriers encountered by rural and urban providers when serving crime victims. She is currently a third year Ph.D. student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at SHSU. Amanda's research interests encompass victimology, violence against women, system responses to victims, and gender and crime. Her scholarly work has appeared in Journal of Interpersonal Violence, American Journal of Criminal Justice, and the Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research. Amanda is a graduate research assistant for a federally-funded Office of Violence Against Women award to evaluate Houston Police Department's mandatory training on sexual and family violence responses. Amanda has co-authored numerous research briefs for the Crime Victims' Institute, including technical reports on intimate partner violence and an upcoming issue of the Campus Sexual Assault Series. She has played an integral role in supporting the mission of CVI in producing and disseminating victimization-related research since 2015.

Alondra Garza, B.S.

Alondra Garza earned her Bachelor of Sciences degree in criminal justice, was a McNair Scholar, and graduated with highest honors in May 2016 at SHSU. Her thesis assessed participant-bystander responses to a sexual assault disclosure using a randomly assigned vignette design. She is currently a second year Master of Arts student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. Her research interests include victimology, violence against women, and gender and crime. Alondra is currently a graduate research assistant for a federally-funded Office of Violence Against Women award to evaluate Houston Police Department's mandatory training on sexual and family violence response. For the Crime Victims' Institute, she has co-authored several issues of the Campus Sexual Assault Series and has provided support for preparation and dissemination of translational research to constituents, academics, practitioners, and victims' service providers.

Matthew Bills, M.A.

Matthew Bills earned his Bachelor of Sciences degree in criminal justice, with a psychology minor, in May 2015 and Master of Arts degree in criminal justice in August 2017 from SHSU. His research interests include juvenile victimization and victimization on college campuses. Matthew's Master's thesis examined the role of self-control and risky lifestyles variables in predicting victimization among juveniles. During the Spring 2017 semester, he was involved as a research assistant in a campus-wide climate survey project, led by Drs. Hayes and O'Neal at SHSU. Matthew has provided support for CVI research endeavors and plays a key role in technical report formatting.

Jessica C. Fleming, B.S.

Jessica C. Fleming earned her Bachelor of Sciences degree in Victim Studies with a minor in Accounting, from Sam Houston State University and graduated Cum Laude in December 2017. She is currently a Master of Arts student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Sam Houston State University. Jessica's research interests include victimology, violence against women and children, child maltreatment, offender re-entry, and juvenile victimization. Jessica joined the CVI team in January of 2018 and has been instrumental in working on a federally-funded Office of Violence Against Women award to evaluate Houston Police Department's mandatory training on sexual and family violence response. Jessica is currently a graduate research assistant for the Crime Victims’ Institute at Sam Houston State University and is presently involved in co-authoring translational research on child maltreatment. Additionally, Jessica has provided support for preparation and dissemination of translational research to constituents, academics, practitioners, and victims' service providers.

Alexander Updegrove, M.A.

Alexander Updegrove earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 2012 from Kutztown University and a Master of Arts degree in forensic psychology in 2014 from Marymount University. He is currently a fifth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Sam Houston State University. His dissertation examines burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion satisfaction among victim assistance coordinators (VACs) throughout the state of Texas. Alexander's research interests include race and crime, immigration, and victim services. His recent scholarly works have appeared in Justice Quarterly, Crime & Delinquency, and the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. Alexander joined the CVI team this summer, 2018 and he has coauthored a report for the Human Trafficking Series, is coauthoring a research brief on child maltreatment, and is currently coding redacted police files as part of a federally-funded Office of Violence Against Women grant awarded to evaluate Houston Police Department's mandatory training on sexual and family violence responses.

Brittany Acquaviva, M.S.

Brittany Acquaviva earned her Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice sciences, with a minor in psychology, in May 2016 from Illinois State University. She graduated with a Master of Science degree in criminal justice sciences from Illinois State University in May 2018. Her thesis, titled "Student Perceptions in regards to sexual assault," explored the different perceptions that undergraduate, graduate, and university alumni had regarding to sexual assault, the university sexual assault services, and their knowledge/opinions on the sexual assault training administered by the university. Brittany is currently a first year Ph.D. student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at SHSU. Brittany joined the CVI team this fall 2018 and since then has been involved in a federally-funded Office of Violence Against Women award to evaluate Houston Police Department’s mandatory training on sexual assault and family violence cases. She is also doctoral research assistant for the Crime Victims’ Institute and is working on the campus sexual assault series, has participated in data entry, cleaning, and analysis for CVI-related projects.