Ieke De Vries

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The PhD program at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University is a truly inspiring and encouraging environment for becoming an excellent scholar in the field. Well-respected scholars, the research focus and a practice-oriented approach have convinced me to cross the Atlantic and choose Northeastern University for pursuing my PhD.

Prior to starting the PhD program I worked for a few years for the Dutch Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children in The Netherlands, where I am originally from. My work for the Dutch Rapporteur has certainly further advanced my thinking about the link between doing research and informing policy. Knowledge about criminal behavior becomes more useful if we know how to translate that knowledge into practice. And perhaps we should start with asking how that knowledge has been constructed in the first place. In other words, how do we know what we know about crime? Who is involved in constructing our view on crime? And consequently, who should respond against perceived crime issues? These are just a few questions that triggered my interest in pursuing an academic career in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

At Northeastern I have the privilege to work together with Dr. Farrell and continue doing research into human trafficking. I am hopeful that the PhD program at Northeastern University excellently prepares me for my further academic career. Although both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree are not in Criminology and Criminal Justice, the program provides a good foundation for becoming experienced in the relevant theories and methodologies. I greatly enjoy the interactive dynamic between faculty and students and between students ourselves and strongly belief that this dynamic is critical for advancing scholarship that builds on collaborative work.

Northeastern University is fortunate to be located in a fun and inspiring academic city. Although Boston is on the very expensive side (and the euro is not doing great in comparison to the dollar), the city has a lot to offer for the needed mental breaks, ranging from watersports at the sea shore or on the Charles River to runs through Boston’s many green areas. Every neighborhood has its own atmosphere and the seven months that I am here have shown me that there will be plenty of areas to explore and sightsee in the next few years. All in all, Northeastern University and Boston provide a stimulating learning environment, which contribute to an enjoyable and exciting PhD program.

Published On: February 25, 2016