Andrew Baranauskas
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My Story

Andrew realized his desire to pursue a PhD in Criminology and Justice Policy while completing his master’s.

“I got hooked on the idea that criminological research can help us to understand the vast array of crime information to which we are exposed and contribute to a scientific knowledge of crime.”

My Path
Eric Winter/Northeastern University
Why Criminal Justice?

Andrew chose to pursue his PhD in Criminology and Justice Policy at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ), due largely to the reputation of the faculty.

“The school is home to many researchers whose work I had examined and admired, and it appealed to my own research interests.  I have been fortunate enough to work with Dr. Kevin Drakulich since my first day in the program.  The research interests of Dr. Drakulich align very closely with my own and I have had the opportunity to work with him on a number of projects.”

Faculty Mentorship

Drs. Kevin Drakulich, Jacob Stowell, and Simon Singer have been among the most influential in Andrew’s academic career.

Dr. Drakulich and Dr. Stowell have mentored Andrew throughout the duration of the program both inside and outside of the classroom.


Dr. Stowell and Andrew discussing research
Transformative Coursework

“Criminology and Public Policy” with Dr. Simon Singer also had an immense influence on Andrew.

“Before I started at Northeastern, I considered criminological theory to be one of my weakest links; now, I’m scheduled to teach an undergrad criminology class.”

Interdisciplinary Coursework

The Criminology and Justice Policy PhD program grants students a certain amount of academic freedom in which they are able to take courses outside of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Andrew took full advantage of interdisciplinary coursework.

“I was able to take a community development class in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs as well as a critical race theory class in the Department of Sociology.  These classes helped to bolster my criminological scholarship by exposing me to ideas and discussion from different perspectives.”


In 2014, Dr. Drakulich was awarded the W.E.B Du Bois Fellowship from the National Institute of Justice. Due largely to his previous work with Dr. Drakulich, Andrew was given the opportunity to engage in the research being done through the fellowship. Together they presented their paper at the 2016 American Society of Criminology annual conference.

Social Construction of Neighborhood Crime

Andrew’s dissertation focused on the social construction of neighborhood crime by the news media. It combined his two main research interests: media and communities.

“In this project, I am taking a mixed methods approach to determine the neighborhoods from which violent crimes are reported by the news media, examine the neighborhood demographic characteristics that are associated with media attention, and explore the ways that crimes, people, and the neighborhoods themselves are described by the news media.  The project consists of a content analysis of five news sources in four U.S. cities.  It’s a daunting task, but it will provide me with data that I hope to use to explore future research questions relating to how both crime and communities are constructed by the media.”

Next Steps

After he receives his PhD, Andrew hopes to continue in academia:

“I am fascinated by how people construct their knowledge of crime.  I have found that teaching allows me not only to provide students with a scientific understanding of crime, but also to engage in critical discussion about crime and justice.  I hope to continue these discussions both in the classroom and in my research.”

Matthew Modoono/ Northeastern University
This was Andrew's Northeastern Pathway... Where will yours lead?