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Candence Wills

Criminology and Justice Policy, PhD

Candence D. Wills is a doctoral student in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University. She is currently working with a multidisciplinary team (MDT) created by members of agencies that interact with commercially and sexually exploited children (CSEC) to analyze child CSEC data from four counties in Massachusetts. There are several components to the research project including administering training surveys to participants in child trafficking awareness workshops, interviewing MDT members, transcribing and interviews, and utilizing Tableau software to create visuals of county data on exploited children in an effort to influence policies regarding CSEC victims.

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Prior to attending Northeastern University, Candence completed both her Bachelors of Arts in Communications: Rhetoric and Masters in International Development in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. She served as a member on several research teams including ORA-CASOS Terrorism Social Network Analysis, Ford Institute for Human Security (FIHS) Human Trafficking Working Group, United Nations Gender Equality in Public Administration, and two projects associated with U.S. State Department Diplomacy Lab: FIHS Countering Violent Extremism Working Group and a comparative analysis of state failure among Libya, Somalia, and Syria. During her time at Pitt, Candence enjoyed working as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost of Enrollment.

Research Interests

  • Institutional responses to victimization and marginalized populations
  • Public policy
  • Human trafficking
  • International criminal justice

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