Ellie Rohrback, a junior Sociology major (with a concentration in Criminology), minoring in Psychology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and African American Studies, is currently a student research assistant with the University’s Center for Public Scholarship & Social Change and has taken on a leadership role in working with community partners on their research and evaluation needs. Ellie is strongly motivated to address public problems, taking the initiative to receive certifications and training in opioid and Narcan awareness, Green Dot Student Bystander Intervention, Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), and Active Shooter. She is planning on completing an honors thesis during her senior year, focusing on the successes and shortcomings of de-escalation training among police officers. She is committed to using her research to conduct publicly engaged scholarship, which she hopes will be of use to the community. Ellie exemplifies excellent leadership skills and engages in collaborative action with others from campus and from surrounding communities in order to create long-term social change.
Ever since my childhood, I have had a passion for criminal justice. I admired police officers who not only served and protected victims of crime, but who also had empathy for those committing crimes. Police officers possess a real opportunity to make their community better, and I want to be doing the research to best inform them on how to do that. I am a strong proponent of diversion interventions, which gives offenders a chance to better themselves and their community in place of prison. I advocate for social workers in police departments who refer frequent offenders to services and remove that burden from police officers. My senior year, I plan to conduct research and write a thesis on the topic of police de-escalation training and police perceptions on the training they receive. My work with Millersville University’s Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change has allowed me to learn about and participate in the research process. Continuous studies and research should inform our decisions on what programs are effective in reducing recidivism, protecting our communities, and improving the lives of offenders. I want to be a part of that research.