Westminster College Assistant Professor Attends Seminar in Brazil

Friday, August 2, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Dr. Kristenne Robison, Westminster College assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice studies, attended the Council on International Educational Exchange's (CIEE) Community Engagement and Development seminar in May in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

CIEE is a company that offers study abroad opportunities for college students, faculty and administration. The seminar focused on recent economic and social developments in Brazil, as well as engaging with various community members to learn directly from them. This seminar also featured lectures from various professors and community members, including: a lecture by the commander of Brazil's police pacification units that focused on the role of the peace keeping forces in Rio's favelas (hillside communities); a lecture on the effects of the drug and arm trades on the favelas, and a talk by the community organizer and trained city planner on the effects on the upcoming Olympics on the favelas.

Robison also participated in many field trips during the seminar, including to a police station for women to report domestic violence, sexual assault, or family-related issues; and a visit to the Cantagalo Favela to learn about a youth program started by a local woman and mother to keep the local children productive and out of trouble.

"This seminar was life changing for me," Robison said. "All eyes are on Rio de Janeiro right now as they prepare to host the 2014 Men's World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. It was such a great opportunity to learn from community members and scholars. The program director organized the seminar in a way that was engaging and culturally sensitive."

Robison continued, "I gained ideas for my courses, particularly my "Critical Issues in Policing" course being offered in Spring Semester 2014, and ideas for research in Brazil."

Robison, who joined the Westminster faculty in 2009, earned an undergraduate degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, master's degrees from The Ohio State University and Syracuse University, and Ph.D. from Syracuse University. Her research interests include police work, sociology of gender, intimate partner violence, and qualitative research methods.

Contact Robison at (724) 946-6033 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Click image to enlarge.

Dr. Kristenne Robison while hang gliding in Brazil.