Society for Police and Criminal Psychology

The Michael F. Serafino Award for "Best Student Poster"

The Michael F. Serafino Award for "Best Student Poster" is open to posters submitted by all students seeking a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree.  Posters are judged on the quality of the student's scholarship, contribution to the fields of criminal justice and psychology, and the value of the overall contribution to the Society's annual conference. Students eligible for this $250.00 honorarium with certificate must present their poster in person at the conference.  For more information about this award please contact Gerry Serafino (P.O. Box 1137, Roswell, NM  88202-1137).

This award commemorates Michael F. Serafino.  Michael was born on November 19, 1968.  He died on July 21, 1992 at the age of 23 while he was a graduate student in criminal justice studies at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  He was a student member of the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology who had attended in 1991, where he made a positive impression on Society members.  At the time of his death, Michael had been preparing a paper for presentation at the Society's 1992 annual conference.  This paper was never presented. In 1994 the Society inaugurated the Michael F. Serafino Best Student Poster competition in honor of Michael. His parents, Gerry and Ann Serafino, have been members of the Society since 1984 and remain interested in SPCP to this day.

In 1994, the Society members voted to establish the Michael F. Serafino Award in honor of Michael.  Michael's parents, Dr. Gerry and Anne Serafino of Roswell, New Mexico, agreed to chair the awards committee.  The winners of the Michael F. Serafino Awards  have been as follows:

1995. Gina Leong for her paper:  "Using the Forced Choice Methodology in Determining Deception."  This award was presented to Gina by Jack Annon, Ph.D., 1995 Society President, in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Gina's paper was written in collaboration with Drs. McClain, Jamison, and Hall with A. Runyon and J. Yum, of the University of Hawaii.

1996. Stacey Nelson, in collaboration with Dr. Steven Rubin, for her paper:   "Parental Attachment and Different Levels of  Juvenile Delinquency."   This paper was published in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology (Volume 12, No. 2).  Stacey Nelson and Stephen Rubin are from Whitman College in Walla, Walla, Washington.  Stacey was presented with this award by Jerry Serafino, Ph.D., 1996 President of the Society.

1997. Jim Ruiz of Westfield State College in Westfield, Massachusetts was awarded the "Best Student Paper" certificate  for his paper:  "Regulation of Sexually-Oriented Businesses:  The Texas Experience."  Dr. Eva Buzawa, 1997 Society President, presented the award to Jim Ruiz in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1998.  Rebecca Jackson and Brian Viola won the award for their paper entitled:  "The Use of Implicit Memory Tests in the  Detection of Guilty Knowledge."  This paper was co-authored with Theron E. Parsons, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin in Platteville, Wisconsin.  They were presented with this award by David Corey, Ph.D., 1998 Society President, in Portland, Oregon.

1999. Jennifer Trager of James Madison University won the award for her paper entitled "The Effectiveness of Psychological Profiles." This paper was co-authored with JoAnne Brewster, Ph.D., also of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The award was presented by Drs. Aumiller & Goldfarb, Society Co-Presidents in Port Jefferson, New York.

2000.  Erica Weber of Whitman College won the undergraduate award for her paper on "Determinants of Violence in Washington State Penitentiary."  Laura Daniel of Castleton State College won the graduate award for her paper on "Examination of Pre/Post MMPI-2 Scores of Incarcerated Offenders Who Have Participated in a Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program."   The awards were presented by Society Co-Presidents, Drs. Clint Voelm and JoAnne Brewster in Canton Ohio.

2001.  The winner for 2001 was Elizabeth Turner, a student of Dr. Steve Rubin, for her paper "Once a sex offender always a sex offender: Myth or reality?"  The award was presented by Society President Steven Dietz in Austin, Texas..

2002.  The winner for 2002 was Christine Lerch, a student of Mike Aamodt, for her paper "Is physical evidence or eyewitness testimony more persuasive in the courtroom?"  The award was presented by Society President Jim Herndon in Orlando, Florida.

2003.  The winner for 2003 was Emily DeCoster, a student of Bill Weiss, for her paper "Compulsive Traits and Police Officer Performance."  The award was presented by Society President Wayman Mullins in Corpus Christi, Texas.

2004.  The winners for 2004 were Steven Riddell and Maila Venturi.  These awards were presented by Society President Gary Aumiller in Rome, Italy..

2005.  The winner for 2005 was Sarah Bloomfield, from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, for her paper "False memory Effect in Offender Profiling."  Her major professor is Craig Bennell. The award was presented by Society President  Susan Cave in Scottsdale Arizona..

2006.  The winners for 2006 were Adam Hess, April Alexander and Mayrin Calcano.  Adam Hess presented "Eyewitness and Visual Allocation in Crime Scene Evaluation" with co-authors Matthew Sharps, Kristin Wagner and Marcel Garcia of California State University, Fresno.  April Alexander & Mayrin Calcano presented "A review of Neonatacide Cases in the United States" (Radford University, Michael Aamodt, Advisor).  These awards were presented by Society President James Turner in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

2007.  The winners for 2007 were Shevaun Corey who with advisor Craig Bennell of Carleton University presented "Geographic Profiling of Terrorist Attacks," and Adam Hess who with advisor Matthew Sharps and Marcel Garcia, Joy Ewart, Melissa Griffith and Sina Tuy of California State University, Fresno presented "Visual Allocation in Simple and Complex Crime Scenes."  These awards were presented by Society President Michael Surrette in Springfield, Massachusetts.

2008. The winner for 2008 was Shevaun Parker, who with Advisor Craig Bennell of Carlton University, presented “Investigating Beliefs Related to Use-of-Force Encounters Among Jury-Eligible Members of the Public and Police Officers.”

2009.  The winner for 2009 was Shea Alvarez from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice.   Her poster presented with her advisor Louis B. Schlesinger was entitled “Facial Injury and Victim-Offender Relationship:  An Analysis of Intuitive Assumption.” 

2010.  The winner for 2010 was Mohita Junnarkar from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay for her poster entitled “Effects of Anxiety, Retention Interval & Recall on Recognition Accuracy of Eyewitness Testimony.”

2011. The winner for 2011 was Adam Gerlach, a student of Dr. Craig Bennell, from Carleton University for his poster entitled “Examining the Association Between Gender and Weapon Identification.”  

2012.  The winner for 2012 was Anne Chinneck, for her poster “Barriers Preventing the Promotion and Retention of Female Police Officers.”  Ms. Chinneck is a student of Dr. Craig Bennell, at Carleton University.

2013.  There were three winners this year.  Rachel Jensen received the undergraduate award for her poster “Not Everyone Is Like ‘Rain Man: The Lack of Diagnostic Training for Autism Spectrum Disorders” (Pennsylvania State University).  Simon Baldwin received the master’s-student award for his poster entitled “Excited Delirium Syndrome:  Understanding the Implications to Police Use of Force” (Carleton University).  Karla Emeno received the doctoral-student award for her poster entitled “The Effectiveness of Actuarial Tools for Linking Residential Serial Burglaries” (Carleton University).

2014.  There were two winners this year. Natasha Korva received an award for her poster “Use of Force Myths on Trial” (Carleton University).  Chet Hembroff also received an award for his poster entitled “Predicting First Responders Driving Performance:  Psychological Screening of Emergency Drivers” (University of Regina).

2015.  Sara Lapacka received an award for her poster "Selective Skills: Identifying Personality Pattern Differences Among Police Special Service Units" (Illinois School of Professional Psychology)

2016.  Tansi Summerfield received an award for her poster "Police Decision-Making: The Impact of Choice on Use-of-Force Decisions" (University of Reginia).  Jordon Taylor Jung also received an award for her poster "A Comparison of Crisis Negotiator Mental Health Training to CIT Training Received by Patrol Officers" (Texas State University).

2017.  Cristina Ferrara received a graduate-level award for her poster “How Public Attitudes towards Police Influence Perceptions of the Use of Body Worn Cameras" (Co-authors: Karla Emeno, Holly Ellingwood, Elizabeth Schultheis, & Craig Bennell).Amanda Powell receivedand undergraduate-level award for "Influences on Juror Sentencing Decisions" (Co-authors:Megan Parker, Kethera Fogler, & JoAnne Brewster).

2018. Jessica Duncan received The Michael Serafino Award for Best Student Poster for “Examining Police Officers' Views of Sexual Assault Victim Credibility" (Co-authors: Emma Lathan Powell, Jennifer Langhinrichsten-Rohling & James "Tres" Stefurak).

2019. Julianne Demery, Adam Fried, & Ruchi Bhargava received the Michael Serafino Award for Best Student Poster for their poster entitled “Examining Workplace Moral Behaviors and Perceived Trust in Military Couples”.

 The rating form used by the selection committee is available here.


Society for Police and Criminal Psychology

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