CCJS Doctoral Student Michael Lebron has received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship to support a mixed-methods extension of his M.A. thesis as well as completion of his dissertation research.

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellowship provides a three-year annual stipend of $37,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance; additionally, as a fellow, Lebron will have access to opportunities for professional development through NSF.

Lebron, a rising third year PhD student, examines “the ability of prosocial peer networks to ameliorate the risk of negative developmental consequences associated with parental incarceration” in his master’s thesis, focusing on “the ability of naturally occurring friendships to blunt the increased risk of adolescent delinquency and adjacent forms of deviance.”

The quantitative component of his study utilizes data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (AddHealth). In the qualitative component of his study, Lebron plans to conduct semi-structured interviews with youth in Baltimore who have personally experienced parental incarceration.

These interviews will focus on “exploring the relationships and conditions which have made it possible for youth to resist engaging in delinquency and in some cases, display resiliency as reflected by their ability to not only survive but thrive.”

“I hope to disseminate these findings among the academic community, policy makers, and local community stakeholders through the publication of research articles and the creation of translational materials, which will be made readily accessible to the public,” he said.

Lebron plans to explore the relationship between identity, peer influence, and co-offending trajectories throughout the life course in his doctoral dissertation.

“Receipt of this award would not have been possible if not for the faculty who helped me along the way,” Lebron said. “First and foremost, I must thank Dr. Jean McGloin for her exceptional mentorship and persistent encouragement since I first met her during my time as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland. I would also like to thank Dr. Bianca Bersani, Dr. Maria Velez, Dr. Wade Jacobsen, and Dr. Bobby Brame for their continuous support and guidance.”

Lebron is appointed as an NSF graduate research fellow for a five-year period.

“I am incredibly grateful to the National Science Foundation and the reviewers who provided feedback on my application,” he said. “It is reassuring to know that other esteemed scholars in the field, beyond those I know personally, believe in the importance of my research and my capabilities as a researcher. Finally, I would like to thank my friends and family for their unwavering support.”

Michael Lebron