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Spencer Janis

Spencer Janis

#PeopleofNIU Photo by Michelle LaVigne/Creative Services

Hometown: Naperville, IL

Major: Psychology and Mathematics

Sophomore psychology and mathematics double major Spencer Janis of Naperville, IL, spent last summer digging deeper into the problem found in many news stories today; the conflicts that arise between youth and authority figures.

For his summer research project, "The Power of Camp Power: The Effect of Community Sponsored Summer Camps on Police to Youth Interactions," Janis took the application of forensic psychology to look at how children and police relationships developed within Camp Power, a camp run by the DeKalb YMCA within the University Village. With these findings, Janis said there is an opportunity to help this problem by coming up with solutions within communities.

Janis said that the subject of forensic psychology is of interest to him because it is heavy with statistics, but it is also heavy with relief application as well, and he sees how research is the first step to helping solve real world problems. Participating in this summer research project has also influenced Janis’ life. He felt he gained more professional experience and confidence with his work. What he normally would be learning within in a classroom, he was able to put to real-life action.

“I highly recommend [summer research projects] to anyone looking to excel in their academic career,” Janis said. “The experience is great for grad school,” he said. “But the college experience is also about gaining confidence for going into the workplace. And NIU has given me more than enough opportunities to do that.”

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