Linz wins award for academic excellence

A Mercyhurst student was recognized at a state level for her academic excellence.

Junior Criminal Justice major Mandi Linz received the award for Outstanding Undergraduate Paper during the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Justice Educators (PACJE). The meeting was held at Lock Haven University, attended by students and professors from various Pennsylvanian universities.

She was also selected as the Outstanding Undergraduate Criminal Justice student, being awarded with the 2014 PACJE Undergraduate Scholarship. Her two awards included of a monetary reward.

“I applied because it was an avenue for me to present my research, gain experience and represent Mercyhurst Criminal Justice Department,” Linz said.

Her paper, titled “Legislative Reforms Protecting Children from Abuse: a Review of PA Initiatives,” researches the changes in the Pennsylvania Child Protection legislation after the Jerry Sandusky and Penn State University scandal. Linz examined the gaps and failures that were identified during and after the scandal. Her focus was on the requirements of mandated reporters and reporting hierarchies in institutions.

She chose this topic because of her interest in child abuse.

“I believe that child abuse is a great social problem that needs more attention, because its consequences can be far-reaching,” said Linz.

She feels that this success reflects the time and investment she put into her work in school.

“I think I was awarded the scholarship because of my academic success, volunteer work, and the quality of my paper,” said Linz.

She plans to continue to cultivate her skills to help those in need in the future.

“My future plans are to work with children who have experienced abuse,” said Linz. “I would like to work for a social service agency that provides assistance to children who have experienced abuse.”

In February, she attended the Annual Meeting of Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in Philadelphia. She presented a paper on child abuse and governmental initiatives taken on children exposed to violence.

Linz is a member of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society and the Pre-Law program. She currently works as an undergraduate research assistant at the Mercyhurst Civic Institute, where she studies the reactions of the Pennsylvania Act 33, which transfers juvenile offenders to the adult criminal justice system.