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Department Newsletter

Faculty and Academic Advisor Spotlight: Jihye (JJ) Park

wolf mural in Talley Student Union

For my February article, I had the opportunity to meet and interview Jihye (JJ) Park. She is one of our newest academic advisors and also a professor here at NC State and got the chance to learn about her academic accomplishments, what she is currently researching, and about her personal life. 

JJ is originally from South Korea and had an early interest in crime. She wanted to be a police officer and started studying crime. She attended Southern Illinois University for her undergraduate education and eventually went on to get her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice at Illinois State University and her Master of Arts degree for sociology from the University of Iowa. She is currently studying to get her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Iowa.

headshot of JJ Park
Jihye (JJ) Park

Throughout her graduate school years, she enjoyed learning about social structures and inequalities in our criminal justice system. Since these topics interested her, she decided to research issues related to punishing immigrants for her dissertation projects. To be specific, for her dissertation, she examines two research questions – (1) whether restrictive interior immigration enforcement has encouraged the departure of undocumented Mexican immigrants, the largest undocumented group in the United States, and (2) how different kinds of immigration policy events affect private prison corporations’ stock values. The first empirical study of her dissertation has received two fellowship awards by the Division of International Criminology (DIC)’s Graduate Fellowship for Global Research, and Division of People of Color and Crime (DPCC)’s Helen Taylor Greene and Vernetta D. Young Graduate Fellowship for the Study of Race and Crime at the American Society of Criminology. 

As mentioned, JJ is new to NC State and is an advisor for our department. She came to NC State because she really liked our department with a mix of criminology and sociology. She also loves working with undergraduate students and being able to help people. Her favorite part of being an advisor so far has been being able to answer questions for students and also give them advice and guidance. She says the most rewarding part of being an advisor so far has been the amount of “thank yous” she gets from students. 

JJ currently lives in Winston Salem with her husband. In her free time, she loves to work out and do things like yoga, circuit training, and hiking in the NC mountains. She also loves to cook and enjoys spending time with her husband and her puppy. 

If you are interested in having JJ Park for any classes she is planning on teaching Criminology and Formal Institutions of Social Control  in the next Fall semester. After getting the chance to meet with her I found she is such a nice and genuine person to talk to. It is so great to have her at NC State and I hope lots of people get to meet her through advising or in class. 

This post was written by Maddie Bain, a Department of Sociology and Anthropology Student Ambassador pursuing a degree in criminology with minors in psychology and forensic science.

headshot of Maddie Bain