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Mackenzie Christine Niness

Graduate Student
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
 

Biography

​Mackenzie Niness (she/her) is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. She earned her B.A. in Sociology and Criminology from Villanova University in 2018. Following her undergraduate studies, Mackenzie was selected as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to the Netherlands. After 10 months abroad, she came back to the United States and began working full-time in the career and alumni department at a leadership-scholarship nonprofit focused on access to and persistence in education for often overlooked high school students and veterans. These experiences, alongside her undergraduate studies, motivated Mackenzie to enter graduate study in the fall of 2022 where she plans to conduct research on post-secondary correctional education and its impact on women and femmes. She is particularly interested in using qualitative, mixed-method and participatory action research to better understand the barriers to education incarcerated women and femmes face as well as the outcomes of participating in higher education programming, measured by employment, recidivism, desistance from crime and other factors. Mackenzie's research and graduate studies are funded by both the National Science Foundation and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. In addition to her scholarly interests, Mackenzie enjoys mentoring student-athletes, traveling, and spending time with family, friends and her cat. 

Areas of Interest

​Prison and corrections, reentry, post-secondary correctional education (PSCE), gender, program evaluation, queer and feminist criminology, convict criminology, mixed-method research, participatory action research

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