Showing posts from March, 2024

Revising our Social Construction Article

The most gratifying moments in the research process occur when submitting a paper, knowing the tremendous effort it took to accomplish. However, the most nerve-wracking part comes when you receive the reviews back from editors. Comments are typically specific, but occasionally they can be general, necessitating changes in sentence structure or underlying ideas. Personally, the most challenging aspect of working on revise and resubmit was sharing and accepting changes regarding the statements made in the research, as I believe they represent findings encountered through the thought process. After receiving comments from editors, Dr. Dean and I had to revisit the paper to ensure all comments were addressed. We met to map out revisions for our social construction article and created a 34 point revision to do list based on reviewer comments so we can track our progress. However, I find that once you release the initial tension, it becomes easier to work through the comments, and some of th

WSOY Byers & Co Interview about Trip to Ukraine

I spent my spring break in Ukraine this year conducting interviews with anti-trafficking organizations for our NSF funded project. I was really surprised at how often the air raid sirens sounded in every city I was in and the complete deluge of Russian bombs that fell on Ukraine every single day. The only thing that protected me and Ukrainians were air defense systems that are in low supply due to political games in Washington D.C. This is why when I was asked to go on the WSOY radio Now Decatur to talk about my trip and research I jumped at the opportunity. In the interview posted below I discuss my experience traveling to Ukraine and our research project exploring human trafficking recruitment dynamics during Russia's war on Ukraine.   

Fieldwork in Ukraine

I spent the last two weeks in Ukraine conducting interviews around Ukraine with anti-trafficking organizations as part of our NSF funded project on human trafficking recruitment during war. I was thankful for the opportunity to go but was astonished at just how frequent the air raid sirens sounded, often disrupting my daily activities and a good nights sleep. I was in Ukraine for 16 days and every day it was a constant deluge of Russian missiles across Ukraine, the extent to which is not covered in the US media. The only thing that protected us were air defense systems that shot down many but not all incoming missiles and civilians still died every day across Ukraine due to Russian bombs. One of the most anxiety producing elements of it was a channel on telegram where you could see what was being fired at you, things like MiGs, shahed drones, iskander missiles etc. When I was in Kyiv we had a massive attack one night with over 30 missiles taken down by Ukrainian air defense including c

Human Trafficking Related Arrests in Danville

The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Trafficking Enforcement Bureau of Illinois State Police have been conducting sting operations throughout Central Illinois focused on identifying individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex acts. On February 28th, 2024,  they conducted one in the Danville region and My #HumanTrafficking Research Lab assistants and I  were asked to go on our local WAND News to talk about it and relate it to our research. The segment was called "Researchers at Millikin explain how human trafficking is a local issue" and you can watch it  here. The five people arrested were charged with Indecent Solicitation/Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse of a Child, which is a Class 3 Felony, and Traveling to Meet a Child, alongside Solicitation to Meet a Child, listed as a Class 4 Felony. We have been combing through this type of arrest data to see how human trafficking has been charged in Central Illinois since 2010 and it was really interesting to learn how t

Daughters of the American Revolution Presentation

I channeled my inner Emily Gilmore and gave a talk about human trafficking as a result of Russia's war in Ukraine at the Stephan Decatur Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution as part of Women's History Month and International Women's Day! It was interesting to learn more about the local chapter and the process for admission to the chapter and I am always thankful for the opportunity to talk about issues in Ukraine with a captive audience.