Research Associate I
PhD Student, Sociology and Criminology, Mississippi State University M.S., Sociology, Mississippi State University B.S., Social Justice and Criminology, Delta State University
Sierra Nelson is a graduate student at Mississippi State University. She received her B.S. in Social Justice and Criminology from Delta State University and her M.S. in Sociology from Mississippi State University. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in Sociology with a focus in Criminology. She is interested in translating science into policy and programs, particularly in bridging the gap between criminology and criminal justice research and related policies and programs. Additionally, her research interests broadly include program/project evaluation, implementation science, and evidence-driven policies and practices. She is working on projects examining the use of open source intelligence to better understand common social and criminological issues—such as extremism and propaganda, homicide, suicide, and analysis of public sentiments surrounding policy and political and social events. She is currently employed as a graduate research assistant at the Social Science Research Center for the National Institute of Justice-funded project “Research on Juvenile Court Intake Practices and Reoffending.” She also collaborates with researchers at the HPC² Center for Cyber Innovation (CCI), producing research that effectively leverages open-source intelligence for more effective risk assessment and decision-making.