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Barnett: Protect People from Craigslist Crime

Alexandria Barnett


Alexandria Barnett, a junior who is pursuing a double major in criminal justice and communication and media arts, has been selected to present a paper at the Mid-Atlantic Pop Culture Association annual conference in Baltimore on November 7. Entitled "The Internet and the Craigslist Killer," Alexandria's work is about the dangers of using websites like Craigslist and the need for it and similar sites to implement safeguards to protect the people who use them.


Her paper began as an assignment in Dr. Margaret Stewart's mass media class. "She asked us to do a case study analysis of any medium of communication," explains Alexandria. "I chose the Internet because I was familiar with the case of the Craigslist killer (Philip Markoff). As I began my research, I realized that there were more and more heinous crimes committed as a result of Craigslist interactions."


Because the social media generation puts information "out there for free viewing by billions of users, all with their own agendas," Alexandria argues that "laws and regulations regarding the sharing of information safely and censorship of users on these sites" need to be considered.


Dr. Stewart knew about the Pop Culture Association conference and suggested that Alexandria submit her work. The acceptance notice came just one week later. Now the two are working together to co-author a much more comprehensive article on the same topic. They intend to submit the final product to academic journals.


Alexandria is confident that she will find the time to co-author the article, despite an already hectic schedule. She is a double major, a member of the honors program, and a Presidential Ambassador. She also holds down a full-time job and regularly tackles internships. This fall, she's a public relations intern at the Philadelphia office of the U.S. Department of Labor. Her career goal is to work in PR for the FBI.


She chose Neumann because she wanted a college that offered small classes and personal attention. "I didn't want to be a number in a class of 500, and I knew when I visited that this was the place for me."


With a conference presentation and research with a Ph.D. now on her résumé, her college choice has already paid dividends.



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