UMSL criminologist to study Bosnian culture

Stephanie DiPietro, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, recently received a 2013-2014 J. William Fulbright Award for the Spring 2014 semester.

The award will allow DiPietro to conduct research complementing her current work on the long-term adaptation of Bosnian refugees in St. Louis. She will conduct the research and teach at the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“This is a tremendous honor and will be a very important part of my research,” she said. “For the past year I’ve been engaged in a study of St. Louis’ Bosnian population. My primary interest is in the younger generation, who has come of age in St. Louis and have largely defined themselves as Bosnian-Americans.”

Through open-ended interviews collecting life history and experiences, DiPietro has spoken with dozens of members of the Bosnian community in St. Louis, which is largely located in the south St. Louis city and county areas.

“What’s most interesting to me is how the Bosnian community has changed in 15 or so years since most Bosnians first arrived,” she said. ”They came (to St. Louis) in a huge group almost overnight.”

DiPietro joined UMSL in 2010 as an assistant professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her research focus is immigration and crime, juvenile delinquency and criminological theory.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Emerson College in Boston, a master’s degree in sociology from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a doctoral degree in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Maryland in College Park.

Fulbright is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world, supported for more than half a century by the American people through an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress and by the people of partner nations. The research award program seeks out individuals of achievement and potential who will be outstanding cultural ambassadors for the U.S. and selects nominees through a nationwide open, merit-based competition.