September 1, 2014  

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University of Vienna to Grant Scherlofsky Doctoral Degree for Prison Research

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Dr. Kimberly Scherlofsky

Dr. Kimberly Scherlofsky of Gautier, Miss., recruiter and program coordinator for the International Development doctoral program and adjunct instructor of political science at The University of Southern Mississippi, successfully defended her dissertation for her doctoral degree from Austria’s University of Vienna.

Scherlofsky’s dissertation, Alcohol and Drug Treatment among the Incarcerated Population: a United States and European Union Perspective with a Special Emphasis on Mississippi and Austria, compared drug treatment programs in the prison systems in Austria and Mississippi. Conducting research on behalf of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Austrian Ministry of Justice, Scherlofsky traveled to numerous prisons in Mississippi and Austria collecting more than 400 questionnaires from inmates concerning their reactions and opinions toward alcohol and drug treatment.

“We in the College of Arts and Letters at Southern Miss Gulf Coast are extraordinarily pleased and proud of Dr. Scherlofsky for the successful defense of her dissertation,” said Dr. Robert Pauly, associate dean for the Southern Miss Gulf Coast College of Arts and Letters. “Her commitment and dedication to her duties, both as program coordinator for the International Development doctoral program and as an adjunct instructor of political science, have been laudable and all the more impressive given her concurrent completion of her dissertation. She represents us well.”

After successfully defending her dissertation, Scherlofsky, also earning highest honors, will be awarded her doctoral degree in international law with a criminal justice emphasis from the University of Vienna. Scherlofsky earned both her master of arts degree in administration of justice and her bachelor of arts degree in international studies from Southern Miss in 2006 and 2004, respectively.

Following her dissertation defense at the University of Vienna, which was founded in 1365 and is the oldest university among German speaking institutions, Scherlofsky presented her dissertation twice in Jackson, Miss. The presentations were made to the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Mississippi House of Representatives Corrections Committee.

In May, Scherlofsky will present her dissertation at a conference for Austrian prison psychologists. She has also been asked to serve as an assistant researcher by the Austrian Ministry of Justice for several projects, including the addition of drug-free units in all Austrian prisons and the alignment of Austrian prison law with European Union requirements.