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Claire Scott-Bacon


Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

College/School: Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs

After raising two sons and running her own photography business, Claire Scott-Bacon entered college at the age of 48 to study law. Although initially unsure of herself, the support and encouragement of many professors along the way kept her going.

Along with her two bachelor’s degrees – one in psychology and one in criminal justice – Claire has earned three certificates, in pre-law, crime scene investigation and professional writing.

This spring, she was named a Student Life Outstanding Scholar and received the College of Arts, Sciences & Education Award for Excellence in Academics and Research in psychology. A member of the Honors College, Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Sigma, Psi Chi, and Alpha Phi Sigma, she was named a Ronald E. McNair Undergraduate Fellow.

This summer, she was selected by the University of Notre Dame for a summer research program, where she studied pathological personality traits and criminal behavior in women.

Under the supervision of her mentor, psychology professor Ryan Winter, Claire conducted a year-long independent research project on jury decision-making and forensic evidence. They also co-authored a study on courtroom semantics and the impact of Ebonics.

In addition to her research, Claire worked 20 hours a week in two psychology labs and volunteered at the College of Law’s death penalty clinic.

Claire hopes to eventually earn her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, specializing in forensic assessment of criminal personalities, as well as a law degree, focusing on wrongful convictions.