Psychology honours graduand Jennifer Krentz awarded Governor General's Silver Medal
By: Emily Co
From a young age, Jennifer Krentz knew that she wanted to go into a helping profession. While her interest in psychology was piqued in high school, it was not until she took psychology courses at Simon Fraser University that she discovered her passion for clinical forensic psychology, an area of study at the intersection of mental health and the law.
After commencing her studies at SFU, Krentz quickly got involved in several research labs in the Department of Psychology, including the Vision Lab, the Adolescent Risk and Resilience Lab, and the Children’s Memory Research Group. Her honours thesis, conducted under the supervision of Dr. Tonia Nicholls and Dr. Ron Roesch, examined the inclusion of risk and protective factors in expert reports submitted to courts and review boards for patients found Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCRMD) in a Canadian jurisdiction. Krentz presented the findings from her honours thesis at the 2020 American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) conference in New Orleans, and will be presenting her findings at the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services (IAFMHS) conference in June 2021.
During the completion of her honours thesis, Krentz found that her passion for research stemmed from a strong interest in pursuing a career in the forensic mental health care system. For Krentz, she learned how crucial it was for patients to receive care that is evidence-based and in line with best practices.
“The most important issue that my honours research addresses is determining the extent to which forensic mental health experts have adopted evidence-based risk assessment practices in their reports,” says Krentz. “Doing so ensures that experts are balancing the protection of the public with the accused’s rights."
Krentz will receive the Governor General's Silver Medal at Simon Fraser University’s June Convocation. Presented by the Governor-General of Canada, this medal is awarded to two undergraduate students who achieve the highest scholastic standing upon graduation from a bachelor’s degree program. Krentz is graduating with an honours degree in psychology with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.26 on a 4.33 point scale, receiving an impressive A+ on 27 of 33 courses.
For her outstanding academic accomplishments, Krentz has collected several accolades including the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services (IAFMHS) Derek Eaves award, second place for the Best Undergraduate Paper Award by the American-Psychology Law Society, and the BC Mental Health Substance Use Services Summer Studentship.
Currently, Krentz serves as the undergraduate representative of the Canadian Psychological Association for SFU and is working as a research assistant at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Tonia Nicholls.
Post-graduation, Krentz plans to apply to PhD programs in clinical forensic psychology.