Renee Bencic

Junior Affiliate (Masters)

Renee became interested in the field of targeted violence while conducting risk assessments on highrisk violent offenders at a threat assessment unit (I-TRAC) with Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT). Her exposure to targeted violence cases which were politically-motivated, led her to develop a research interest in terrorism and the individual risk factors and warning behaviours associated with extremist violence. She became interested in understanding how individuals become radicalized and why they engage in violent extremism.

Are Canadians aware of the warning signs associated with a community member becoming radicalized? Can we identify key risk factors and, more importantly, empower the public with such knowledge so that suspicious behaviour is more likely to be reported to the proper authorities? These are some of research questions that drives her interest as she enters into the second semester of the Masters of Forensic Psychology research program at University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Under the supervision of Dr. Karla Emeno, and with the support of Barbara Perry – hate crime expert and director of the Centre on Hate, Bias, and Extremism at UOIT – Renee plans to dedicate the remainder of her degree towards improving Canada’s ability to identify and assess threats to our national security.

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