Clare Hall, University of Cambridge
Officially Dr McClanahan, February 2021

“I try to understand what type of person in what type of situation is likely to commit a crime”

Dr William Patrick McClanahan, a recent graduate from Clare Hall specialising in Psychology and Criminal Justice, describes his research, experiences at the College, and goals for the future

I’m from a small town in the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, USA.
It’s the kind of town where you cannot go to the store without seeing someone you know. I did my undergraduate degree at Roanoke College in Virginia and double-majored in Psychology and Criminal Justice. I anticipated becoming a juvenile probation officer, but decided it was not what I wanted and decided to give myself some time to think about things. I took a year to work part-time and travel. During this, I realised I wanted to go back to school and continue research. I had been bitten by the travel bug, so I wanted to attend an international school if possible. I was fortunate enough to gain a place here and moved my life in three suitcases to Cambridge. I studied Psychology: I just recently completed my PhD and did my MPhil here before that. So, I have been in Cambridge and a member of Clare Hall since October 2016.

Burns Night 2019 at Clare Hall; photo © Tobias Baldauf

Learn more about Dr McClanahan’s research at


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