Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement
Greg Kratzig had a bold goal in mind when he decided to leave behind a successful career in retail management and return to school. His goal was to study psychology and, as it turned out, he earned his honours bachelor’s degree, master’s and PhD – all at the University of Regina.
“When I began my studies, I had an interest in child psychology,” Kratzig notes, “but by the end of my undergrad degree, my focus had shifted to adults and how we make decisions. I also knew that the clinical route was not for me; my interest was in applied research and experimentation.”
In his master’s work, Kratzig explored whether aging affects our decision-making processes. While he was working on his doctoral degree, “the stars aligned” as he puts it: the RCMP were looking to hire a researcher to enhance cadet training and policing practices. His experience and research interests ticked all of the boxes in the job description and he became the first in-house researcher hired by the force.
In his position as a training, innovation and research analyst, Kratzig designed and developed a comprehensive research program and a sophisticated simulation lab at the RCMP Training Academy that attracts interest from academic researchers and police agencies nationally and internationally. Over the past seven years, he has initiated and led research projects in areas such as firearms training, emergency vehicle driver training, use-of-force decision-making, forensic interviewing, anti-terrorism programs, and officer health and well-being.
“ This is the biggest award I’ve ever received. It was not ever within my thoughts, ”
As the mental health champion for Depot Division, he is part of a research team in a large-scale project investigating post-traumatic stress disorder that will periodically test a select group of police officers over a 10-year period. The firearms training simulator he developed has been adopted by the U.S. Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (which handles 70,000 trainees annually) and by the police force in Singapore.
His paper on the topic, in collaboration with other researchers, is his most cited. “There is a huge gap in the area of policing-related science,” he says. “Much of the work done here has never been done before.”
For all of his research projects in the lab, Kratzig draws from a broad network of colleagues, although he particularly seeks out students, faculty and staff from the University of Regina. His research into decision-making, for example, involves faculty from the Department of Psychology and from the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. He is in the early stages of developing a virtual reality area within the simulation lab, in collaboration with faculty and staff from the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance.
When he is asked for his thoughts about being selected for the achievement award, Kratzig admits he didn’t know what to say when he received the phone call. He relates it to a psychological concept he and his fellow grad students felt – the Imposter Syndrome – where they weren’t sure they were smart enough to be there. “ This is the biggest award I’ve ever received. It was not ever within my thoughts, ” he says. “There are a lot of great people out there doing outstanding work. To have my work recognized by my peers in this way is overwhelming.”