doctoral students

Doctoral Students

Blasius Awonsang received his B.S. in Economics and Computer information system (2005) from Grambling state University and his M.S. in Economics (2007) from Kansas State University. Before beginning the PhD program at UALR, Blasius worked as a full-time as law enforcement Agent for the state of Arkansas. His areas of interest include Clandestine Banking Operations, Policy Evaluation, money laundering, White Collar Crime and Use of force among law enforcement officers. Please click here to view Blasius Awonsang’s vita. Blasius can be reached at ba32@ualr.edu.


Brenda Branham received her B.S. (2013) in Criminal Justice from the Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, OK). She began the doctoral program in Criminal Justice at UALR in Fall 2014 and is working as a research assistant on the National Institute of Justice grant, entitled, “Person or Place? A Contextual, Event-History Analysis of Homicide Victimization Risk.” She is a member of the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Her research interests include: Race/Ethnicity and Crime, Religion and Crime, and Juvenile Delinquency. Please click here to view Brenda Branham’s Vita. Brenda can be reached at bfbranham@ualr.edu.


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Whitney Gass is a third year doctoral student at UALR and an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the Behavioral and Social Science Department at Southern Arkansas University. Her research interests include college campus crime and victimization. Whitney has presented original research at regional, national, and international conferences and has three publications to her credit. She is a wife and mother and enjoys spending quality time with her family. In her spare time, she enjoys scrapbooking, baking, and cooking. Please click here to view Whitney’s Vita.


Marc Glidden received his B.S. in Criminal Justice (2010) from East Carolina University and his M.A. in Education (2013) from McKendree University. Before beginning the PhD program at UALR, Marc was a full-time campus life professional at McKendree University. His areas of interest include juvenile delinquency and justice, campus safety/security, and corrections. Please click here to view Marc’s Vita. Marc can be reached at mdglidden@ualr.edu.


Jim Hurst received his B.A. (2007) in Psychology and M.A. (2014) in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is currently an Instructor in the Department of Criminal Justice. He has also served the university in various capacities, which include positions in the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of the Provost. His research interests include fear of crime, criminological theory, campus safety, and drug use. . He can be reached at jnhurst@ualr.edu. Please click here to view Jim’s Vita.

 


 

kwakHyounggon Kwak received a M.A in Criminology, Dongguk University (2013) and B.A. degree (2010) in Law from Wonkwang University. He wrote his master`s thesis on “An Effect of Children`s Maltreatment Experience By Parents on Their Committing School Violence: Focusing on the Mediating Effect of Self-Control.” In 2013, he co-authored “A Study on the Private Investigator Usage for Countermeasures for Insurance Fraud.” which was published in Korean Journal of Private Investigation. He won a prize for Excellence in the Thesis, Korean Journal of Private Investigation. He has completed a Statistics Workshop on Regression Analysis, Hierarchical linear modeling, Structural equation modeling, and Spatial Analysis at the Korea Social Science Data Archive in South Korea. His interests include: Juvenile delinquency, social disorganization, sexual crime, victimization, and statistic. Please click here to view Kwak’s Vita.


jacob laan

Jacob Laan received his BS (2011) and MS (2013) in criminal justice from Troy University (Troy, Alabama). Jacob’s master’s thesis is entitled Law Enforcement Training on Mental Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Southeastern United States. While at Troy, Jacob served as vice-president and president of Alpha Phi Sigma and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, Order of Omega, Lambda Alpha Epsilon, and Omicron Kappa Delta.

Jacob currently works as a research assistant in the Research and Planning Division of the Arkansas Department of Corrections. His research and teaching interests include corrections, inmate behavior, and qualitative methods. He also currently serves as the UALR student body president, and in that capacity, represents the student body on multiple committees, advisory boards, and assemblies throughout the University. Prior to his graduate career, Jacob served eight years in the Army National Guard and is an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran. He has worked five summers at the Alabama Special Camp for Children and Adults and has coordinated two different events on the UALR campus to raise funds and awareness for the Arkansas-based non-profit Paws in Prison. Please click here to view Jacob’s vita.


Suzi Overstreet

Suzanne Overstreet earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology from the University of Findlay in 2012. She then earned a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati in 2013. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Criminal Justice. Her research interests include juvenile justice and delinquency, sexual victimization, and policy evaluation. Suzanne Overstreet can be reached at smoverstreet@ualr.edu. Please click here to view Suzanne’s vita.


Erin PavioniErin Pavioni is a graduate student in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She received her B.A in Criminal Justice and M.A in Applied Communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice there as well. Mrs. Pavioni is a former case clerk with the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and has also interned with the US Marshals Office.

Currently, her research interests include crime and behavior, gender studies, juvenile delinquency, homicide studies, prison reentry programs, and violent offending and victimization. Mrs. Pavioni can be reached at enpavioni@ualr.edu. Please click  here to view Erin’s vita.


Rocio Roles

Rocio Roles received her B.A. (2012) and M.A. (2014) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice. Her teaching and research areas of interest include, juvenile justice and delinquency, military and community crime, policing, and criminological theory. Rocio Roles can be reached at raroles@ualr.edu. Please click here to view Rocio’s vita.


joshua shadwickJoshua Shadwick received his BS (2007) in Criminal Justice from Missouri Southern State University and a MS (2011) in Criminal Justice from Southeast Missouri State University. He also served as a law enforcement officer for seven years prior to beginning the doctoral program at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. His research interests include policing, environmental criminology, policy evaluation, and green criminology. Joshua Shadwick can be reached at jtshawick@ualr.edu Please click here to view Joshua’s Vita.


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Kristen Sobba received B.S. degrees (2011) in Psychology and Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology at the University of Central Arkansas, and her M.A. at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is currently a graduate assistant and pursuing her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice. Her research areas include:  juvenile delinquency, corrections, and cyber-criminology. Kristen can be reached at knsobba@ualr.edu. Please click here to view Kristen’s vita.


MASTERS GRADUATE ASSISTANTS 


Steven McCain

Steven McCain was born in Dallas, Texas and lived there for 24 years.  He attended North Central Texas College, University of North Texas, and Texas Tech.  He graduated from UALR in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree. He is currently in his second semester in the M.A. program.


Jasmine Spears is a graduate student in the Criminal Justice program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and she currently works as an academic advisor in the Criminal Justice department. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and African and African American Studies from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Although Jasmine is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, she intends to continue on in higher education to pursue her Doctorate Degree in Criminal Justice. Please click here to view Jasmine’s vita.