Ph.D. Graduates

We are proud to share a list of our PhD Graduates. In the list below, we include their current position, dissertation title, and dissertation chairs. The list is in alphabetical order by academic year (AY).

AY 2022-2023

Arsala Khan (Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock) | Dissertation: Not a Monolith: Influence of Race and Religiosity in Muslim Perceptions of Police (Chair: Molly Smith)

Kimbla Newsom (Founder and CEO of JustUS Advocacy, LLC) | Dissertation: Experiences of Youth in Confinement: Pathways of Racial-Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Corrections (Chair: Bob Lytle)

Trye Price (Assistant Professor at Central Washington University) | Dissertation: The Influence of Rejection on Life and Health Outcomes among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults in the US (Chair: Tusty ten Bensel)

Kilby Raptopoulos (Advanced Instructor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock) | Dissertation: Safety Behind the Computer Screen: Gauging Public Perceptions about Teacher Student Sexual Abuse (Chair: Tusty ten Bensel)

Lacey Roughton (Research Analyst with the Arkansas Department of Corrections) | Dissertation: A Mixed Methods Approach to Police Decertification (Chair: Tusty ten Bensel)

Mary Wuestewald (Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith) | Dissertation: A Structural Examination of Organizational Justice, Self-Legitimacy, Employee Engagement, and Civic Engagement in Police (Chair: Rick Lewis)

AY 2021-2022

Mary Hannah Hughes (Research and Planning Unit Director with the Arkansas Department of Public Safety) | Dissertation: The Effects of Victimization and Trauma on Physical Health, Diet, and Sleep Patterns based on Gender and Sexual Orientation (Chair: Rick Lewis)

Natalie Snow (Assistant Professor at Humber Institute of Technology) | Dissertation: #MMIW: Framing the Online Presence of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Social Movement (Chair: Bob Lytle)

AY 2020-2021

Tabrina Bratton (Quality Improvement and Program Evaluation Administrator for the Arkansas Department of Correction) | Dissertation: The Impact of Appearance on Transgender Victimization (Chair: Bob Lytle)

Whitney Gass (Associate Professor at the Southern University of Arkansas) | Dissertation: University Faculty Experiences: Workplace and Personal Stress, Stress Management Strategies, and Coping (Chair: Tusty ten Bensel)

Mollee Steely (Smith) (Assistant Professor in the Psychiatric Research Institute at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences) | Dissertation: A Qualitative Comparison of Male and Female Sex Offender Grooming of Child Victims (Chair: Tusty ten Bensel)

AY 2019-2020

Brooke Cooley (Assistant Professor at Ball State University) | Dissertation: Not All Factors are the Same: Examining Institutions among Sex Offenders Throughout the Life-Course (Chair: Tusty ten Bensel)

James Hurst (Assistant Professor at Northeastern State University [OK]) | Dissertation: Fear of Crime on Campus: An Analysis of Perceived Risk and Constrained Behavior (Chair: Tusty ten Bensel)

AY 2018-2019

Marc Glidden (Assistant Professor at California State University – Northridge) | Dissertation: Forget the Olive Branch, What about the Bank Branch? An Examination of the Relationship between Financial Access and Community Crime (Chair: Molly Smith)

Hyounggon Kwak (Assistant Professor at Dongguk University – Wise) | Dissertation: Integrated Perspective of Low Self-Control and Lifestyle-Exposure: Gender Differences in Victimization Risk among South Korean Youth (Chair: Jim Golden)

AY 2017-2018

Jacob Laan (Data Analytics Team Lead with Marquis Software Development, Inc.) | Dissertation: Measuring Misconduct: A Theoretically Integrated Examination of the Correlates of Inmate Misconduct in a State Prison System (Chair: Tim Brown)

Brenda Prochaska (Assistant Professor at Lake Erie College) | Dissertation: Do Contextual Factors Matter in Juvenile Transfer Decisions? A Longitudinal Multilevel Analysis of Juvenile Waivers to Adult Court (Chairs: Tusty ten Bensel, Bob Lytle)

AY 2016-2017

Rocio Paez (Ritter) (Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Arkansas) | Dissertation: Serving their Country and their Communities? An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Military Presence on County-Level Crime Rates (Chair: Tusty ten Bensel)

Kristen Sobba (Associate Professor at Southeastern Missouri State University) | Dissertation: Adolescent Networks: An Exploratory Study Assessing Bullying Victimization and Outcomes of Social Capital on School Avoidance (Chair: Tusty ten Bensel)

AY 2015-2016

Rick Dierenfeldt (UC Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Tennessee at Chatanooga) | Dissertation: Disentangling the Effects of Violent Subculture and Structure: A Multi-Level Analysis of Race-Specific Gun Violence in Urban US Counties (Chairs: Jim Golden, Shaun Thomas)

Brittani McNeal (Associate Professor at the University of West Georgia) | Dissertation: An Application of General Strain Theory to Recidivism in Arkansas: A Multilevel Study (Chair: Jim Golden)

AY 2014-2015

Grant Drawve (Division Leader for CAP Index Research and Innovation Division) | Dissertation: A Multilevel Approach to Recidivism: The Role of Risk for Criminal Opportunities at the Neighborhood Level (Chair: Jeff Walker)

Alesa Liles (Associate Professor at Georgia College and State University) | Dissertation: The Life Course of Female Homicide Offenders: A Mixed Methods Analysis (Chair: Stacy Moak)

Jennifer Miller (Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas at Monticello) | Dissertation: Sentencing Disparities in Arkansas: A Multiple Year Study (Chair: Mary Parker)

Chris Rush (Associate Professor at East Tennessee State University) | Dissertation: There Goes the Neighborhood: The Effects of Residency Restrictions on Sex Offenders and the Community (Chair: Tusty ten Bensel)

AY 2013-2014

Kyle Burgason (Associate Professor and Graduate Director at Iowa State University) | Dissertation: People, Places, and Perceptions: The Individual and Contextual Level Predictors of Trust in the Police (Chair: Shaun Thomas)

Tom Zawisza (Lecturer at Lasell University)

AY 2011-2012

Gavin Lee (Associate Professor at the University of West Georgia) | Dissertation: An Examination of the Correlates of Prison Misconduct in the Arkansas Prison System (Chair: Jeff Walker)