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Ph.D., M.A., Northeastern University; B.A., Gettysburg College
I graduated from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA with an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a budding interest in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I attended Northeastern University in Boston, MA and graduated with a Master's degree in Sociology, specializing in Criminology. Based on an internship in graduate school, upon completing my Master's degree I was hired by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections as a victim advocate. I began teaching Criminal Justice classes at night as an adjunct shortly thereafter.
After a few years with the DOC (and some unbelievable experiences!), I was hired as a Program Coordinator with the Dorchester Community Roundtable (DCR), a non-profit organization funded by the Center for Disease Control and Injury Prevention, to help create a coordinated community response to intimate partner violence in Dorchester by working with the police, the courts, the hospitals, the health centers, and the community at large. At night, I continued teaching part-time in the areas of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Sociology during these years. I decided to return to Northeastern University and pursue my PhD in Sociology, specializing in Criminology. Simultaneously, I was hired to develop and teach classes in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA. Over time, those classes became a minor and eventually a major.
In the fall of 2010, I came to Emmanuel College and have taught classes in the areas of Sociology, Criminology and Crime and Justice for the past four years. I enjoy teaching students in the classroom, but I also make a concerted effort to take my students "outside the classroom" to learn-this often includes a historic crime tour of Boston and attending related lectures or events off campus during the semester. In addition to teaching, I have continued my research focusing on at-risk youth and the influence of education and schooling on their academic performance and life outcomes.
In my life outside of work I am an active volunteer with several non-profit organizations. I am particularly committed to the country and people of Haiti where I began volunteering in 1998 [see video and article]. Since the earthquake I have worked mainly with King's Hospital and King's Garden Orphanage in Port-au-Prince. l lead teams of doctors, nurses, and general volunteers who join me in this volunteer effort during the summer months. I have also participated in service trips to Benin, Ghana, South Africa, and various places in the United States. I see my service and volunteer work as an extension of my passions and my professional interests in the areas of social justice and inequality and my desire to see the world as a "classroom" in which we have the opportunity to learn and grow every day.
In the past, I have also taught the following classes at other colleges or universities: Policing, Corrections and Alternatives, Prison Culture
Peer Reviewed Publications (* indicates co-author is an Emmanuel College student or graduate)
Scholarly Book Chapters
A Selection of My Conference Paper Presentations
My research interest developed as I worked for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections as a victim advocate. All too often I saw the revolving door of inmates entering and exiting prison - only to re-entering again...often quickly. I became interested in further understanding what can be done to keep individuals from becoming caught in this seemingly never ending cycle.
With this interest in mind, I returned to Northeastern University to pursue my PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Criminology. I began studying at-risk youth and the influence of education and schooling, both positive and negative, on this vulnerable population. My dissertation, entitled, "First step or last chance : at-risk youth, alternative schooling and juvenile delinquency," was based on over 750 hours of participant observation, 132 student surveys, and over 23 teacher interviews at an alternative school for at-risk youth. I examined the influence of alternative schooling on at-risk youth, many of whom were likely to end up in juvenile detention and eventually adult prison.
Since then I have studied another at-risk population, namely migrant at-risk youth and the role of education and schooling in their lives. Most recently, I interviewed 48 streetworkers who work with high-risk and proven-risk youth. Through the Faculty Development Committee at Emmanuel College, I have had the pleasure of hiring many students to work with me as research assistants on these various projects. I have thoroughly enjoyed mentoring and working alongside each of them. I look forward to continuing to involve them in my research in the future!
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