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Doctoral Students

Doctoral students in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology (JLC) conduct research on a variety of subjects across the department's three primary concentrations: criminal justice and criminology, terrorism and security policy, and legal studies. The nature of study at JLC is interdisciplinary and provides a balanced approach to the field, thus preparing PhD graduates for roles in academia, government, consulting, and more. These students benefit from working with faculty on the most pressing issues in the field and have contributed to key studies both here and abroad. These profiles highlight some of their accomplishments at American University.

  1. Erik Alda

    Erik Alda is a PhD student in Justice, Law and Criminology at American University. From 2001 to 2003, he lived in the slums of Fortaleza (Ceará), Brazil where he worked with an NGO on issues related to crime, violence and safety. In the past ten year… More

    Send email to Erik Alda

  2. Maya Barak, Adjunct Instructor

    Maya Barak is a PhD candidate in the Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology, with a dual concentration in the sociology of the law and criminology and an emphasis on qualitative methods. Her research brings together the topics of law, deviance, … More

    Send email to Maya Barak

  3. Sydney Bender

    Sydney Bender is a PhD student in the department of Justice, Law, and Criminology at American University. Her primary research interests include variation in gender-based violence, the use and consequences of wartime sexual violence, and crime and j… More

    Send email to Sydney Bender

  4. Leandra Carrasco, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer

    Leandra Carrasco is a doctoral student in the department of Justice, Law and Criminology. Before pursuing her PhD, Leandra worked in community outreach and development and then trained as a lawyer at the University of the District of Columbia's Scho… More

    Send email to Leandra Carrasco

  5. Alexander Clayton

  6. Ari Cohen

  7. Suat Cubukcu

    Suat Cubukcu is a PhD candidate in Justice, Law, and Criminology with a minor in Public Policy. His research revolves around reporting of terrorism, understanding of political violence, and policy evaluation. He has six years of public sector experie… More

    Send email to Suat Cubukcu

  8. Jason Fritz

    Jason Fritz is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology. His research interests are on the intersection of political violence and policing in late- and post-conflict states, and on quantitative methods. Prior to matriculation… More

    Send email to Jason Fritz

  9. Joel Hunt, Adjunct Instructor

    Currently a Ph.D. candidate in Justice, Law and Society at American University. Also works as a social science (geospatial) analyst at the National Institute of Justice. Background in statistics/econometrics, methodology, and policing.

    Send email to Joel Hunt

  10. Avi-Yona Israel

    Avi-Yona is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology. Her research combines law, philosophy, punishment, applied criminology, and social contract theory. During law school, Avi-Yona was an associate editor for the Universit… More

    Send email to Avi-Yona Israel

  11. Katherine Jares, Adjunct Instructor

    Katie Hail-Jares is a research associate at Georgetown University and a PhD candidate in Justice, Law & Criminology at American University. Her research centers on the intersection of criminal, or otherwise socially deviant, behavior and public healt… More

    Send email to Katherine Jares

  12. Erin Kearns, Adjunct Instructor

    Erin Kearns is a PhD student in Justice, Law and Criminology at American University, with a minor in Public Policy. Her primary research seeks to understand the relationship among terrorism, counterterrorism and security policy, and human rights. Eri… More

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  13. Kenneth Leon

    Kenneth Sebastian Leon is a PhD student in the Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology with a dual emphasis in sociolegal studies and criminology. His primary areas of interest include legal philosophy, drug & alcohol policy, social constructions… More

    Send email to Kenneth Leon

  14. Belen Lowrey, Adjunct Instructor

    Belén Lowrey is a PhD student in Justice, Law and Criminology with a minor in Public Policy. Her research lies at the intersection of language and the law, including police-citizen interactions, procedural justice, wrongful convictions, and false con… More

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  15. Hillary Mellinger

  16. Katherine Mitchell

  17. Victoria Smiegocki

  18. Jennifer Tilley

    Jennifer Tilley is a Ph.D. student in the department of Justice, Law and Criminology. Her primary research interests include institutional and community corrections, capital punishment, parole and prisoner reentry, juvenile delinquency, and social j… More

    Send email to Jennifer Tilley

  19. Gabe Whitbread

  20. Keith Williams, Adjunct Instructor

    Keith L. Williams has over 20 years of experience in private security and municipal law enforcement. His policing career has included stints in patrol operations, recruiting, homicide investigations, and at the executive level focusing on risk manage… More

    Send email to Keith Williams