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.
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
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
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 ju… More
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 Schoo… More
Alex Clayton is currently a PhD student in Justice, Law & Criminology with concentrations in Law & Society and Political Violence & Nonviolence. He holds a master's degree from American University in Justice, Law & Society and a bachelor's degree in … More
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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