To begin, I’m originally from Winchester, Illinois, a small town about an hour’s drive from St. Louis. Yes, I’m still a Cardinals fan but follow the NFL more than MLB in recent years. I’m also a Ravens fan.
Moving away from my home town and sports and into my professional career, I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington University (St. Louis) in 1977 and spent 18 years on the sociology faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before coming to UCF in 1996. Until AY2011-2012, I was the Chair of the Department of Sociology at UCF. My primary research area is homicide and violent crime. My first publication on homicide appeared in 1983 and it has been followed by numerous articles, a research monograph, book chapters, and conference proceedings. Along the way, I served as co-editor of the journal, Homicide Studies, for six years and was an invited attendee at the FBI’s Workshop on Serial Murder in 1995. Currently, I’m the President of the Homicide Research Working Group.
More generally, my other research specializations include substance use, urban problems, and policy issues related to law enforcement and crime control. Publications have appeared in several journals, including Social Forces, American Journal of Sociology, Criminology, the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Deviant Behavior, Justice Research and Policy, and other refereed journals, and non-refereed sources targeted to law enforcement. In addition to being active in scholarly associations, I am an invited member of the Futures Working Group sponsored by the FBI and Police Futures International and a guest lecturer for the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI. Prior research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, the Distilled Spirits Council of America, and state and local agencies.
I enjoy working with graduate students. At UCF, I have chaired four Ph.D. dissertation and eight M.A. thesis committees that are completed and am currently (May 2012) chairing one dissertation and two thesis committees. I take it as a very serious responsibility that Ph.D. students who work with me obtain appropriate positions after completion of their doctoral degree. Three of my four Ph.D. students at UCF obtained tenure-track academic positions; the fourth is working for a private research company.
- Violent Crimes
- Geographical Patterning of Crime
- Neighborhoods and Crime
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