Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
Criminal Justice News

Message from the Chair

Welcome to Criminal Justice News!

Melanie-Angela Neuilly, Smiling
Melanie-Angela Neuilly, Chair and Associate Professor

Dear Coug Family,

Fall 2022 has been a whirlwind, and so, here I am, wishing you happy holidays and giving you a glimpse of our recent activities.

First of all, congratulations are in order for our Fall 2022 graduates: During WSU’s December Commencement, we sent off 28 bachelor’s and three master’s degree students in Criminal Justice and Criminology. We cannot wait to see what good they will do in the world!

As I hope you all know, we care about our students first and foremost, which is why we are so thankful we were able to hire a new Advisor 1 to support our Senior Advisor Sisouvanh Keopanapay. Rebecca Auliye joined us in October from the Office of Sponsored Programs. Her experience working with Alternatives to Violence on the Palouse really appealed to us (along with her spotless references and her abilities). She brings to our students a set of skills in applied victimology and gendered violence that will be of tremendous value to them as they navigate internships and consider their professional options. Along with DeeDee Torgeson, our beloved administrative manager; Danielle Makin, who is still relatively new in the Graduate Program coordinator position; and Kiva Bloxham-Bliss, our returning work–study student, our office staff feels complete once again (even though, of course we could always use more help…). As far as I’m concerned, my departmental home is where this staff is! Thank you all, you make everything important happen for us!

This fall, I got to meet several of our alumni, some on purpose and some completely fortuitously. For example, as I was attending the WSU v. Oregon football game in September, so was John Wiess (BA ’50). It was an honor to get to listen to stories from his fascinating career in international law enforcement training and to share with him what we are now up to, including our Criminal Justice Study Abroad program, which is entering its ninth year this spring! Norm Simons (BA ’79) and Chris Peterson (BA ’66) both just happened to be in Pullman on their way elsewhere, and they decided to stop by and visit their old stomping grounds! I was able to give them a bit of a tour of our new digs, and am now planning to host each of them for a guest presentation to our undergraduate students. Sharing our alumni’s experiences with our current students is one of those special touches that make getting a Criminal Justice and Criminology degree at WSU one of a kind! So please, if you are ever in the area, never hesitate to stop by, we would love to see you, show you around, and brag about you in our newsletter and to our students!

This fall, as always, our faculty have been hard at work balancing their exceptional teaching with their nationally and internationally recognized research. Prof. Amelie Pedneault presented some of her work within the University, which was particularly relevant as it pertains to campus climate and sexual violence in higher education. We also started a new Criminal Justice and Criminology Research Symposium series, for which Profs. Arifa Raza and Hillary Mellinger were our inaugural presenters and discussed, respectively, “A Call Back to White Slavery: Racial Bias in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act” and “Interpretation at the Asylum Office.” Emeritus Professor Nick Lovrich represented us well, as always, in Taiwan, where he gave the keynote address prepared by Prof. Faith Lutze and alumna Kay Heinrich (PhD ’17) at the International Conference of Offender Reentry and Forensic Social Work Services. Meanwhile, a lot more has happened, but we have to wait a bit longer before we can tell you all about it. Stay tuned, the Spring newsletter should be a big one!

Last but not least, I’d like to acknowledge the crucial role of our supportive alumni, donors, and friends in the success of our students and programs. You make it possible for us to further support and reward the outstanding teaching, learning, and scholarship that is the department’s hallmark. As indicated by our 2022 record of achievement, your help is having a positive impact.

Wishing you the best throughout the holiday season!

Melanie-Angela Neuilly

Chair and Associate Professor