Alumni and Faculty Highlights

We are so lucky to have so many exceptional alumni!

Don’t forget to send us your updates at We want to celebrate your accomplishments!

Here are some of the accomplishments of our outstanding faculty this year:

Frances Boateng
Jacqueline van Wormer

PhD alumnus Francis D. Boateng was awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor at University of Mississippi.

Jacqueline van Wormer, PhD alum and Director of Research at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, was recently featured in the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) All Rise magazine, “Determined To Find Out What Works And Why: An interview with NADCP’s new director of research Dr. Jacqueline van Wormer”

Craig Hemmens, smiling.
Craig Hemmens

Craig Hemmens, professor, received the 2022 Distinguished Faculty Award from the College of Arts and Sciences. According to CAS:

Outstanding service to the community, excellence in teaching, and thorough and thoughtful scholarship define Craig Hemmens and his distinguished academic career.

An expert at the intersection of law, policy, and justice, Craig conducts research focused on the development of ethical criminal justice practices. He has led efforts to better understand complex social challenges, such as impaired driving, legalization of cannabis, use of force, and revisions to the rule of law.

Craig’s extensive publications—more than 150 peer-reviewed journals articles, 30 legal articles, and 20 books—span a variety of topics, including court and criminal procedure, corrections policy… and Bruce Springsteen. His annual contributions to the review of US Supreme Court decisions are highly valued by legal scholars. His legacy of service is remarkable. A past president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and editor of two leading journals, Craig is a strong advocate for interdisciplinary diversity and helped reinvigorate criminal justice as a discipline relevant to the national discourse.

Craig integrates research and service into his teaching, creating a bridge from theory to practice for the next generation of academics and practitioners. A respected leader with the highest standards of integrity, Craig is dedicated to creating an environment where academics, scientists, and practitioners can best serve the public.

David A. Makin, associate professor, received the following awards for the 2021 and 2022 academic year:

In October 2021, Hillary Mellinger, assistant professor, gave an invited virtual talk at the Miller Upton Forum at Beloit College, Wisconsin, on the topic of translations and foreign language interpretation at the Asylum Office for the Crimmigration Control International Net of Studies (CINETS). Mellinger also received a Research Enhancement Opportunity grant from the College of Arts and Sciences to develop an NSF application during summer 2022.

Amelie Pedneault, assistant professor, was voted unanimously by the Criminal Justice and Criminology faculty as the new Undergraduate Studies director. She will work with David Makin  during the transition, and will start her term in the fall 2022 semester.

Arifa Raza, assistant professor, received the 2022-2023 Ford Global Fellowship from the Ford Foundation.

During her year as a Ford Foundation Fellow, Raza will further research for her upcoming book, Immigration, and Inhuman Rights: Central American Migration and the Laws of Survival. This monograph traces the complex history of family separation, revealing how it is a consequence of the child welfare system dovetailed with the current discourse around combating human trafficking. Through an intersectional and interdisciplinary approach to understanding the contemporary origins of family separation, Immigration and Inhuman Rights will reveal how even the most progressive immigration laws can reinforce exclusion via criminalization of immigrants in the US. Based on her experience as an immigration attorney and contacts established within the immigration support community, Raza will be conducting interviews, finalizing some historical research and adding legal case studies in order to complete the book project.

Ford Foundation Fellowships are prestigious honors awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. Through its program of fellowships, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity; to maximize the educational benefits of diversity; and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

Adam Matz and Mary Stohr smiling with a plaque.
Adam Matz giving the John Howard Award plaque to Mary Stohr

Mary Stohr, professor, received the John Howard Award from the Corrections Sections at the 2022 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) annual meeting in March 2022. The John Howard award is the top honor given by the Corrections Section. It is not awarded annually but only when the Corrections Section deems a nominee worthy—Professor Stohr is the sixth person to ever receive this award.

According to the ACJS Corrections website, “The John Howard Award is given intermittently, upon significant demand, to recognize an individual who has made significant and sustained contributions to the practice of corrections. The nominee must have made significant contributions to practice but also can have made significant contributions in scholarship, teaching, policy, or service. Nominations are accepted every year and the committee will seriously consider all nominees. However, the awarding of this honor is solely at the Committee’s discretion and may not be awarded each year.”

Stohr is a nationally recognized corrections scholar who has conducted funded and unfunded research in jails and prisons and published her research in the leading criminal justice journals. She is also the co-author of two leading corrections textbooks. She is the relatively rare academic who also has extensive practical experience, as she worked in corrections, serving as a corrections officer and counselor in Washington state in the early 1980s—one of the first women hired at the prison where she worked.