Alumni News and Congratulations


We are so lucky to have so many exceptional alumni! Don’t forget to send us your updates. We want to know what you are all up to!


Dr. Frances P. Bernat, smiling outside.Frances P. Bernat, PhD, recently was awarded a Regents Professorship from the Texas A&M University System. Bernat holds both a law degree from SUNY@Buffalo and a PhD in political science from WSU. She is a professor of criminal justice at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) and an emeritus faculty member in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University.

She is nationally and internationally known for her scholarship and is the editor of Women & Criminal Justice. She is the author and co-author of several books including: Women & Crime Encylopedia (Wiley, 2019); Women, Crime and Justice: Balancing the Scales (Wiley, 2017); Criminal Procedure Law: Police Issues and the Supreme Court (Jones & Bartlett, 2013); and, Human Sex Trafficking (Routledge, 2011). Much of her scholarship involves the interplay between law and criminal justice: immigration, criminal law and procedure, cybercrime, human sex trafficking, and youth deviance and resilience. She has also published scholarly articles on criminal justice education and the use of online technology in the classroom

Her administrative leadership and academic acumen has been recognized by a number of awards and honors. Among these honors, she has received the 2020 Evelyn Gilbert Unsung Hero Award, and the 2020 Distinguished Counselor Award from the Minorities and Women Section of the ACJS and the Coramae Richey Mann Leadership Award in 2012. Bernat received TAMIU’s University Distinguished Scholar of the Year Award in 2018, and the Instructional Technology Excellence Award in 2013. In addition, she was awarded the Faculty Achievement Award for Service to the Arizona State University Senate in 2006, WESTMARC’s Best of the West Award for research in 2004, Arizona State Governor’s Spirit of Excellence Award in 1998, an Innovations in American Government Semifinalist Award in 1998 and the Arizona State University President’s Medal for Team Excellence Award in 1998.

At the present time, Bernat is working on a Trafficking Emergency Network (TEN) initiative in Texas to provide emergency services for child victims of sex trafficking, to address the needs of community service providers, to facilitate a diversion program, and to coordinate “care for the caregivers.” This initiative is its infancy but will provide a comprehensive approach to education, training, service provision, and criminal justice system responses to modern day slavery in South Texas.

Related link: Texas A&M International University


Dr. Ming-Li Hsieh, smiling. Ming-Li Hsieh, PhD, recently received both the Dorothy Bracey/Janice Joseph Minority and Women New Scholar Award and the SAGE Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Award, which will be presented at the 2021 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) meeting. Ming-Li received her master’s degree in criminal justice and doctoral degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from WSU. She is currently an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Program at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC). She was recognized as one of the outstanding scholars of the year at the university’s 2017 Authors Celebration and profiled in the Spotlight Faculty in 2019 at UWEC. In addition, Ming-Li has been an affiliated researcher with the Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice (WSICJ) for several years. She works on projects involving crime mapping and management as well as other data collection and analysis designs.

Ming-Li was awarded the Braswell/Routledge Outstanding Dissertation Award at the 2017 ACJS meeting. Her research includes an examination of cybercrime and policing, risk assessment instruments, crime control policies and comparative criminal justice. Her recent work has been published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Sexual Abuse, International Journal of Cyber CriminologyInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Criminal Justice Policy ReviewInternational Criminal Justice Review, and Feminist Criminology, among others. Ming-Li regularly presents papers at professional conferences, and has co-authored a textbook with Marilyn McShane, Women in Criminal Justice (Wolters Klewer). Recently she co-authored a research monograph for the SpringerBriefs series, “Digital Robbery: ATM Hacking and Implications.”


Dr. Wendy Koslicki, smiling.Wendy Koslicki, PhD, was featured in an August 2020 video by the Washington Post, discussing findings from her recent publication derived from her dissertation research. Koslicki received her BA in Criminal Justice at WSU in 2010, and returned for her MA and PhD in Criminal Justice and Criminology in 2013-2018. She is currently an assistant professor at Ball State University’s Criminal Justice and Criminology Department in Muncie, Indiana, where her research and teaching areas concentrate on policing. Koslicki’s specific research interests include police militarization, police accountability, and police/public interactions, and she continues to be an active collaborator with the WSU Complex Social Interactions Lab. Beyond her research and teaching, she is the current advisor of BSU’s Alpha Phi Sigma chapter and the BSU Judo Club, and she is an active member and consultant for Mobilizing Muncie, a community movement working to address racial inequities across the local criminal justice system.


Dr. Courtney Bagdon-Cox, smiling.Courtney Bagdon-Cox, PhD, recently received the 2021 ACJS Michael C. Braswell/Routledge Outstanding Dissertation Award for her dissertation, Seeking Humanity and Freedom: An Examination of Prison Work Environments & Mature Coping in Incarcerated Workers. She also received the 2020 ACJS Corrections Section Dr. Kelly Cheeseman Outstanding Student Paper Travel Award for her paper “Social Support and Inmate Perceptions of prison Work & Unit Environments.”

Bagdon-Cox received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Criminal Justice from WSU in 2017 and August 2020 respectively. Her time as a graduate student was spent working with faculty on corrections research examining topics including, incarcerated individual work environments, mature coping, and classification and risk assessment. Courtney now works as a data and research analyst for the Washington State Department of Corrections, continuing her work in the field of correctional policy and practice.

Front left to right: Dr. Courtney Bagdon-Cox, Secretary Stephen Sinclair, Dr. Faith Lutze, Associated Superintendent Dr. Kay Heinrich at Airway Heights Corrections Center (WADOC).
Courtney Bagdon-Cox, left, with Secretary Stephen Sinclair, Professor Faith Lutze, and Associated Superintendent Kay Heinrich at Airway Heights Corrections Center (WADOC).


Dr. Krystal Roig-Palmer, smiling outside.Krystal Roig-Palmer, PhD 2020, received the 2021 Inaugural Bayard Rustin Excellence Award (BREA) and the 2021 Martin Lurther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award sponsored by the WSU President’s Commission on Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation (GIESO) and the Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award committee. For more information, please visit: 2021 WSU Distinguished Service Awards.