Criminal Justice & Criminology Faculty


Danielle Romain Dagenhardt, PhD


  • Courts and sentencing
  • Prosecutorial discretion
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Gender and racial disparities

My research focuses on two larger areas: examining court decision-making by judges and prosecutors and working with community agencies on program and process evaluation in justice-related fields. I have been a co-Investigator on several funded projects, including evaluating a conflict management program for behavioral health staff and a family drug treatment court, and have served as a principal investigator on an evaluation response to the civil legal needs of survivors of human trafficking. I have served as a master’s thesis chair and have been actively involved in mentoring master’s and doctoral students on research projects, including presentations at conferences and publishing peer-reviewed articles.


Tina Freiburger, PhD
Dean and Professor


  • Program evaluation
  • Criminal sentencing
  • Gender and racial disparities in the criminal justice system
  • Juvenile justice and decision making in the juvenile court

Kimberly D. Hassell, PhD


  • Police policy
  • Police decision making and behavior
  • Police management
  • Women and policing
  • Police-community relations
  • Race and criminal justice
  • Administration of justice
  • Criminal justice processing

Rebecca Headley Konkel, PhD


  • The effect of neighborhood context and local institutions on offending, corrections and parolee outcomes

Thomas LeBel, PhD
Criminal Justice & Criminology Chair


  • Prisoner reintegration
  • Desistance from crime
  • Stigma and formerly incarcerated persons
  • Intervention strategies with correctional clients
  • Substance use treatment and services for criminal justice involved individuals
  • Women involved with the criminal justice system
  • Drug courts

Theodore S. Lentz, PhD


  • Geographic criminology
  • Decision-making
  • Crime networks
  • Urban sociology
  • Gun violence

My research primarily examines urban gun violence. My work uses geographic information systems, social network analysis, simulation, and advanced statistical modeling to understand the processes that contribute to violence. I am currently involved in two funded projects to evaluate gun violence prevention programs, including Cure Violence (St. Louis, MO) and Project Life (Indianapolis, IN). I am always looking to work with graduate students interested in learning more about data management and analysis.


Alyssa Sheeran, PhD


  • Disparities (e.g., race/ethnicity, sex, age) in the criminal justice system
  • Correlates of jail recidivism
  • Adult drug treatment courts and veteran’s treatment courts

My research focuses on examining potential disparities in the criminal justice system related to sentencing decisions; and the influence of individual- and neighborhood-level factors that affect the likelihood of recidivism post-jail. I have experience conducting program evaluations for various agencies across Wisconsin, and currently have funding for a process and outcome evaluation of the Milwaukee County Adult Drug Treatment Court. I hope to draw additional funding in the future that will support both masters and doctoral students.


Stan Stojkovic, PhD


  • Philosophy of criminal justice
  • Criminal justice administration
  • Corrections, jails, correctional leadership, and prisoner re-entry

Dr. Stan Stojkovic is a Criminal Justice & Criminology professor at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. He is an expert in criminal justice administration, prisoner reintegration, and theories of justice. He has written extensively on corrections and works locally, nationally, and internationally with law enforcement and corrections entities.

Professor Stojkovic is author or co-author of over 50 academic publications, book chapters, monographs, editorials, and other publications. He has conducted numerous projects evaluating correctional outcomes. He was principal local evaluator for the Correctional/Law Enforcement Family Services (CLEFS) project, funded by the National Institute of Justice, in 2005. In addition, he was co-evaluator of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative with the U.S. Attorneys Office in Southeastern Wisconsin (2010). He has worked with the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) agency for the state of California regarding prisoner re-entry (2008-2021). Additionally, he is a commissioner on the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group (2000-present), a group dedicated to advancing law enforcement accreditation in the state of Wisconsin.

Social Work Faculty


Lisa Berger, PhD
Associate Dean and Professor


  • Unhealthy alcohol use
  • Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment for unhealthy substance use
  • Integrated substance use disorder and psychological trauma treatment

My research focuses on unhealthy alcohol use and expanding the base of alcohol and other drug use intervention into health care settings. I have been involved in numerous substance use research, evaluation, and training projects over the past 20+ years. These projects have included the efficacy of alcohol behavioral treatments in combination with medications, studies on alcohol screening and brief intervention for individuals engaged in hazardous and harmful drinking, and alcohol biomarker research.

My current projects focus on integrated substance use disorder and psychological trauma treatment. I currently am the Co-Principal Investigator of a training project titled Youth-Oriented Substance Abuse and Trauma Counseling. I have served as an advisor to several doctoral students over the years, published with many more, and I count several former students as current colleagues in the substance use research field.

Ai Bo, PhD


  • Social determinants of health
  • Evidence-based practice for behavioral and mental health problems
  • Adolescent development and substance use prevention
  • Adolescent alcohol use decision making

Colleen Galambos, PhD
Helen Bader Endowed Chair in Applied Gerontology


  • Care transitions and advance care planning
  • Aging in place
  • Health and long term care systems quality improvement
  • Gerontechnology
  • Interprofessional practice

Jane Hereth, PhD, MSW (she/her)


  • Examining social and structural exclusion among LGBTQIA+ communities
  • Gender-based violence
  • Criminal legal system involvement

My research examines the impact and intersection of interpersonal and state violence on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) youth and young adults. My previous work investigated young transgender women’s pathways into the criminal legal system. Currently, I serve as the Principal Investigator on an NIH-funded study examining transgender women’s trajectories of victimization, help-attainment, and mental health. I am excited to expand my research team to include new doctoral students.

Colleen Janczewski, PhD, MSW


  • Child maltreatment
  • Agency decision-making in public systems
  • Concentrated poverty and cumulative risk
  • Client engagement and autonomy
  • Program evaluation

Melinda S. Kavanaugh, PhD, LCSW


  • Caregiver health literacy
  • Cultural implications of caregiving
  • Youth caregivers/young carers
  • Impact of chronic illness on the family
  • Social work and health care
  • Director, PhD in Social Welfare program

Yura Lee, PhD


  • Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias among older adults
  • Cognitive decline after late-life transitions including retirement and widowhood
  • Leisure activity participation and cognitive function in later life
  • Intergenerational support: grandchildren as caregivers of dementia patients
  • Health and mental health of older Asian immigrants

Joshua Mersky, PhD


  • Adversity, trauma and resilience
  • Prevention and intervention
  • Program evaluation
  • Translational science

David J. Pate Jr., PhD
Social Work Chair


  • Poverty
  • Social welfare policy
  • Child support enforcement policy
  • Life-course perspective of black males
  • Violence prevention and young black males

Dimitri Topitzes, PhD


  • Long-term effects of child maltreatment
  • Interventions for preventing or treating child maltreatment and early life trauma
  • Evaluation of prison entry programs

My research focuses on the design, implementation and evaluation of trauma responsive service models integrated within publicly funded programs such as child welfare. I have developed the T-SBIRT model, and after completing multiple feasibility studies, I am now conducting outcome evaluations of the model.
I currently have funding from the Wisconsin Partnership Program and Medical College of Wisconsin. I hope to draw down future funding that will enable support of doctoral students.

Trina Salm Ward, PhD, APSW


  • Infant sleep practices
  • Infant and family health
  • Racial disparities in maternal and infant health
  • Community-based research

My research focuses on infant and maternal health, specifically, reducing risk of sleep-related infant deaths such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation. I am currently studying the context of infant sleep and parental decision-making about infant sleep practices. I am also evaluating approaches to educate families on safe infant sleep, such as group education and home visiting models, as well as hospital-based interventions. I am seeking funding for the next phases of my research, including funding to support doctoral students.

Amy Watson, PhD


  • Mental health policy & services
  • Serious mental illness
  • Research methods
  • Crisis intervention
  • Reducing the involvement of law enforcement/criminal legal system