I am a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida International University. I received my B.S. in Sociology from Oregon State University and my M.S. and Ph.D. in Criminology from Florida State University. My research foci encompass various aspects of juvenile delinquency and young adult offending, but my current work is concentrated in three areas. First, my research and that of my co-authors focuses on self-control, both it sources and consequences. Second, I have been examining the behavioral and health consequences of a lack of sleep among teenagers. Third, my recent research investigates racial and ethnic disparities in school discipline and juvenile justice sanctioning among youth. My work has been published in outlets including Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Crime & Delinquency, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Sleep Health, Intelligence, and Preventive Medicine. For my contributions, I received the 2016 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) New Scholar Award. I was also named a 2016 Florida International University Top Scholar for Research and a 2019 Florida International University Top Scholar for Student Mentorship.
Currently, I am a Co-PI on a multi-year grant aimed at evaluating the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program in Central America, funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). While the effectiveness of the GREAT program on reducing gang membership and improving youth attitudes toward the police has been evaluated in the U.S., researchers have yet to assess its effectiveness among youth in Central America. As such, the grant work represents an important step forward in evaluating the portability of GREAT to contexts outside of the U.S. The grant will run from 2022 - 2025.
My teaching interests focus primarily on research methods and criminological theory. In addition, I independently developed a course entitled Crime Documentaries, where each week of class students view a documentary film on a topic relevant to criminology and criminal justice, accompanied by corresponding readings. More recently, I developed a course entitled Biosocial Criminology, which utilizes Kevin Beaver's Biosocial Criminology textbook, along with Adrian Raine's The Anatomy of Violence, to teach students about cutting edge cross-disciplinary theory and research on the neural, genetic, and biological underpinnings of antisocial behavior and how these factors intersect with social factors emphasized by various theories of crime.
Outside of academia, you can find me playing a lot of pickleball, relaxing with my hounds Buford and Woody, and traveling with my wife Jessie Lee to places like Egypt, Greece, Peru, Spain, and Italy. We hope to travel to soon to Australia and Asia!