Tenure Track Faculty

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Frances P. Abderhalden, PhD 
Assistant Professor 

Research Interests: Institutional Corrections, Jail Incarceration, Suicidality, Non-Serious Self-Injury (NSSI), Mental Health of People Incarcerated, Emotionality, Reentry Mapping, Correctional Policy, Siblings and Crime, Life Course Theory 

Courses Taught: Research Methods in Criminal Justice, Data Analysis in Criminal Justice, Corrections and Penology, Offender Reentry 

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Akhila L. Ananth
Akhila L. Ananth, PhD
Associate Professor

Research Interests: Race, gender, child welfare in Los Angeles, juvenile justice in global contexts
Courses Taught: Juvenile Justice, Multiculturalism and the Criminal Justice System, Probation Service Learning

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Carly B. Dierkhising, PhD
Associate Professor

Research Interests: Juvenile Justice, Trauma, Trauma-Informed Systems, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Gang Intervention, Child Welfare
Courses Taught: Juvenile Justice, Criminal Justice Research Methods, Statistics, Advanced Theory and Practice, and others.

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Gabriel Ferreyra, PhD
Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, drugs; courts, law, corruption, U.S. drug policy, social justice, U.S.-Mexico border 

Courses Taught: Judicial Organization, Multiculturalism in the Criminal Justice System, Written Communication in Criminal Justice, Ethics and Professional Responsibility

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Jane Florence Gauthier, PhD
Associate Professor

Research Interests: Hate Crimes, Hate Groups, Spatial Patterns of Crime
Courses Taught: Theories and Perspectives in Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Research Methods, Statistics in Criminal Justice, Hate Crimes, Advanced Criminal Justice Theory and Practice 

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Lisa Graziano, PhD

Research Interests: Community Policing, Police-Community Interaction, Media and Policing
Courses Taught: Police and Society, Theories and Perspectives in Criminal Justice, Legal Issues for Police Officers, Community Policing and Problem Solving, Police and the Media, Statistics in Criminal Justice

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Denise Herz
Denise C. Herz, PhD

Research Interests: Juvenile justice and delinquency, crossover youth, multisystem approaches to delinquency, gangs, program development and evaluation

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Donald J. Johnson, M.S.

Research Interests: Use of miRNA markers for the detection of wound cells in bloodstains to determine the wound-of-origin; imaging systems and computer modeling for bloodstain pattern analysis; and methods to determine time-of-death 

Courses Taught: Courtroom and Legal Issues in Criminalistics; Crime Scene Reconstruction; Forensic Biology; Physical Methods and Pattern Analysis; and Sex Crimes and Physical Evidence
Practical Experience: Medical College of Ohio at Toledo/Lucas County Coroner’s Office; County of Los Angeles Department of Coroner; and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department 

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Shichun (Asminet) Ling, PhD
Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Biopsychosocial, neurocriminology, antisocial behavior, psychopathy / callous-unemotional traits, experimental, developmental and life-course, autonomic functioning, brain structure and function, brain stimulation

Courses Taught: Introduction to Criminology, Theories and Perspectives in Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Research and Statistics in Criminal Justice

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Xiaohan Mei, PhD
Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Construction, Validation and Application of Adult and Juvenile Risk and Needs Assessment (RNA) instruments; Program/Policy Evaluation, and Quantitative Methods. 
Courses Taught: Theories and Perspectives in Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Research Methods, Statistics in Criminal Justice, Introduction to Administration of Justice

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Khadija Monk, PhD
Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Crime Prevention, Environmental Criminology, Police-Community Relationships, Community Violence Prevention, Sexual Assault Victimization, Crime & Policy Analysis, Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

Courses Taught: California Criminal Justice Policy, Introduction to Administration of Justice, Written Communication in Criminal Justice, Theories and Perspectives in Criminal Justice, Police and Society, and Special Topics in Criminal Justice.


Full Bio




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Katherine A. Roberts, PhD
Professor, Executive Director, California Forensic Science Institute Director, Criminalistics Graduate Program

Research Interests: Trace Evidence Analysis, Mitochondrial DNA, Sexual Assault Evidence, Fingerprint Aging
Courses Taught: Forensic Microscopy, Trace Evidence Analysis, Forensic Science Research Methods, Forensic Chemistry, Applications of Forensic Science

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Bill Sanders, PhD

Research interests: Young Offenders, Gangs, Substance use, Qualitative research methods, Public health, HIV/HCV, Diversion, Intervention, Desistance, Community-based organizations
Courses taught: Criminological Theory, Forensic Mental Health, Gangs, Substance Use and Crime, Violence, Advanced Theory and Practice, Criminal Justice Internships

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Katharine Tellis, PhD MSW
Professor and School Director

Research Interests: Sexual Assault, Intersectionality, Violence Prevention, Criminal Justice Policy and Practice
Courses Taught: Women and Crime, Advanced Theory and Practice, Writing for Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Ethics

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Jay R. Vargas, PhD
Associate Professor

Research Interests: Analytical techniques used in Forensic Science, Toxicology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology 

Courses Taught: Introduction to Forensic Science, Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Forensic Chemistry, Clandestine Laboratory Investigations, Forensic Toxicology & Controlled Substances Analysis 

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Carlos Chung, J.D.

Mr. Chung worked as a prosecutor for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, where he was assigned to the Hardcore Gang Division and the Major Crimes Division. He currently serves as a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge. He teaches Criminal Concepts and has taught Criminal Procedure in the past. 

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Margaret Finnegan, Ph.D.

Dr. Finnegan received her Ph.D from UCLA. She is particularly interested in the history of criminal justice in America and teaches CRIM 3010: Written Communication for Criminal Justice. She is also the Cal State LA Faculty Fellow for Reading & Writing, where she shares reading and writing pedagogy with faculty across campus. Her work has appeared in American Quarterly, College Composition and Communication, Los Angeles Times and other publications. She is also the author of Selling Suffrage: Consumer Culture and Votes for Women (Columbia University Press) and of the novels We Could Be Heroes (Simon Kids) and Susie B. Won’t Back Down (Simon Kids, forthcoming). 

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Joel Lofton, JD

Mr. Lofton currently serves as a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge.  Prior to his appointment to the bench he worked as a Deputy Public Defender in both Los Angeles and Riverside Counties and served as an Army JAG.  He teaches Contemporary Criminal Procedure.  

Jeffry R. Phillips, DPA

Dr. Phillips received his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and his Master of Science degree in Public Administration, both from California State University at Los Angeles, and is a Doctor of Public Administration (DPA), University of La Verne; his area of research study includes the utilization of law enforcement performance auditing as performance measures. Jeff has engaged in various speaking engagements, including but not limited to, the Institute of Internal Auditors, Association of Local Government Auditors, International Law Enforcement Auditor’s Association, American Society for Criminology, International Association Chiefs of Police, and Rutgers University. Dr. Phillips has published articles as author/contributing author in both academic and professional journals. Dr. Phillips has served over 25 years with local and federal law enforcement agencies.  He is currently the commanding officer of Evidence and Property Management Division for the Los Angeles Police Department. Prior to this assignment, he was assigned as the commanding officer, Audit Division and served as the Chief Audit Executive for the Department.  Dr. Phillips has also served as a consultant to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He has served as President of the International Law Enforcement Auditor’s Association, and Chairman of Alta Public Schools in Los Angeles. Dr. Phillips has been an adjunct professor for 14 years and has been at California State University at Los Angeles for four years, where he teaches Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Research Methods, and other criminal justice courses.

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Jason Plummer, M.S.W.

Mr. Jason Anthony Plummer’s MUP research focuses on the sociopolitical development of youth, with an emphasis on how race, election laws, and policing shape the political behavior of youth. He received his B.A. in psychology from Baruch College, CUNY, and both his master’s in social work and urban planning are from the University of Michigan.  He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Urban Social Work and author of Families in the Urban Environment: Understanding resiliency (Cognella, 2018). Currently, he is a doctoral student in social welfare at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles

Nicole Smolter, M.S.

Ms. Smolter has experience working in the areas of offender reentry, domestic violence, and program evaluation.  She earned her Master's degree at American University and completed additional graduate studies at the University of Delaware in Criminology and Sociology. She teaches a variety of classes including Correctional Systems, Research Methods, Statistics, Criminological Theory.

Rick Sternfeld, J.D.

Mr. Sternfeld is a criminal defense attorney with the Alternate Public Defender’s office. He has practiced criminal defense for over 35 years. For the last 13 years, his practice has been focused on murder and death penalty cases. Mr. Sternfeld received his law degree from Southwestern School of Law. He has taught in the School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics since 2018. 

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Elizabeth Velazquez, Psy.D.

Dr. Elizabeth Velazquez has a Psy. D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology. She has 11+ years of experience in community policing. Some of her experience includes the promotion, organization, and development of events and/or programs to support community partnership with law enforcement. Some of these events and/or programs focused on the education of municipal code enforcement, neighborhood cohesiveness, emergency preparedness, and the creation and facilitation of education programs to address juvenile delinquency. She has worked within treatment aspects of substance abuse and mental health. Specifically, she has experience in the treatment of dual diagnosis and substance abuse patients. She has also had the opportunity of working with the court system to create programs used by judges for diversion or sanctions. Dr. Velazquez first taught at California State University in 2016 and has taught CRIM 1010 - Introduction to Administration Justice, CRIM 2100 - Multiculturalism in Criminal Justice, CRIM 3010 - Written Communication in Criminal Justice, CRIM 3030 - Theories and perspectives in Criminal Justice, CRIM 3070 - Forensic Mental Health, CRIM 3090 - Juvenile Justice, CRIM 3100 - Ethics and Professional Responsibly CRIM 4020- Substance Use and Crime, and CRIM 4280 – California Criminal Justice Policy. 

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Tracy Webb, M.S., J.D.

Tracy Webb is currently the Director of Communication & Law Enforcement Outreach for the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. Prior to this role, she was Counsel for Child Abuse Policy and Cyber Crime Prosecution at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. She is a career prosecutor who has spent the majority of her career prosecuting crimes against children and family violence cases including domestic violence, physical, sexual, exploitation, and sex trafficking cases and technologically facilitated crimes against children. Tracy was an active member of the Federal Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) Task Force for nine years and is currently co-chair of the Los Angeles County Cyber Crime Task Force, a position she has held for the past 12 years. She is an adjunct professor at Cal State LA, USC and University of California, Irvine. She is a frequent speaker locally and nationally in the area of cybercrime, child abuse, human trafficking and online exploitation. Her keynotes, presentations and workshops are renowned for their generous mix of knowledge, humor, and the reality of the world of technology and exploitation. For the past 36 years, Tracy has dedicated her career to prosecuting criminals, supporting children and families, and educating law enforcement, students and the community. She currently teaches Cyber and Technology-Facilitated Crime, Ethics, Leadership and the Senior Capstone courses.

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Mark Zavidow, J.D.

Mr. Zavidow had a 30-year career as a deputy public defender, mostly as a member of The Office of the Los Angeles County Public Defender and The Office of the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender. His primary focus was in the realm of death penalty litigation, serving as both a courtroom litigator and supervisor/trainer of attorneys assigned to handle capital cases. He also is a credentialed public-school educator, teaching Advanced Placement and Honors English. He surfs, badly. He plays the trumpet, badly. He rides horses, badly. And he skis, badly. He excels at reading while sitting in a comfortable chair.


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Paige Williams
Administrative Support Coordinator
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Ingrid Terreros
Administrative Support Assistant