Our department has nationally and internationally recognized scholars whose research addresses critical questions about society and the criminal justice system and has significant academic and policy impacts.



image of Ken Sun

Ken Chih-Yan Sun, PhD, was promoted to Associate Professor and won three awards for recent publications.

Melissa Hodges, PhD, along with coauthor Pilar Gonalons-Pons, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) was awarded a two-year National Science Foundation grant for a project titled “The Care Work System as a Fundamental Cause of Economic Inequalities.”

Rick Eckstein, PhD, was quoted in an article published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on May 18 about the increasing problem of unruly parents at high school sporting events. He was featured in an article published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sept. 22 about the United Auto Workers strike and its similarity to local strikes in the Philadelphia area.  He also appeared on the September episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (S29 E9) where he discusses special admissions for college athletes.

Lance Hannon, PhD, participated in a Driving Equality Accountability Group that spoke about the Driving Equality Law passed last year in Philadelphia intended to improve police and community relations. The story was featured on news outlets such as NBC.


Meredith Bergey, PhD, Lance Hannon, PhD, Allison Ann Payne, PhD, and Kelly Welch, PhD, were all awarded summer research grants through the University Summer Grant Program. Drs. Bergey and Hannon worked on a project titled “Exploring Policy Variation in the Selection of External Reviewers for Tenure Cases in the Sciences.” Dr. Payne is conducting research on important gaps in the research on school climate. Dr. Welch is working on a project titled “Minority Threat and School Suspension: Diffuse and Targeted Effects of Static and Dynamic Racial and Ethnic Composition.”

Redistricting Data Hub released reports estimating the impact of prison gerrymandering in 10 states without statewide prison gerrymandering reforms. The data used to generate the reports was created by Rory Kramer, PhD, Brianna Remster, PhD, and research associate Denise Wilson. The data was also used by NC Counts Coalition and featured by Southern Coalition for Social Justice in their national press kit on prison gerrymandering

Tom Arvanites, PhD, is investigating the effect of residential segregation on the incarceration rate of African Americans for drug offenses.

Meredith Bergey, PhD, is working on a paper with Thomas Mackie, PhD, Giuseppina Chiri, PhD, and Nikki Freeman, PhD, that examines intersecting social identities and health inequalities.  

Glenn Bracey’s, PhD, scholarship examines the intersection of race, social movements, and religion. Drawing on research conducted through the Race, Religion, and Justice Project (, Bracey’s current work explores whiteness as a religion and the implications of the religion of whiteness for Christians of color. 

Rick Eckstein, PhD, is currently exploring the social class bias in non-revenue intercollegiate sports.

Heidi Grundetjern, PhD, is currently conducting research focused on women's drug use utilizing a trauma-informed psychosocial perspective.

Lance Hannon, PhD, is currently working on a variety of sociological and criminological research projects utilizing digital text analysis tools.   

Melissa Hodges, PhD, is currently working on a project that examines the relationship between the structural arrangements of care systems and variation in the distribution of economic inequality across gender, race, and class cross-nationally.

Brian J. Jones, PhD, is examining the surge in social network interaction that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Rory Kramer, PhD, is finishing work on a book manuscript about diversity within the Black student body at selective colleges and universities with colleagues at Penn and Princeton. He is also working on a related paper on the impact of racial disparities in exposure to stressful events on college completion rates.

Rory Kramer, PhD, and Brianna Remster, PhD, are conducting a nationwide analysis of the impact of prison gerrymandering on political representation using the soon to be released state legislative redistricting maps from the 2020 census.

Jill McCorkel, PhD, is working on two research projects. The first is exploring how laws and policies unique to the Irish criminal justice system shape parenting strategies and family relationships among prisoners. The second is a study of prison privatization in California with a focus on the ways in which private drug treatment programs and "reentry services" are reconfiguring the structural arrangements of mass incarceration in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Plata.

Max Osborn, PhD, is examining how LGBTQIA+ people navigate risk, safety, and gender presentation during encounters with institutional actors such as police and service providers. He is also studying representations of transgender victims of violence in the news media.

Allison Payne, PhD, is collaborating with our department’s research associate, Denise Wilson, on a multilevel study examining the influence of school-related risk and protective factors on traditional and cyberbullying.   

Brianna Remster, PhD, and Melissa Hodges, PhD, are investigating the incarceration-wage penalty for women compared to men.

Ken Sun, PhD, is currently working on two manuscripts, including a single-authored book on aging and migration, and the other on transnational social protection (with Professors Peggy Levitt, Erica Dobb, and Ruxandra Paul).

Kelly Welch, PhD, is co-authoring a school-to-prison pipeline study examining how the disparate exposure of youth of color to exclusionary school discipline contributes to racial and ethnic disparities in criminal justice system involvement.

Levitt, Peggy,  Erica Dobbs, Ken Chih-Yan Sun, and Ruxandra Paul. (2023). Transnational Social Protection. Oxford University Press.

Charles, Camille Z., Massey, Douglas S., Torres, Kimberly C., & Kramer, Rory. (2022). Young, Gifted and Diverse: Origins of the New Black Elite. Princeton University Press.

Sun, Ken Chih-Yan. (2021). Time and Migration: How Long-Term Taiwanese Migrants Negotiate Later Life. Cornell University Press.

Jones, Brian. (2019). Social Capital in American Life. Palgrave Macmillan.

Bergey, Meredith R., Angela M. Filipe, Peter Conrad, and Ilina Singh (Eds.) (2018). Global Perspectives on ADHD. Social Dimensions of Diagnosis and Treatment in Sixteen Countries. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Eckstein, Rick. (2017). How College Athletics Are Hurting Girls' Sports: The Pay-to-Play Pipeline. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Chiri, Giuseppina, Meredith Bergey, and Thomas Mackie (2022). Deserving but not entitled: the social construction of autism spectrum disorder in federal policy. Social Science and Medicine, 301.

Bergey, Meredith, Giuseppina Chiri, Nikki Freeman, and Thomas I. Mackie. (2022). Mapping Mental Health Inequalities: The Intersecting Effects of Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity on ADHD Diagnosis. Sociology of Health and Illness.

Chiam, Mckenzee, Erick Rojas, Meredith Bergey, and Thomas Mackie. (2021). The Effect of Medical Home on Shared Decision‐Making for Caregivers of Children with Emotional, Developmental, or Behavioral Health Conditions. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 25(8), 1285-1295. 

Bracey, Glenn.  (2022). The Spirit of Critical Race TheorySociology of Race and Ethnicity, 8(4), 431-570. 

Bracey, Glenn and Reverend Renee McKenzie-Hayward. (2022). Resistance in Sacred Spaces. In A. Rodriguez, C. Barry, and A. Armenta (Eds.), The Road to Sanctuary: Insights from the City of Sisterly Affection and Brotherly Love

Bracey, Glenn.  (2021). Beyond Movements: The Ontology of Black Lives Matter. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 26(4), 489-496.

Grundetjern, Heidi. (2022). “A decade of change in the gendered organizational structure of methamphetamine markets in the American MidwestThe British Journal of Criminology

Grundetjern, Heidi and Alessandra Milagros Early (2022). “The role of sex and compulsory heterosexuality within the rural methamphetamine market” Crime & Delinquency

Grundetjern, Heidi and Whitney Tchoula. (2021). Nostalgia and rumors in the rural methamphetamine market. American Journal of Cultural Sociology.

Budig, Michelle J., Misun Lim, and Melissa J. Hodges. (2021). Racial and Gender Pay Disparities: The Role of Education. Social Science Research, 98, 102580.

Kramer, Rory and Brianna Remster. (2022). The slow violence of contemporary policingAnnual Review of Criminology, 5.

McCorkel, Jill. (2021). The Rise, the Fall, and the Reinvention of Prison Ethnography. In S. Bucerius, K. Haggerty, and L. Berardi (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Ethnographies of Crime and Criminal Justice.

DeJong, Christina, Max Osborn, and Harnoor Kaur. (2023). Trans Panic: The Representation of Trans Women as Murder Victims in True Crime Podcasts. In A. E. Goldberg, D. C. Slakoff, and C. L. Buist (Eds.), The (Mis) Representation of Queer Lives in True Crime (pp. 160-182). 

Osborn, Max. (2023). Difficult, Deceptive, and Dangerous: Portrayals of Victimized Transgender Men in Crime News Coverage. In A. E. Goldberg, D. C. Slakoff, and C. L. Buist (Eds.), The (Mis) Representation of Queer Lives in True Crime (pp. 183-201). 

Osborn, Max (2022). LGBTQIA+ people’s service access during the COVID-19 pandemic: Obstacles to care and provider adaptations. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services.

Osborn, Max (2022). U.S. news coverage of transgender victims of fatal violence: An exploratory content analysis. Violence Against Women, 28(9), 2033-2056.

Osborn, Max (2022). “Nobody ever correctly recognizes me”: Nonbinary presentation, visibility, and safety across contexts. In V. Demos and M. T. Segal (Eds.), Advances in Gender Research: Gender Visibility & Erasure, 33, 51-69.

Payne, Allison. A., and Kelly Welch. (2023). Minority Threat in Schools and Differential Security Manifestations: Examining Unequal Control, Surveillance, and ProtectionCrime & Delinquency.

Payne, Allison A. and Kelly Welch (2022). Transforming School Climate and Student Discipline: The Restorative Justice Promise for Peace. In G. Velez and T. Gavrielides (Eds.), Restorative Justice: Promoting Peace and Wellbeing.

Wilson, Denise, Kirsten L. Witherup and Allison Ann Payne. (2022). Prevention and Intervention Programs for Bullying Perpetration and Victimization. In C. Donoghue (Ed.), The Sociology of Bullying

Payne, Allison A. and Denise Wilson. (2021). The Importance of a Positive School Climate in Addressing Youth Retaliation. In H. Recchia and C. Wainryb (Eds.), Revenge across Childhood and Adolescence

Remster, Brianna, Chris M. Smith, and Rory Kramer. (2022). “Race, Gender, and Police Violence in the Shadow of Controlling Images.” Social Problems. 

Remster, Brianna. (2021). Homelessness among Formerly Incarcerated Men: Patterns and Predictors. ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 693, 141-157

Warner, Cody and Brianna Remster. (2021). Criminal Justice Contact, Residential Independence, and Returns to the Parental HomeJournal of Marriage and Family, 83, 322-339.

Sun, Ken Chih-Yan and Baiyu Su. (2023). “Who Should Care for Our Parents?” How the Perceived Achievement Hierarchy Complicates Transnational Family Relations in China? International Migration Review.

Sun, Ken Chih-Yan and Nicole Newendorp. (2023). How Age and Life Stage of Relocation Fosters Social Belonging: Comparing Two Groups of Older Migrants in the United States. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B.

Sun, Ken Chih-Yan and Nazli Kibria. (2021). The Micro-politics of Recognition and Care: How Adult Children in Urban China Negotiate Relationships with Emigrant SiblingsSocial Problems.

Welch, Kelly, Peter S. Lehmann, Cecilia Chouhy and Ted Chiricos. (2022). Cumulative racial and ethnic disparaties along the school-to-prison pipeline. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.



image of Lei Hopkins and Ajee Robinson

Lei Hopkins ‘23 Criminology and Ajée Robinson ’23 Sociology

The Philly Justice Project (Villanova Chapter), or NovaPJP, received the Student Organization Advocacy Award from the Office of Student Involvement. This award recognizes student organizations that show a passion for the advocacy of others and work toward a society where people of all ages and backgrounds come together to improve the lives of others. Lei Hopkins, co-chair of Commutations Committee of NovaPJP 2022 – 2023 and Ajée Robinson, president of NovaPJP 2022 – 2023 accepted the award at the ceremony held last spring.

Department Chair:
Dr. Allison Payne
 SAC 204
Phone: 610-519-5299

Administrative Assistants:
Mary Ann Hostler
: (610) 519-4742

Shelly DuBois
: (610) 519-4786

Faculty-Mentored Research