Kristie Blevins, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Image Kristie Blevins
Ph.D. University of Cincinnati, Criminal Justice

Email: Kristie.Blevins@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6869

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Corrections
  • The occupational reactions of criminal justice employees
  • Crime prevention
  • She has also teamed with local law enforcement agencies to study theft, robberies, and prostitution

Dr. Blevins’ work can be found in several journals including: 

  • Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
  • Criminal Justice Policy Review
  • International Journal of Police Science and Management

She has also co-authored and co-edited chapters in: 

  • Taking Stock: The Status of Criminological Theory and Transformative Justice: Critical and Peacemaking Themes Influenced by Richard Quinney

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • American Society of Criminology
  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • Southern Criminal Justice Association

Charles Fields, Ph.D.
Image Charles Fields
Phone: 859-622-6555

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Comparative state laws

Dr. Fields’ work can be found in in several journals including: 

  • The Prison Journal
  • Journal of Criminal Justice and Economic Business Review

He has also authored and/or edited books, monographs and journals including: 

  • The Dialogue
  • American Journal of Criminal Justice
  • Controversial Issues in Corrections
  • Modern Police Organizations

Carole Garrison, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus

Image Carole Garrison

Ph.D. The Ohio State University, Public Administration with Criminal Justice Concentration

Email: Carole.Garrison@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-0000


Dr. Garrison co-authored a chapteron the "Realities of Police Women" in Women, Law and Social Control (2005).

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Former Director of the University of Akron's Women's Studies Program
  • Former Chair, Eastern Kentucky University Department of Criminal Justice and Police Studies
  • Appointed in 1990 to the Department of Defense committee on Women in the Military (DACOWTS)
  • Served as a District Electoral Supervisor in Cambodia from 1992-1993 as part of the UN peacekeeping mission, UNTAC
  • Served as the Executive Director of the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, a coordinating network of all humanitarian and development NGOs in Cambodia
  • Served as a consultant to Natural Farm Nepal (NAFAN)


  • Atlanta (GA) Bureau of Police Services Award for Distinguished Service
  • "Outstanding Faculty" recognition from The University of Akron's Board of Trustees in 1987, 1991 and 1992

Stephen Kappeler
Senior Lecturer

Image Stephen Kappeler

B.S. Central Missouri State University
M.A. Radford University

Email: Stephen.Kappeler@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6710


Dr. Kappeler’s work can be found in several journals including: 

  • The American Journal of Police
  • Journal of Criminal Justice
  • Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • American Society of Criminology
  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences


  • EKU’s Distinguished Educational Leader Award
  • EKU’s Excellence in Leadership Award
  • EKU’s Service Outside the Classroom Award

Victor Kappeler, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Justice and Safety and Foundation Professor
Victor Kappeler Profile Image
Ph.D. Sam Houston State University, Criminal Justice

Phone: 859-622-3565

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Crime and political economy
  • Social construction of crime
  • Ideology and crime, crime and popular culture
  • Police deviance and corruption


  • 2006 Cabinet for Justice and Public Safety Award for Academic Excellence
  • 2005 Outstanding Criminal Justice Alumnus Award from Sam Houston State University
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Critical Criminology for “sustained and distinguished scholarship, teaching, and/or service in the field of critical criminology”

Pete Kraska, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Coordinator and Director
Image Pete Kraska
Email: Pete.Kraska@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-1980

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Making theoretical sense of the emergence of underground cage-fighting
  • The trend to criminalize risky and negligent behaviors as an adaptation to late-modern social conditions
  • A continuation of study into the blurring distinction between criminal justice and the military in the wars on drugs and terrorism.

Dr. Kraska’s work can be found in a number of leading journals including: 

  • Social Problems, Justice Quarterly
  • Policing and Society

He has also authored seven books including: 

  • Criminal Justice and Criminology Research Methods, Theorizing Criminal Justice: Eight Essential Orientations
  • Militarizing The American Criminal Justice System: The Changing Roles of the Armed Forces and Police

Dr. Kraska’s work has been featured by:

  • The Economist
  • The New York Times
  • National Public Radio
  • Peter Jennings’s World News Tonight

Deborah Louis, Ph.D.

Image Deborah Lewis

Ph.D. Rutgers University

Phone: 859-622-0000

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Strengthening families
  • Improving community support services
  • Ensuring that all community sectors have a voice in the decisions affecting their lives

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Independent community development planning consultant
  • Public interest advocate
  • Neighborhood watch
  • Community policing
  • Diversity training
  • Police brutality investigations
  • Advising crime victims
  • Advocacy for and evaluation of civilian review systems
  • Negotiations in the context of civil disobedience

Betsy Matthews, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Image Betsy Matthews  
Ph.D. University of Cincinnati, Criminal Justice

Phone: 859-622-8113

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Community corrections
  • Correctional rehabilitation


  • Former child care worker in a residential treatment facility for behaviorally disordered adolescents
  • Former adult probation officer
  • Served on American Probation and Parole Association, serving as a research associate on federally funded grant projects

Kevin Minor, Ph.D.
Image Kevin Minor
B.S. Indiana State University
M.S. Emporia State University
Ph.D. Western Michigan University, Sociology/criminology

Phone: 859-622-2240

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Institutional and community corrections
  • Theories of crime and punishment
  • Juvenile delinquency/justice
  • Evaluation and applied research

Dr. Minor has served as a consultant to several organizations and agencies, including:

  • National Institute of Corrections
  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • U.S. Bureau of Prisons

Derek Paulsen, Ph.D.

Image Derek Paulsen

Ph.D. Sam Houston State University, Criminal Justice

Phone: 859-622-2906

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Spatial aspects of crime
  • The impact of urban planning and development on crime patterns


Dr. Paulsen’s work can be found in several journals including: 

  • Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management
  • Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling  
  • International Journal of Police Science and Management

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Director of EKU’s Center for Crime and the Built Environment

Gary Potter, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of the College of Justice and Safety and Professor
Image Gary Potter
Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, Community Systems Planning and Development with an emphasis in Criminal Justice

Phone: 859-622-7884

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Transnational organized crime
  • Human trafficking and the sex industry
  • Drug trafficking by teenagers in rural Kentucky

Dr. Potter’s work can be found in several journals including: 

  • Crime, Law and Social Change
  • Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice Policy Review

He has also authored eight books including: 

  • Drugs in Society
  • Criminal Organizations
  • Organized Crime
  • Controversies in White Collar Crime

Judah Schept, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Image Judah Schept 
Ph.D. Indiana University


Research/Academic Interests:

  • The prison industrial complex
  • Social movements and resistance
  • Ethnography
  • Cultural criminology
  • Transformative justice
  • Law and society

Irina Soderstrom, Ph.D.
Image Irina Soderstrom
B.A. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Educational Psychology/Statistics and Measurement 

Phone: 859-622-1156

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Statistics
  • Research methods
  • Research seminar 
  • Program evaluation
  • Evaluative research onparole programs, boot camps, correctional industries, teen courts and school safety

James Wells, Ph.D.
Image James Wells
Ph.D. Georgia State University, Research, Measurement, and Statistics

Phone: 859-622-1158

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Justice and safety agency related program evaluation research
  • The improvement of criminal justice training
  • Prison Rape Legislation Act

Dr. Wells’ work can be found in several journals including: 

  • Crime and Delinquency
  • Journal of Juvenile Justice & Detention Services
  • Federal Probation
  • Journal of School Violence.


  • Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Education and Research (CCJER) in EKU’s College of Justice & Safety