Doctoral students in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology (JLC) conduct research on a variety of subjects across the department's three primary concentrations: criminal justice and criminology, terrorism and security policy, and legal studies. The nature of study at JLC is interdisciplinary and provides a balanced approach to the field, thus preparing PhD graduates for roles in academia, government, consulting, and more. These students benefit from working with faculty on the most pressing issues in the field and have contributed to key studies both here and abroad. These profiles highlight some of their accomplishments at American University.

Doctoral Students

Rachel Bowman

Rachel Bowman is currently a PhD student in Justice, Law, and Criminology. Her primary research interest is the influence of race in criminal justice decision-making. She's currently interested in pro

  rb7722a@american.edu

Natalie Chwalisz

Natalie Chwalisz is a first year PhD student at the School of Public Affairs, in the Justice, Law and Criminology Department. She focuses in on forced displacement, especially of youth, resilience and

  nc5011b@american.edu

Alexander Clayton

Alex Clayton is currently a PhD student in Justice, Law & Criminology with concentrations in Law & Society and Political Violence & Nonviolence. He holds a master's degree from American University in

  ac9185a@american.edu

Jason Fritz

Jason Fritz is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology. His research interests are on the intersection of political violence and the politics of policing. Prior to matricul

  jf4949a@american.edu

Avi-Yona Israel Adjunct Instructor

Avi-Yona is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology. Her research interests include philosophy of law, international law, human rights, global ethics, justice and the rule

  ai2393a@american.edu

Esther Matthews

Esther Matthews is a doctoral student in the Justice, Law and Criminology PhD program. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Oregon State University. Her research focuses on identi

  em1710a@american.edu

Hillary Mellinger Adjunct Instructor

Hillary Mellinger is a PhD student in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology. Her academic interests include comparative asylum / refugee law and policy, states’ migration control mechanisms,

  hm0137a@american.edu

Alyssa Purdy Adjunct Instructor

Alyssa Purdy, originally from West Michigan, is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Justice, Law & Criminology from American University. In December of 2013, she graduated with honors fro

  ap9576a@american.edu

Victoria Smiegocki

Victoria Smiegocki is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology. Alongside her PhD, she is also completing a certificate program in Applied Statistics at American Unive

  vs5147a@american.edu

Jennifer Tilley

Jennifer Tilley is a Ph.D. student in the department of Justice, Law and Criminology. Her primary research interests include institutional and community corrections, capital punishment, parole and pr

  jt2006a@american.edu

Kristian Warpinski

Kristian Warpinski is a first year PhD student in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology. Her primary research interests include political violence and (counter)terrorism, the recruitment and

  kw5971a@american.edu