Recent Ph.D. Graduates
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Christopher Torres

Christopher graduated with his PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2022. As a Ph.D. student, Christopher worked in applied research for the Metropolitan Center. He worked on various grants ranging from affordable housing studies to the analysis of emergency management practices. His research interests include quantitative research design, geospatial crime analysis, youth violence, environmental criminology, crime prevention through environmental design, emergency management, and fraud victimization.

Email:  Ctorr146@fiu.edu

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Caroline V. Comerford

Caroline graduated with her PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2022. Her research interests include violent serial crime, situational crime prevention, & geospatial analysis. Caroline holds a B.A. in Justice Studies from Montclair State University and a M.A. in Criminal Justice specializing in criminology & deviance from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Email:  ccome011@fiu.edu

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Brent Blakeman

Brent graduated with his PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2022. He also has a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and a M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. His research interests are in crime prevention through environmental design, terrorism, human trafficking, and juvenile delinquency.

Email:  bblakema@fiu.edu

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Olga D. Vega

Olga Vega graduated with her PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2021. Her research interests include disability awareness training in law enforcement and officers’ confidence in police interactions with the disabled individuals. Olga holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a M.S. in Criminal Justice from FIU.

Email: olvega@fiu.edu

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Sara McFann

Sara graduated with her PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2021. She is actively involved in research projects on domestic violence, wildlife crime, situational crime prevention, policing, and program evaluation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from FIU.

Email: smcfa011@fiu.edu

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Anna Leimberg

Anna Leimberg graduated with her PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2021. She also holds a B.S. in Sociology and an M.S in Criminal Justice. Her current research interests include domestic violence, unstructured socializing with peers, antisocial behavior, and adolescent drug use.

Email:  leimberga@apsu.edu

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Sinchul Back

Sinchul graduated with his PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2020. He also holds a B.S. in Leadership and Political Science from Northeastern University and a M.S. in Criminal Justice from Bridgewater State University. His research interests include cybercrime, cybersecurity, and terrorism. He currently is an assistant professor at the University of Scranton.

Email: sinchul.back@scranton.edu

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Joelle Lee-Silcox

Joelle Lee-Silcox graduated with her Ph.D. in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2020. Joelle also holds an MA in Criminal Justice from FIU and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Miami Dade College. Joelle currently works within the City of Miami Police Department as the Chief of Staff, Research, Planning and Data Officer. Joelle’s research interests include geospatial crime analysis, crime and the media, and crime prevention.

Email: Jlee097@fiu.edu

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Erik Cruz

Erik Cruz graduated with his PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2020. He also holds a MS in Criminal Justice and a BA in Sociology from Florida International University. His research interests include environmental criminology, terrorism and homeland security, and crime mapping. Erik is currently an assistant professor at Florida Memorial University.

Email: ercruz@fiu.edu

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Peculiar Miracle Awa

Peculiar Miracle Awa graduated with her PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2019. She is also a Nigerian trained Attorney. Peculiar currently is an assistant professor at the University of Central Missouri. Her research interests include terrorism and gender issues.

Email: awa@ucmo.edu

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Robert J.L. Archer

Robert Archer graduated with his PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2019. He currently is an assistant professor of social sciences at Nicholls State University. His research interests include the behavioral consequences of victimization and the role of situational opportunity in explaining delinquency and substance use.

Email: robert.archer@nicholls.edu

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Candice Ammons-Blanfort

Candice Ammons-Blanfort graduated with her PhD in International Crime and Justice from FIU in 2019. She currently is a teaching professor at Florida International University. Her research interests include juvenile justice, gun crime, policing, and racial disparities in the justice system.

Email: cammons@fiu.edu