Professor of Criminology, Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research
Bales is an expert on sentencing, the effectiveness and consequences of punishment strategies, the evaluation of correctional practices and programs, and prisoner recidivism.
Blomberg is an expert on criminology research and public policy; delinquency, education and crime desistance; penology and social control; and victim services. His ongoing research includes examining the relationship between educational achievement among incarcerated youthful offenders and successful community reintegration.
Donald Hinkle Professor, College of Law
Cahill is FSU’s Donald Hinkle Professor at the College of Law. Her expertise includes the legal and social debates surrounding same-sex relationships and reproductive rights, as well as general family law.
Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights
Coonan is an internationally known human rights lawyer who has advised U.S. judges on immigration and refugee law, worked with the United Nations and the U.S. Justice Department, and litigated asylum and torture victim protection cases for more than two decades. He has done leading advocacy and policy work regarding human trafficking and has trained law enforcement, service providers and judges nationwide on the topic. Coonan serves as an associate professor in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice and a courtesy professor in the FSU College of Law and the FSU Film School. He teaches courses on international human rights, human trafficking, refugee and asylum law, and human rights and film.
Gwartney can discuss the kinds of macroeconomic issues that are typically discussed in election years, such as taxes, budget deficits, monetary policy and unemployment.
Professor & Graduate Program Director, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Fannie Lou Hamer Professor of Rhetorical Studies
Houck is FSU’s Fannie Lou Hamer Professor of Rhetorical Studies in the College of Communication and Information. Houck, who earned a doctorate in communication at Penn State University, offers expertise on political advertising, speech-making and news coverage. He’s also an expert on the American civil rights movement, war rhetoric, propaganda and media campaigns.
Houck is one of the nation’s leading experts on Emmett Till, whose 1955 murder in the Mississippi Delta helped launch the civil rights movement. Houck helped create and lead the Emmett Till Memory Project, which developed a 21st-century digital historical record of the people, places and episodes associated with Till’s murder and legacy. Houck coauthored “Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press” with Matthew A. Grindy.
Houck is collaborating with FSU Libraries’ Division of Special Collections and Archives to continue to build the only existing Emmett Till Archive. The archive will house several collections from leading scholars, filmmakers, historians and activists, many of which will be digitized to share with a global audience.
David J. Bordua Professor Emeritus
Kleck is an expert on gun control, deterrence, crime control and violence. Some of his recent research has found that higher general gun ownership rates reduce homicide rates, probably because the violence-reducing effects of guns among noncriminal victims and prospective victims outweigh the violence-increasing effects of guns among criminals.
Clinical Professor, College of Law
Professor Laroche directs and teaches in the Gender and Family Justice Clinic within our Public Interest Law Center. She conducts research and presentations on criminal justice reform, family law, gender, implicit bias, access to justice and legal resources, voting rights restoration for people with felonies (Florida’s Amendment 4), and diversity in the legal profession.
Gary & Sallyn Pajcic Professor
Logan has published widely on a variety of issues, including capital punishment, police search and seizure, sex offender registration and community notification and the interplay among state, federal and local criminal justice systems.
Professor of Economics
Marquis, who served the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco as Research Department senior economist from 2000 to 2003 and as visiting scholar in 2005-2006 and 2009, can discuss national economic issues, including monetary theory and policy, and macroeconomic theory, which relates to taxes and budget deficits.
McVicar is an assistant professor in the Department of Religion. He researches the relationship between religion and politics in 20th century U.S. history, with a specific focus on the emergence of the American conservative movement in the post-World War II era.
Mark C. Stafford Professor of Criminology
Mears is an expert on mental health, public opinion and other aspects of mass shooting tragedies. His research expertise includes juvenile and criminal justice policy, crime theory, public opinion, “supertax” prisons, mental health, religion, sentencing and reentry.
Merle is an Associate Professor in the College of Communication & Information. He focuses on international comparisons, cultural differences, as well as international media behaviors and attitudes. Merle, a French native and former international journalist who covered Olympic sports and international news, offers particular expertise on how international media view political issues and how certain news topics get covered across cultures.
Founding Executive Director, Institute for Justice Research & Development
Professor Carrie Pettus-Davis is one of social work’s leading experts on enacting data-driven solutions to criminal justice reforms. Her intervention development and policy reform work promotes racial and economic equity throughout the criminal justice system, from an individual’s first contact with law enforcement to their release from incarceration. Her goal is to help individuals, families, and communities impacted by the criminal justice system to develop well-being. Pettus-Davis’s work has broad policy impact and her prioritization of the rapid dissemination of research findings to policymakers, practitioners, and advocates ensures that data-driven innovations can be implemented in real-time. Pettus-Davis has grounded her career in intervention development and testing on strong collaborations with correctional stakeholders, community partners, and individuals with incarceration histories, maximizing both the relevance of intervention content and the potential for effective interventions to be implemented in real-world settings.
Pettus-Davis has expertise in: Law Enforcement, Prosecution, Courts, Jails & Prisons; Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders, including Opioid Use Disorders; Trauma & Trauma-Informed Care; Reentry Trajectories, Employment Well-Being & Social Support; Professional Development, Program Evaluations & Training Certifications; Corrections & Criminal Justice; and Employee Well-Being
Pettus-Davis joined The Florida State University as Associate Professor in Summer 2018 to found and lead the Institute for Justice Research and Development – a premier multidisciplinary research center located in the College of Social Work. She leads a large team of faculty and staff dedicated to producing effective, sustainable, and equitable criminal justice reforms. Pettus-Davis is also co-founder of the Smart Decarceration Initiative and co-leads the Promote Smart Decarceration grand challenge network for the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. Prior to joining academia, Pettus-Davis worked extensively as a social worker in varied mental health and corrections settings.
Dr. Pettus-Davis completed a Doctorate in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a Master of Social Work Administration degree and Bachelor’s degrees in Social Work and Psychology, all from the University of Kansas.
Assistant Professor Matt Pietryka
Pietryka’s research focuses on understanding how the social and political contexts of life influence the political attitudes and behavior of individuals. In particular, he studies how political discussion with friends and family can affect individual political behavior.
Sociology Professor, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Community Engagement
Rohlinger is an expert on the sociology of mass media (including social media), social movements, digital participation and democratic processes. She is the chair of the American Sociological Association’s section for Communication, Information Technologies & Media Sociology and the author of two books, Abortion Politics, Mass Media and Social Movements in America (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and New Media and Society (New York University Press, 2019). Her current research examines deliberation online around controversial issues such a gun control.
Schlakman serves as senior program director for the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and as coordinator of its Human Rights & National Security in the 21st Century lecture series. He is regarded as an expert on Florida’s death penalty process and the state’s policy on restoring former offenders’ civil rights. Schlakman served as principal investigator for the Center’s Florida Bar Foundation/Administration of Justice grant-funded projects relating to the American Bar Association Florida Death Penalty Assessment Team report, which examined the fairness, accuracy and impartiality of Florida’s death penalty process. It also led to a project known as Rethinking Civil Rights Restoration in Florida several years before the ballot initiative that became known as Amendment 4.
Schlakman teaches Immigration and Refugee Law and Policy at the College of Law and two unique interdisciplinary courses on Felony Disenfranchisement in Florida after Amendment 4, and Executive Clemency in Florida including pardon power, sentence commutations, civil rights restoration after Amendment 4 and death penalty case review. He also teaches courses for graduate, honors and undergraduate students in Human Rights & National Security. Schlakman designed the courses, and they are informed by his experiences and engagement abroad, including Afghanistan and the United Nations in Geneva.
Clinical Professor, College of Law
Professor Scott directs the Immigration and Farmworker Project within the Public Interest Law Center. She is a proud member of Leadership Tallahassee Class 33. She is the recipient of the 2016 Thomas M. Ervin, Jr. Distinguished Young Lawyer Award and the 2016 Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Chapter 2 Judicial Distinguished Service Award, and was recognized on the Florida TrendLegal Elite list in the area of Government/Non-Profit attorneys in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
Staley, director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center, is a senior research fellow at Reason Foundation and professor at FSU where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in urban planning, regulation and urban economics. He has authored several books and has published more than 100 articles, studies and reports.
Professor and LeRoy Collins Eminent Scholar & Chair of Civic Education and Political Science
Weissert teaches American national and state politics. Her research interests include Florida politics, elections, intergovernmental relations, federalism and health policy.
Wiseman is an expert on the role of regulation in protecting the character of living spaces and environmental quality, including regulations surrounding fracking, oil and gas and energy.
McConnaughhay and Rissman Professor
Wiseman’s research focuses on pre- and post-trial issues in criminal procedure, including the use of DNA evidence, postconviction litigation and the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against excessive bail.
Stearns Weaver Miller Professor
Ziegler is one of the nation’s leading experts on the legal history of the U.S. abortion debate. She studies the current debates surrounding reproductive health, the family, and the Constitution.