EKU Online: Faculty


Professor Patrick Bigger is a part-time faculty member for the EKU Criminal Justice and Police Studies programs. He has been teaching upper division classes at EKU for three years on the relationship between crime, economics and globalization. Originally from Dallas, Bigger attended the University of Arizona, and earned a masters degree at the University of Kentucky where he is completing a Ph.D. in geography.

In addition to teaching, he is a research associate at the Kentucky Transportation Center and is developing an intervention and tracking system for hazardous materials shipments to prevent against accidents and terrorism.

k.blevinsDr. Kristie Blevins received her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. Her research interests include corrections, the occupational reactions of criminal justice employees, and crime prevention. She has teamed with local law enforcement agencies to study theft, robberies, and prostitution.

Her work can be found in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, Criminal Justice Policy Review,  and International Journal of Police Science and Management. She has also coauthored several book chapters and co-edited Taking Stock: The Status of Criminological Theory and Transformative Justice: Critical and Peacemaking Themes Influenced by Richard Quinney. She is a member of the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the Southern Criminal Justice Association.

k.grayDr. Kishonna L. Gray is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice. She completed her Ph.D. in Justice Studies at Arizona State University with a concentration in Media, Technology & Culture. Her dissertation focused on the intersecting oppressions experienced by women of color in Xbox Live, a virtual gaming community. She received her B.S. and M.S. from Eastern Kentucky University in Criminal Justice.

Her research and teaching interests incorporate an intersecting focus on marginalized identities (race, gender, class, sexuality, etc.) She has co-authored a book on justice and has published in a variety of outlets including Crime, Media, Culture; the Bulletin of Science; Technology & Society; Information, Communication & Society; and the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication.


Dr. Carole Garrison earned her Ph.D. in Public Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University. After retiring from the University of Akron, she chaired the department of CRJ & PLS at EKU from 2000-2008. She recently completed a curriculum assessment of the Kentucky Police Corps academy; and worked with the Madison County, KY School Board to enhance academic integrity in high schools; and co-authored a chapter on the "Realities of Police Women" in Women, Law and Social Control (2005).

From 1986 to 1992 she served as Director of the University of Akron's Women's Studies Program and in 1990 was appointed to the Department of Defense committee on Women in the Military (DACOWTS). From May 1992 to May 1993 Carole served as a District Electoral Supervisor in Cambodia as part of the UN peacekeeping mission, UNTAC, returning in 1996 to serve as the Executive Director of the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, a coordinating network of all humanitarian and development NGOs in Cambodia. While there she adopted a 6-year-old orphan, now her daughter and a U.S. citizen, Tevi Seng. Before returning to the U.S. and the University, she spent 6 weeks as a consultant to Natural Farm Nepal (NAFAN).

From 1970 to 1974 she served as a police officer with the Atlanta (GA) Bureau of Police Services where she received the Police Department's award for Distinguished Service. She received "Outstanding Faculty" recognition from The University of Akron's Board of Trustees in 1987, 1991 and 1992 and from NISOD in 1999.

David HobsonDavid Hobson is the training administrator for the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium located in the Justice and Safety Center at Eastern Kentucky University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in police administration and master’s degree in criminal justice, both from EKU.

He served as a police officer with the University of Kentucky Police Department and then served the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training for 22 years before retiring in 2007. Hobson is also a law enforcement and public safety training academy accreditation assessor and team leader for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). He has assessed the New York City Police Department Training Bureau, the NASA Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy at Kennedy Space Center, and the Florida Highway Patrol.

S. KappelerProfessor Stephen Kappeler has been with the Department of Criminal Justice and Police Studies since 2005.  In addition to instructing courses, he serves as academic advisor to all our criminal justice and police studies majors at all our regional campuses. He received his B.S. in Criminal Justice from Central Missouri State University and his M.A. in Criminal Justice Administration from Radford University.

Kappeler serves as advisor to two criminal justice student organizations—Alpha Phi Sigma, Theta Xi chapter and Lambda Alpha Epsilon, Theta Gamma Epsilon chapter--at the Corbin campus.  He has received several university awards honoring him for his service to students, including the Distinguished Educational Leader Award, the Excellence in Leadership Award and The Service Outside the Classroom Award.

He is a long-standing member of the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. His publications have been featured in The American Journal of Police, Journal of Criminal Justice, and Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.

v.kapelerDr. Victor Kappeler is a Foundation Professor, Associate Dean of the School of Justice Studies, and online program coordinator for Police Studies. Dr. Kappeler is a three-time EKU graduate whose textbooks are commonly used by universities worldwide. He is recognized as a leading scholar in policing as well as media and the social construction of crime, among other related fields. Among many other honors, Dr. Kappeler received the 2006 Cabinet for Justice and Public Safety Award for Academic Excellence, the 2005 Outstanding Criminal Justice Alumnus Award from Sam Houston State University, where he earned his doctoral degree, and the 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."

Dr. Kappeler’s primary areas of academic interest include crime and political economy, social construction of crime, ideology and crime, crime and popular culture, and police deviance and corruption.

D.Louis Dr. Deborah Louis is an interdisciplinary scholar who earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University. She has been developing and teaching college courses in the social sciences and public administration since 1971. She is also an independent community development planning consultant and public interest advocate.

Her experience includes includes neighborhood watches, community policing, diversity training, police brutality investigations, advising crime victims, advocacy for and evaluation of civilian review systems and negotiations in the context of civil disobedience. Dr. Louis is interested in the quality of life for everyday American people in both metropolitan and rural communities. Her work, which is generally focused on strengthening families, includes improving community support services and ensuring that all community sectors have a voice in the decisions affecting their lives.

C. Miller Cynthia Miller is the Administrator for the Juvenile Justice Training Center at Eastern Kentucky University, which provides grant management assistance to the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice in coordinating their staff development training activities.

She holds a B.S. in Corrections and Juvenile Justice and an M.S. in Criminal Justice from the College of Justice & Safety at EKU. She has devoted her career to providing exceptional staff training programs and assistance for state employees serving the delinquent youth of the Commonwealth.


Dr. Derek J. Paulsen is the director of EKU’s Center for Crime and the Built Environment and is an associate professor of Criminal Justice. He earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice Sam Houston State University.

He is active in research on spatial aspects of crime and the impact of urban planning and development on crime patterns. He is the lead author of two books on crime mapping, as well as numerous articles dealing with crime mapping and crime analysis issues that have appeared in such journals as Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling and International Journal of Police Science and Management.

A frequent presenter on crime mapping topics at both academic and professional conferences, Dr. Paulsen has been an invited speaker numerous times at the NIJ MAPS Conference, NIJ Conference, UK Crime Mapping Conference and the International Investigative Psychology Conference.

Potter Dr. Gary Potter earned a Ph.D. in Community Systems Planning and Development with an emphasis in criminal justice from the Pennsylvania State University. He has authored eight books, including Drugs in Society, Criminal Organizations, Organized Crime and Controversies in White Collar Crime.

Dr. Potter has been published in several journals, including Crime, Law and Social Change, the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice Policy Review. Research areas include transnational organized crime, human trafficking and the sex industry, and drug trafficking by teenagers in rural Kentucky.

j.scheptDr. Judah Schept, assistant professor, completed his Ph.D. in 2011 at Indiana University and is a scholar-activist whose community organizing informs his research and teaching. He recently completed his dissertation, an ethnographic study of carceral expansion and resistance. He is in the process of editing the dissertation into a book manuscript. His other work includes articles on Palestinian hip-hop and forthcoming work on radical criminology and decarceration.

His research and teaching interests include the prison industrial complex, social movements and resistance, ethnography, cultural criminology, transformative justice, and law and society. He recently co-organized a carceral studies conference at Indiana University and is excited to work with others to develop a radical and interdisciplinary carceral studies that interrogates—and tries to intervene in—the continued expansion of mass incarceration.

SkeensColonel Glenn Skeens, is the former Police Chief for the City of Owensboro, Kentucky. Chief Skeens is a twenty four year veteran of law enforcement. He began his career as a member of the Owensboro Police Department and was appointed Chief of Police in 2007. Chief Skeens retired in September 2012. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University.

He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Department of Criminal Justice Training’s Criminal Justice Executive Development and the School of Strategic Leadership. He is a certified Kentucky Law Enforcement Council Instructor. In 2007, Skeens was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council and served on the curriculum committee until his term expired in July 2012. He is a former Marine and a veteran of the Persian Gulf War.

SoderstromDr. Irina R. Soderstrom is an associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice. She received her B.A. in sociology/pre-law at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign in 1987. She received her M.S. in administration of justice in 1990 and her Ph.D. in educational psychology/statistics and measurement in 1997 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Her primary teaching interests include statistics, research methods and research seminar courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her focus is in program evaluation. She has conducted considerable evaluative research on parole programs, boot camps, correctional industries, teen courts and school safety.

LogoDr. Ken Tunnell is a prolific writer. His books include Pissing on Demand, Living Off Crime and Political Crime in Contemporary America. He has also been published in numerous journals, including Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, Social Justice, Deviant Behavior, Journal of Criminal Justice Education and Journal of Popular Culture.

Dr. Tunnell’s areas of academic interest include field research, cultural criminology, rural crime and visual sociology.


Dr. Tyler Wall is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice. He received his Ph.D. in Justice Studies, an interdisciplinary degree from Arizona State University. He has published his work in academic journals such as Theoretical Criminology, Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict, & World Order and Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.

His main research and theoretical interests focus on the cultural, political, and spatial dynamics of the relations between the state, violence, social control, power, and everyday life, especially in the context of the “war on terror.” His writing and research on these issues is a critical engagement with the cultural logics and representations of state crime and violence, the social construction of hierarchies of human value and worth, the intensification of surveillance, militarization, and securitization in everyday life, and the politics of space, place, and territory. He approaches these diverse yet integrated issues through qualitative research methods, theoretical engagement, and cultural critique attuned to race, class, and gender. Dr. Wall welcomes the opportunity to work with graduate students on their own research endeavors.

His most recent projects are about the cultural sensibilities surrounding state crimes and war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the transfer of military surveillance drones to domestic police departments in the U.S., and the role of visual politics and the “crime image” in shaping forms of life in late modern society.