2021 Election Candidates

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Second Vice-President

Ráchael Powers
University of South Florida

Biographical Sketch
Dr. Ráchael Powers earned her PhD from the University at Albany in 2012. She has since returned to the South (BA from University of Alabama-Huntsville, MA from University of Maryland) and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of South Florida. Her main research interests lie in the areas of violent victimization, with a focus on gender-based violence (IPV, sexual assault), hate crime, and bystander behavior. Much of her recent work centers on victim and bystander agency, what victims and bystanders do during and after victimization, including the use of the criminal justice system. Her recent work has been published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and Journal of Interpersonal Violence among other outlets. Dr. Powers also has experience in evaluations of campus- and community-based violence prevention programs. Her work has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Institute of Justice, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals including Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Journal of Experimental Criminology, and Journal of Crime and Justice. She is a member of American Society of Criminology, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the Southern Criminal Justice Association.

Personal Statement

It would be a pleasure and valued opportunity to serve SCJA and its membership in the role of second vice president. Since joining the association, I have served SCJA in several capacities. I am currently nearing the end of my term as Director-at-Large (2018-2021). In addition to the normal duties associated with this position, I led the fundraising efforts for the past two years. If you attended our virtual conference last year or normal conference the year before, you likely saw me raffling off prizes/money. The money we raise from the raffles is donated to a local charity in our conference host city. I was also a part of an ad-hoc subcommittee (led by Cathy Marcum) to develop an anti-harassment policy and misconduct reporting procedures to ensure that our conferences are inclusive and safe environments for all students, faculty, and practitioners. Previously, I served on the editorial board for the association’s flagship journal, American Journal of Criminal Justice (Editor: Wesley Jennings). Also in support of our journal, I have agreed to serve on an ad-hoc committee (Editor: Mitch Miller and Chair John Stogner) to prepare a COPE application for the journal. Finally, I have served as Chair of the Doctoral Student Award Committee (2018) and the Master’s Student Award Committee (2017). I would like to continue and expand on my service role in SCJA and would honored to do so as Second Vice President. Thank you very much for your consideration and I can’t wait to see y’all again!


Hasan Buker
University of West Florida

Biographical Sketch
Hasan is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of West Florida since 2019. Before accepting his current position, he held faculty positions at Minot State University, Washington State University, and several other institutions in Turkey. Hasan also served as a law enforcement officer at different roles and ranks before his academic career. Hasan has been an innovative and engaged instructor, a vigorous researcher with a vibrant agenda responsive to contemporary and practical issues in his field, and a dedicated servant of his institutions, profession, and the community in different capacities. Juvenile delinquency/justice, criminological theory, crimes against children, law enforcement, and the administration of criminal justice organizations are the primary research interests of Hasan. He was the principal investigator, co-principal investigator, research fellow, and consultant in numerous funded research endeavors. During these research activities, he corroborated with his students, fellow researchers, and practitioners from various countries, international organizations, such as UNICEF, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and academic disciplines.

Personal Statement
Dear SCJA members, I am thrilled with the opportunity to serve SCJA in a Director-at-Large capacity. I am a firm believer in SCJA's capacity to advance our field by providing outstanding opportunities to bring us together in greatly accessible events and through other endeavors. I am committed to working with you and fellow members of the executive committee to uphold and improve SCJA's capacity to fulfill its objectives. Thank you in advance for your support and trust.

Courtney Crittenden
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Biographical Sketch
Courtney received her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 2013, where her dissertation focused on how race and gender were related to programming availability and participation among inmates. Currently, Courtney is a UC Foundation Associate Professor of Criminal Justice in the Department of Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her primary research interests include prison programming and incarcerated women, intersections in criminology, and consensual sexual relationships between faculty and students. She has published articles on prison programming availability and participation, work assignments in prison, perceptions of consensual sex relationships on campus, the inclusion and measurement of gender in criminological publications, and perceptions of male victims of sexual assault. Her work has been published in journals such as Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Journal of Criminal Justice Education,Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, Educational Policy, and Women and Criminal Justice. Courtney is currently working on projects that are exploring the inclusion and measurement of social constructs in criminological research and the coping strategies of recently incarcerated mothers.

Personal Statement
I am both honored and excited to be running for Director at Large. I have been actively involved with the Southern Criminal Justice Association since attending my first conference six years ago. Since that time, I have presented studies, chaired panels, and served on committees selecting award recipients and completing financial audits. I have also held leadership roles in the organization by chairing an awards committee and an ad hoc committee. In 2018-2019, I served as the chair of SCJA’s Ad Hoc Internal Policy Audit committee. In this role, I, along with several student members, led an effort to refine policies and practices, ensure that our organization’s efforts were consistent with our written documents, and craft new guidelines for conference success. Through this experience and my time as a member of the audit committee, I feel I have developed a strong understanding of SCJA’s structure, resources, and needs. SCJA’s focus on serving criminal justice educators, researchers, practitioners, and students is what drew me to SCJA, and the hard work of the members, particularly as it relates to assisting students, is what kept me returning to conferences and encouraging my students to attend. That is also what led me to get more involved and volunteer for more service activities within the organization.

Kristina Lopez
University of North Florida

Biographical Sketch
Kristina M. Lopez, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at the University of North Florida where she also serves as the faculty advisor for the Alpha Phi Sigma (APS) - Criminal Justice Honor Society. She received her B.A. in criminal justice and Master’s of Science in justice policy from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Ph.D. in Criminology from Texas State University.

Dr. Lopez has received awards for teaching and mentorship, including Alpha Phi Sigma Advisor of the Year Award (2020), Van Vleck Early Career Teaching Excellence Award (2019), and Graduating Student Recognition of Campus Support (2014). Her research primarily focuses in the areas of immigration, race/ethnicity and crime, and criminological theory. More specifically, her research has examined the relationship between ethnicity, acculturation, and crime among Latino/a adolescents and across Latino/a subgroups. Some of her work has appeared in Victims & Offenders, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and the American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Personal Statement
Following a year of unprecedented times and as SCJA celebrates its 49th year, it is an exciting and critical time to become further involved and contribute to the progress of this association. As a member of SCJA since 2008, I have served in the capacity of chair and active member on association committees (e.g., Outstanding Professional Award Committee (2016; 2018; 2019), Tom Barker Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award Committee (2017)). I also currently serve on the Local Arrangements Committee for the Daytona Beach conference. My experience on committees has provided me a broader perspective about the functions and opportunities of SCJA and motivated me to pursue a more active role in the association.

Looking back on my interactions at SCJA conferences as a graduate student and early scholar, the effective leadership of this organization contributed significantly to my positive experiences that influenced my academic trajectory. Taking on a more active role in the organization would allow me the opportunity to represent the many members who have generously given so much of their time to SCJA.

I’m familiar with the qualifications for and demands of these important organizational leadership roles, as I was elected to and served on the Alpha Phi Sigma National Advisory Board (2018-2020) and have served as a Chapter Advisor since 2015. I am willingly ready to serve and prepared to fulfill the duties of a Director-at-Large position to the best of my abilities and effort. Most importantly, I am dedicated to meaningfully contribute to SCJA and to promoting its success. Thank you for your consideration.

Ben Stickle
Middle Tennessee State University

Biographical Sketch
Ben Stickle earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Justice Administration from the University of Louisville. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice Administration at Middle Tennessee State University, where he teaches policing, qualitative methods, and criminal investigation. Ben has been heavily involved in a wide range of discipline activities, including service as Associate Editor for Police Practice and Research, Alpha Phi Sigma Chapter Advisor, and manuscript reviewer for multiple CCJ journals. A former police officer, he is also a past president of the Kentucky Peace Officers' Association and frequently involved in research practitioner partnerships with police and correction agencies in Kentucky and Tennessee promoting mental health diversion and reentry programs. Ben's research interests include emerging crime types (i.e., package theft), property crime (i.e., metal theft), policing. His scholarship includes multiple books and numerous scholarly articles, including contributions to the American Journal of Criminal Justice. He has been involved with SCJA since a graduate student at the University of Louisville and is a Lifetime member.

Personal Statement
SCJA had been a significant component of my professional life, and I always look forward to the annual conference and the opportunity to interact with fellow members. As you well know, SCJA conferences are a tremendous opportunity to collaborate, learn, and meet new colleagues in a unique and welcoming atmosphere that has become the SCJA trademark.

To continue the traditions of professional development opportunities and offer the discipline's most enjoyable conference, I am standing for election to the SCJA board. I will maintain and foster an atmosphere of openness, cooperation, and support among our members. I will seek to continue the strong tradition of engagement with students, new scholars, and practitioners. As a past and current beneficiary of these traditions, I will encourage collaboration and engage members to strengthen the association, our rising journal, and professionalism in the CCJ discipline.

I'm proud to be a Lifetime Member of the Southern Criminal Justice Association and eager to enhance the excellence we are known for throughout the region and beyond. I look forward to serving you and respectfully request your support.