About us / People / Graduate students


Beierschmitt, Laura

Laura Beierschmitt is a second year PhD student from Havertown, Pennsylvania, and the current President of the Criminal Justice Graduate Student Association (2013-14).. She recieved her BA in Criminal Justice and her BS in Chemistry from Villanova University in May of 2009, and her MA in Criminal Justice from Temple in 2012.  Her current research interests are restorative and social justice. As an undergraduate she studied the role of forgiveness in the Criminal Justice system. She can be reached at  laura.beierschmitt@temple.edu.
DaGrossa, Joseph

Joseph A. DaGrossa is a resident of southern New Jersey, pursuing the PhD. He possesses an M.S. degree in Criminal Justice from St. Joseph's University and an M.A. degree in Clinical/Counseling Psychology from LaSalle University. He is currently employed as a U.S. Probation Officer for the District of New Jersey and in 2005 was named the district's Probation Officer of the Year. He has previously worked as a probation officer for the state of New Jersey and for the state's Intensive Supervision Program and has held adjunct teaching positions at Camden County College and Atlantic Cape Community College. Joe's research interests include program evaluation and the development of outcome-based measurements for use in community corrections settings. Joe can be reached at jdagrossa@verizon.net.

Donohoe, Chelsey

Chelsey Donohoe is a first year PhD student. She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Spanish Studies from Texas Lutheran University in 2013. During her undergraduate studies, Chelsey held research internships at a substance abuse clinic as well as at a youth center that catered to at-risk populations. She has presented at the Southwestern Psychological Association conferences as the lead investigator for several research projects. Her research interests include prevention/intervention efforts for substance abuse treatment and homelessness,

program evaluations, and quantitative analyses. A fun fact about Chelsey is that she earned her first degree black belt in 2008! Her advisor is Dr. Matt Hiller and she is currently working as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Nicolette Parisi. Chelsey can be reached at chelsey.ann.donohoe@temple.edu.

Eidson, Jillian

Jillian Eidson is a fourth year PhD student originally from Hilton Head, South Carolina. She holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Davidson College and a master's degree in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania. Before matriculating at Temple she worked for four years in the Philadelphia criminal justice system.  During that time she fulfilled various roles as a consultant for Family Court investigating reintegration outcomes, an adult probation and parole officer and, most recently, a life skills course instructor for high risk offenders on probation and parole.  Her research interests include offender re-entry and program evaluation.

Farrell, John

John L. Farrell is a new PhD student as well as a Deputy Managing Director with the City of Philadelphia.  At the City, he is the Director of the PhillyRising Collaborative, the City's newest method for promoting resilient communities.  PhillyRising targets neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia that are plagued by chronic crime and quality of life concerns, and establishes partnerships with community members to address these issues.  Farrell's PhillyRising Team coordinates the actions of City agencies to help neighbors realize their vision for their community through sustainable, responsive, and cost-effective solutions.  In addition to City agencies, Farrell coordinates over one hundred outside partners that range from locally-based nonprofit organizations to international corporations.  These strategies work to increase community activism, improve public safety and deter homeland

security threats. Prior to joining the City of Philadelphia, Farrell spent several years working for the township manager in Tredyffrin Township (Chester County, PA).  Farrell is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps (Staff Sergeant), and served one tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He holds an MPA and BA from Villanova University, and an MA in Security Studies (Homeland Defense & Security) from the Naval Postgraduate School.  John is advised by Dr. Jennifer Wood.

Gesser, Nili

Nili Gesser is a first year PhD student. She is an Israeli national who comes with an extensive background in law, with an LL.B. from Hebrew University and an LL.M. Summa Cum Laude from Bar-Ilan University. Prior to joining the PhD program at Temple, Nili worked as a prosecutor for the Ministry of Justice in Israel more than a decade, initially at the International Department of the State Attorney's Office and later founded and headed up the Office for Victims of Crime in the Tel Aviv District Attorney's Office. Nili’s interests include victimology, violence against women, therapeutic jurisprudence, and evidence-based policy and practice.  Her faculty advisor is Dr. Jennifer Wood. Nili can be reached at nili.gesser@temple.edu.

Goldkorn, Ida


Ida Goldkorn is a third year graduate student pursuing a PhD in Criminal Justice at Temple University. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Ida grew up in Israel, and moved to California in 2007. She was awarded a BA in Sociology and Philosophy (Public Policy Emphasis) from UC Santa Barbara in 2010. Her research interests include pretrial detention, bail reform, and racial disparity in the criminal justice system. Ida is the 2010 recipient of the Joan McCord Award.

Griffin, Patricia

Pat Griffin is an advanced doctoral student.  She is also founding director of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Institute at Saint Joseph’s University, Co-Director of the Center for Domestic Preparedness and Leadership, and presently holds the position of Associate Dean in the College of Professional and Liberal Studies.  Past professional appointments include Criminal Investigative Analyst and Special Agent for the Office of Organized Crime and Labor Racketeering, U.S. Department of Labor.  Her research interests include nodal policing, intelligence-led policing and fusion centers; her advisor is Dr. Jennifer Wood.

Haberman, Cory

Cory Haberman is a fifth year PhD student and researcher in the Center for Security and Crime Science. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Since coming to Temple, Cory has served as a research assistant on two randomized controlled trials: the Philadelphia Foot Patrol Experiment and the Philadelphia Smart Policing Initiative v1. Currently, Cory works with Professors Ratcliffe and Groff on the second Philadelphia Smart Policing Initiative. This action-research project is studying the implementation of a strategic decision-making cycle and District-level crime analysts within the Philadelphia Police Department . Cory's research interests include the geography of crime, near repeat victimization, and policing. Cory's CV may be viewed here: Haberman_CV

Hamilton, Leah

Leah Hamilton is a second year PhD student.  Prior to joining the doctoral program, Leah earned a BA (Honors) in Political Studies from Queen's University (Canada) and a Masters in Criminology from the University of Cambridge.  Leah's research interests include drug treatment, drug policy reform, and implementation evaluation research. She is currently working as a research assistant on the Juvenile Justice Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ TRIALS) project. Leah can be contacted at leah.hamilton@temple.edu.

Harding, Courtney Courtney Harding is a third year PhD student. Originally from Moorestown, New Jersey, she received her BA from Rutgers University in 2007, majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology and minoring in French language. Following undergraduate study, Courtney did substance abuse counseling work at Northern State Prison in Newark, NJ, at an adult partial-care facility in Trenton, NJ and also with at-risk juveniles in West Palm Beach, FL. Courtney then pursued Masters-level coursework in Psychology at New York University. While there, Courtney worked as a research assistant with Nathan Kline Institute and John Jay College of Criminal Justice on a Mental Health Court evaluation study. Courtney has also done extensive work for Pathways to Housing, LLC in Philadelphia, New York City and in Burlington, Vermont, collecting data on the Housing First approach to addressing homelessness at these different program sites. While at Temple, Courtney hopes to concentrate on addiction and/or mental health-focused diversion programs, re-entry, and drug policy. Her faculty advisor is Dr. Wayne Welsh.
Heinzeroth, Robert

Robert Drew Heinzeroth is completing his M.A. in Criminal Justice.  A Philadelphia native, he comes to Temple with a B.S in Business from Penn State University (2001) and an M.S. in Public Safety from Saint Joseph's University (2006).  He is also a graduate of Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command (2010).

A twelve-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, Drew has worked in a variety of patrol and investigative units throughout the city, ranging from foot-beat officer in Center City to captain in the Internal Affairs Division.  Drew has been the recipient of seventeen departmental commendations and citations, and has also received a number of community-based awards for his service.  His aspiration is to improve police practice through research.  He can be reached at robert.heinzeroth@temple.edu.

Henderson, Jaime

Jaime S. Henderson is an advanced doctoral student at Temple hailing from Nebraska. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a M.A. in Forensic Psychology from Castleton State College in Vermont. Her research interests largely fall within the policy realm, including sex offenders, juvenile justice and the Supreme Court. Currently, under the supervision of Dr. Phil Harris, she is investigating the potential implications of juvenile sex offender policy, having been awarded an NIJ Dissertation Research Fellowship for 2012.  Jaime works at the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania as the Research & Information Analyst. Her email is Jaime@temple.edu.

Henson, Abigail

Abigail Henson, a Brooklyn native, is a first year PhD student. She recently graduated cum laude from Goucher College with a BA in sociology. During and after college she had several internships within the Criminal Justice field. Her first experience was with Alternative Directions, Inc in Baltimore, MD as a transitional workshop facilitator at MCIW in Jessup, MD. Following this experience she worked at the Correctional Association of New York with the Prison Visiting Project; the Bronx Defenders; the National Women's Prison Project; and the Vera Institute of Justice with the Center for Sentencing and Corrections. Abigail's research interests are focused mainly on Corrections and Re-entry. 
Dr, Kate Auerhahn is her facutly advisor. Abigail can be reached at

Holt, Lauren

Lauren Holt is a first year PhD student from New Jersey.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and a minor in Japanese Language from the College of New Jersey.  As an undergraduate she interned at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and worked on a research project applying statistical and geospatial analyses to municipal police data.  Her current research interests are policing, GIS and crime mapping, and policy assessment.  Her faculty advisor is Dr. Jerry Ratcliffe.  She can be reached at lauren.holt@temple.edu.

Johnson, Ingrid

Ingrid Johnson is a third year doctoral student. She received her BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in 2010.  She moved to Philadelphia to join Temple's graduate program, where she is focusing her research on the criminal justice system's response to substance abuse and domestic violence in rural areas. She is currently working as a Research Assistant for the Juvenile Justice Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ-Trials) project. She can be contacted at ingrid.johnson@temple.edu.

Joyce, Nola

Nola Joyce has worked in public safety for over twenty-five years.  She joined the Philadelphia Police Department in February 2008 and is currently the ChiefAdministrative Officer for the Department.  In that capacity she works closely with the Police Commissioner in developing strategic plans, policy and new programs. She heads the Office of Strategic Initiatives and Innovation.   She has lead research endeavors and change initiatives for the Illinois Department of Correction, Chicago Police Department, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C, and the Philadelphia Police Department.  She served on the Washington, D.C. Sentencing Commission and was a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Task Force studying the nexus between drugs and crime. Ms. Joyce holds three master’s degrees. Her most current master’s degree is in Homeland Defense and Security from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. She has two masters' degrees from Southern Illinois University were she earned an M.S. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy, with a specialization in public finance, and an M.A. in Sociology with a specialization in research methodology and statistics.

Link, Nathan

Nathan is a fourth year doctoral student in the Department of Criminal Justice. Nathan completed a B.S. in Criminology from the College of New Jersey and a Master of Social Work (policy track) from Rutgers. While at Rutgers he was awarded a Governor’s Executive Fellowship with the Eagleton Institute of Politics. He has worked in a residential treatment facility for troubled youth, as a group therapist in a drug treatment program, and for AmeriCorps’ Jumpstart program in Camden. Nathan’s research interests include prisoner reentry, mental health and violence, and services for those in the correctional system. He is currently a Research Assistant for Dr. Caterina Roman. They are examining the impact of child support debt and other legal financial obligations on several outcomes in reentry using the SVORI data. Nathan can be reached at nathan.link@temple.edu.

Mayes, Lauren


Lauren Mayes is a fourth year PhD student. She is from the Philadelphia area and received her BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Temple University, graduating magna cum laude, in 2009. Lauren completed her MA in Criminal Justice at Temple University in 2011. She has worked as a research assistant to Dr. Goldkamp and Dr.Vilcica looking at parole in Pennsylvania, and with Dr. Welsh on the CJDATS II project focusing on drug treatment implementation. Lauren is currently enjoying engaging with students as a teaching assistant. Her academic interests include critical criminology, critical race theory, mass incarceration, and the prison-industrial complex.  Lauren can be reached at lauren.mayes@temple.edu.

Medina, Justin

Justin Medina is an advanced Ph.D. student from Santa Fe, New Mexico.  He received his BA in anthropology from the University of New Mexico and MS in criminal justice from the University of Pennsylvania.  He interned with the Police Foundation in 2006, and has been a Philadelphia Adult Probation/Parole Officer for the past two years.  His advisor is Dr. Ralph Taylor, and his current research interests include: probation/parole and policing issues, border issues, and the relationship dynamics between criminal justice entities (courts, police, & prisons). He can be reached at justin.medina@temple.edu.

Perenzin, Amber Amber Perenzin is a third year doctoral student from Westminster, Massachusetts. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Northeastern University and her M.A. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Crime Analysis from the University of Central Florida. Amber has completed internships throughout her studies as a crime analyst at the Boston Regional Intelligence Center as well as the Orlando Police Department. Her research interests include the geography of crime, policing and program evaluation. Amber currently works as a research assistant for Dr. Jerry Ratcliffe and can be reached at amber.perenzin@temple.edu.
Pitts, Joseph Joseph Pitts is a third year PhD student.  He graduated from Temple University in May 2011 magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy. Growing up just outside the city limits in Delaware County, he has always loved Philadelphia and is looking forward to pursuing his PhD in Criminal Justice at Temple. Joe’s advisor is Dr. Kate Auerhahn, and he is interested in policy assessment, social justice, and ethical issues within the system.  He is currently a research assistant, working with Dr. Phil Harris,  In the past Joe worked as a research assistant on the Pennsylvania parole project with Dr. Goldkamp and Dr. Vilcica. Joe can be reached at joepitts@temple.edu.
Sorg, Evan

Evan is a fifth year doctoral student who came to the program after spending three years as a police officer in the New York City Police Department.  During his tenure with the NYPD he received training from the Department of Homeland Security and the New York State Office of Emergency Management.  His research interests are largely centered around policing, crime control, and the geography of crime.  He has served as a research assistant on the Philadelphia Foot Patrol Experiment, and is currently working with Dr Jerry Ratcliffe, Dr Elizabeth Groff and the Philadelphia Police Department on the SMART policing project.  His current independent research is assessing the feelings of safety and security among business owners and workers in Philadelphia's 'Gayborhood', and he is collaborating with Dr Jennifer Wood on a paper examining the implications of foot patrol delineation on the measurement of crime displacement.  You may contact Evan at evan.sorg@temple.edu.

Tower, Sondra

Sondra Tower is a doctoral student from Manchester, New Hampshire. She earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice with a dual minor in Psychology and Political Science from Northeastern University, and a M.A. in Criminal Justice from Widener University.  She spent three years as a police officer on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, after which she decided to continue her education.  She is currently working with Dr. Elizabeth Groff studying Philadelphia parks and crime.  Her research interests include the “where and why” of crime, and in the future she would like to pursue more qualitative research.  Sondra was awarded the 2013 James J. Fyfe award for an outstanding research paper.  Sondra can be reached at smtower@temple.edu.

Waltman-Spreha, Kelly

Kelly is in her fourth year in the PhD program.  She received her B.A. in Psychology from Messiah College in 1999.  Upon graduating she worked for over a year as a Crime Victim Advocate in Dauphin County, and then moved on to become a Probation Officer with Dauphin County Juvenile Probation for six years.  While working for the probation department Kelly studied at Shippensburg University and earned her M.S. in Criminal Justice.  After her time at juvenile probation, Kelly worked for three years at Milestones Community Healthcare, Inc. as the program director for their behavior health services program.   Kelly has been a full-time instructor at Messiah College and an adjunct instructor at Harrisburg Area Community College.  Kelly’s research interests include juvenile justice and delinquency issues and restorative justice.  She can be contacted at kwaltman@temple.edu

Watson, Christina
Christina Watson is a fourth year Ph.D. student. She is a native of Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice in 2009 and her Master's degree in Criminal Justice in 2012. She is currently working on a project with the Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver and with Dr. Caterina Roman that examines the changes in attitudes students hold about gangs and police after experiencing the Gang resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program. She has also been a summer instructor for the Prisons in America undergraduate course and is currently an instructor for Planned Change in Criminal Justice undergraduate capstone course. Christina's research interests include co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, problem solving courts, gender differences in criminal justice and juvenile delinquency. She can be reached at christina.watson@temple.edu.