Welcome to the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University! We offer majors in Sociology and Criminal Justice, in both traditional and fully online formats. The department also offers a Masters in Criminal Justice. As well, the department offers minors in Criminal Justice, Criminology, Gerontology, Medical Sociology, and Sociology. The department actively promotes experiential learning. Sociology and Criminal Justice undergraduate majors are required to complete an internship, cooperative studies, or a study abroad. We also value and promote global learning; our faculty have offered study abroad opportunities in Ghana, Germany and Netherlands, and South Korea and Thailand. Our department houses the official journal of the Georgia Sociological Association, the Journal of Public and Professional Sociology.

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New Faculty Spotlight

  • Dr. Sinyong Choi

    Dr. Sinyong Choi

    Dr. Sinyong Choi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University. He serves on the Curriculum Committee for the BS in cybersecurity at KSU, works as a team member of Center for Cybercrime Investigation and Cybersecurity, and holds the Certified Ethical Hacker Certification. His research interests include cybercrime, cybersecurity, illegal online gambling, Cryptocurrency crime, and cybercrime investigation.

    • Chris Hess

      Dr. Chris Hess

      Dr. Chris Hess is an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University. Prior to this faculty appointment, he served as a postdoc at Cornell University in the Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy and received his Ph.D in Sociology from the University of Washington.

      Dr. Hess conducts research focused on topics of residential segregation, neighborhoods and the changing geography of place-based inequalities, and his work has appeared in peer-reviewed outlets like Demography, Urban Affairs Review and Social Forces. Across his research, he is a data omnivore and a proponent of the R language for statistics and data analysis.

      • Dr. Jason Mueller

        Dr. Jason Mueller

        Dr. Mueller is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at KSU. Although he holds his PhD in Sociology, his work is transdisciplinary and speaks to core issues across the humanistic social sciences. This transdisciplinary outlook has allowed him to publish research on topics ranging from the social media and pop cultural phenomenon of “OK Boomer,” to the causes of political violence and instability in Somalia. He is committed to instructional excellence, creating classrooms where students question their preconceived notions of ‘how the world works,’ while gaining analytical skills that allow them to make connections between local and global social forces. His current research agenda explores global social theory, political protests and movements for social justice, and natural resource extraction in post-colonial Africa. He looks forward to being a part of the vibrant and rapidly growing intellectual community at KSU!

        • Lisa Thompson

          Dr. Lisa M. Thompson

          Dr. Lisa M. Thompson is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Brigham Young University–Hawaii and Master of Arts in Psychology at Brandeis University. She later graduated with a PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. From 2020 to 2022, she also participated in the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice Research Assistantship Program.

          Dr. Thompson’s primary area of focus delves into the decision-making processes that lead to deviant behavior, with particular emphasis on how a person’s moral endorsements and conflicts impact the experience of making the decision to offend. She is currently in the process of disseminating work from her doctoral dissertation, “Exploring Offending and Decision-making through the Lens of Moral Foundations Theory,” and her book entitled, “Deathly Decisions: How Criminals Choose to Harm and Hurt” is under contract with Oxford University Press. She is also currently a consultant for the National Institute of Justice’s Violence Against Women and Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women portfolios. Additional research interests include theories of criminal decision-making, violent extremism, gender-based violence, and sexually deviant behavior. Her work on these topics have been published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Sexual Abuse, and Frontiers in Psychology. She has also presented the results of her research at various regional and national conferences, including those sponsored by the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the jointly hosted MASOC/MATSA conference in Massachusetts.

          Additionally, Dr. Thompson is dedicated to promoting an engaging and empowering learning environment, where her students are able to take ownership of their educational journey. She focuses on shaping students’ abilities to be good global citizens and better critical thinkers through a combination of substantive lectures, transparent assignments, and thought-provoking discussions that help students feel connected to the material and to their communities. This teaching philosophy is adopted in all of her courses, including Foundations of Criminal Justice, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, and Race, Crime, and Justice.

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