2017 Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction Dr. Heith Copes, Department of Criminal Justice

Dr. Heith Copes, professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, has been named the 2017 winner of the Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction.

HeithCopesWe are pleased to announce that Dr. Heith Copes, professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, has been named the 2017 winner of the Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction.

Dr. Copes graduated with his B.S. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1993, then received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Tennessee in 1998 and 2001. He came to UAB as an assistant professor in 2001, a position he held until his promotion to associate professor in 2006. He was named professor in the Department of Criminal Justice in 2014 and has also maintained a secondary appointment in the Department of Sociology since 2006.

Dr. Copes’ work focuses on individuals who engage in both crime and drug use. Specifically, his research centers on criminal decision-making and narrative sense-making. He is a leader in the field of narrative criminology, which captures and explores the stories of criminals to understand their motivations for committing their crimes, as well as how they got into crime, their methods of committing the crime, and the strategies they use to reduce their risk. In addition, Dr. Copes’ research examines the ways that offenders excuse and justify their crimes and how they construct social identities.

Over many years of developing his methodological strategies of ethnography, inquiry and other related fieldwork, Dr. Copes has become an expert scholar who is sought after by his peers. He has published numerous articles about qualitative research methods in criminology and criminal justice, as well as several books, including, “Identity Thieves: Motives and Methods,” “Advancing Qualitative Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice,” “Voices from Criminal Justice,” and the “Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Criminology.”

He is currently collaborating with Jared Ragland in the Department of Art and Art History on a photo-ethnography of people who use methamphetamine. In this project, they explore the lives of residents of Sand Mountain, Alabama, many of whom are struggling with drug addiction and poverty. He was asked by Springer Nature and The Story Collider to tell a personal story of experiences working on the project. You can hear the story and learn more about his work at: www.beforetheabstract.com

Dr. Copes is also a popular and awarded teacher. While he offers many courses, he most often teaches criminological theory and patterns in crime, which is most closely aligned with his own research. While at UAB, he has been honored with the Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship, and was twice been recognized with the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He has also received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Southern Criminal Justice Association.

As a visiting professor, Dr. Copes has taught at the University of South Wales in Wales, United Kingdom, at Aalborg University and Aarhus University in Denmark, and at the University of Oslo in Norway. He has presented widely at conferences both across the United States and internationally, and chaired numerous professional associations and organizations, including the American Society of Criminology, the Southern Criminal Justice Association, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Program Committee, and the Center for Identity Management and Information Protections Advisory Board. He has also been extremely active on committees and boards here at UAB, including the College of Arts and Sciences Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Institutional Review Board, the Faculty Affairs Committee and the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award Committee.

The Ireland Prize

Charles W. Ireland and his wife Caroline P. Ireland established The Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Endowment for Scholarly Distinction, which today funds two annual Ireland prizes. The Ireland Distinguished Visiting Scholar Award is given to a distinguished intellectual outside of the UAB academic community whose work is groundbreaking and transformational in his or her field. While on campus, honorees give a public lecture and share their knowledge through informal meetings with students and members of the faculty. Daniel Beaty was the recipient of the 2017 Ireland Distinguished Visiting Scholar Award.
  • Fall 2018: Letter from Robert E. Palazzo, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences
    If you haven't been to campus lately, I can't stress enough how different the environment is from what you may remember from your student days.
    posted a while back 257 K2_VIEWS
  • Spring 2018 events in the College of Arts & Sciences

    Catch up with some of the big events sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, from Spring Flings to an exhibit at AEIVA.

    posted a while back 288 K2_VIEWS
  • Award winning: What it takes for students to win major scholarships and awards

    The number of College of Arts and Sciences students who win major national and international scholarships and fellowships grows every year. What does it take to win one of these major prizes?

    posted a while back 831 K2_VIEWS
  • Alumni honored at the 2018 UAB Excellence in Business Top 25 event

    We are proud to announce that eight College of Arts and Sciences alumni were honored as members of the 2018 class of the UAB Excellence in Business Top 25.

    posted a while back 402 K2_VIEWS
  • Understanding Aquaman: The science and philosophy behind the superhero

    With the latest Justice League movie coming to theaters this Christmas, we ask: what does Aquaman represent? And could he really talk to sea creatures?

    posted a while back 438 K2_VIEWS
  • Common threads: The value of interdisciplinary partnerships

    Our university enables faculty to make connections across various disciplines, schools, and centers, and being a part of the College of Arts and Sciences provides my colleagues and me with a broad platform to support this kind of effective interdisciplinary work.

    posted a while back 438 K2_VIEWS
  • The Life-Long Learning Endowed Scholarship Honoring Ruth J. and Robert J. Colvin

    The Life-Long Learning Endowed Scholarship Honoring Ruth J. and Robert J. Colvin has been established in the departments of English and Foreign Languages and Literatures that will support deserving students and relieve them of their financial pressures.

    posted a while back 296 K2_VIEWS
  • Data driven: Computer science meets the biological sciences in the new bioinformatics program

    New degrees in the College prepare students for emerging fields of personalized medicine, advanced manufacturing, and more.

    posted a while back 458 K2_VIEWS
  • Dr. Mike Wilson and Professor Becky Trigg Endowed Award

    Friends, family, colleagues, and admirers of Dr. Michele “Mike” Wilson and Professor Becky Trigg have made generous gifts to create an endowed award in the Department of Sociology.

    posted a while back 293 K2_VIEWS
  • The Henry E. Bates, Jr. Scholarship: A Blazing the Way Scholarship

    Johnny “Rusty” Edward Bates, M.D. has established the Henry E. Bates, Jr. Scholarship in the Department of Mathematics—one of UAB's new Blazing the Way Scholarships.

    posted a while back 281 K2_VIEWS
  • Dr. Larry Krannich Endowed Student Research Scholarship

    The Dr. Larry Krannich Endowed Student Research Scholarship was established to recognize Dr. Krannich's decades of distinguished service to UAB and to provide opportunities for young scientists to gain valuable experience in the research environment.

    posted a while back 362 K2_VIEWS
  • A servant's heart: Social work alumna Jeanne Welch gives back to UAB
    Jeanne Welch never really saw herself as college material. But a desire to help others, and an interest in mental health technology, helped her find her way to UAB.
    posted a while back 374 K2_VIEWS
  • Letter from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

    While we have any number of outstanding male faculty members, students, and alumni who deserve recognition and are included, by and large this issue is about the women of the College of Arts and Sciences.

    posted a while back 916 K2_VIEWS
  • Events

    Catch up with some of the big events sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, from Homecoming to an exhibit at AEIVA.

    posted a while back 992 K2_VIEWS
  • Building a Legacy

    When UAB broke ground on the new Arts & Sciences Building in September 2017, the excitement was palpable. “There is no doubt that this new building will provide our campus community with a state-of-the-art facility in which they can work and learn,” said Dean Palazzo.

    posted a while back 995 K2_VIEWS
  • AEIVA Receives Significant Gift of Works by David Levinthal

    The Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA) Permanent Art Collection has received a generous donation of a number of works by David Levinthal, one of the most prolific and acclaimed photographers of his generation.

    posted a while back 1112 K2_VIEWS
  • A Legacy of Love

    Jeannie Feldman has established both an award and a scholarship in the Department of History to honor her late husband, Dr. Glenn A. Feldman.

    posted a while back 1119 K2_VIEWS
  • Capturing Success

    Palo Alto Networks' Cyber Competition for High School Students.

    posted a while back 1055 K2_VIEWS
  • Paying it Forward

    Alumna Dr. Ana Maria Crawford has created an endowed scholarship to be used to support deserving students based on merit and financial need.

    posted a while back 1405 K2_VIEWS
  • They Persisted

    Despite complex social, cultural, and professional trends that keep women from academic careers in the sciences and mathematics, a small percentage of female research faculty stay the course.

    posted a while back 3038 K2_VIEWS
  • Taking a Leap

    Psychology and Public Administration alumna Ann Bridges Steely says her biggest career risks brought the greatest rewards.

    posted a while back 989 K2_VIEWS
  • Stellar

    Physics alumna Christina Richey has built a successful career in the competitive, and mostly-male, field of planetary science.

    posted a while back 1973 K2_VIEWS
  • Across the Spectrum

    Four female faculty members in the Department of Psychology study and treat Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    posted a while back 7090 K2_VIEWS
  • Everyone has a story

    “How did you end up in Alabama?” I get that question a lot, both here and abroad. I suspect that every immigrant is frequently asked the same question out of genuine curiosity, maybe interest.

    posted a while back 1589 K2_VIEWS
  • Letter from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
    Our fall semester is in full swing and the momentum is building in the College and across the university.
    posted a while back 1928 K2_VIEWS
  • Finishing Strong

    We finished the academic year with a major exhibition at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts and celebrated another joyful, thrilling commencement ceremony, at which more than 2,000 UAB students graduated.

    posted a while back 1831 K2_VIEWS
  • College Alumni Community

    Our former graduates have had a great year of events and celebrations, all organized by our Alumni Board led by president Wes Calhoun. 

    posted a while back 2050 K2_VIEWS
  • Faculty Receive University Awards

    Renato Camata, Roger Gilchrist, Samiksha Raut, and Nitesh Saxena were all recognized this year for their excellence in teaching, mentorship and advising.

    posted a while back 2449 K2_VIEWS
  • New Chairs, New Faculty Join the College

    This fall, we welcomed several new faculty members, a new chair for the Department of Sociology, and three interim chairs. We are proud to have all of them in leadership and academic positions and are excited to see what they accomplish at UAB.

    posted a while back 2920 K2_VIEWS
  • Nine Departments Welcome New Faculty Members

    This fall, new faculty members join the Department of Communication Studies, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Criminal Justice, the Department of English, the Department of Music, the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Social Work, the Department of Sociology, and the Department of Theatre.

    posted a while back 2836 K2_VIEWS
  • New Degrees, New Department Names

    At recent Board of Trustees meetings, two new degrees and two new department names were approved.

    posted a while back 2278 K2_VIEWS
  • New Building Groundbreaking

    Dean Palazzo, along with President Ray Watts and Provost Pam Benoit, joined several invited guests to celebrate the groundbreaking for our new arts and sciences academic building on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

    posted a while back 2458 K2_VIEWS
  • Remarkable Generosity

    Donors establish five new endowments in the College—the most ever received in one year.

    posted a while back 2264 K2_VIEWS
  • Personal History

    Love and learning are the two recurring themes of Sol and Rita Kimerling’s incredible story.

    posted a while back 3428 K2_VIEWS
  • Strike Up the Band!

    Under the leadership of new director of bands Dr. Sean Murray, the marching blazers are ready to retake the field this fall.

    posted a while back 4060 K2_VIEWS
  • Risk Takers

    From changing majors to changing sports, these former football players, cheerleaders, majorettes, and Blazerettes stepped outside their comfort zones and transformed their student experiences–and future careers.

    posted a while back 7021 K2_VIEWS
  • Just This Once, A little Health Advice

    Am I the only one who feels bombarded by unwanted health advice? You can’t open a newspaper (remember those?), a magazine, the internet, or turn on the television without stumbling across someone dispensing tips for living a longer, healthier life.

    posted a while back 2248 K2_VIEWS
  • Message from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
    Right now is such an exciting time on campus, and not just because the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. With the approval of our new Arts & Sciences building, scheduled to be open in Fall 2019, we are embarking on an exciting journey to construct a stunning space for our faculty and students.
    posted a while back 4603 K2_VIEWS