Faculty and students bring home accolades from regional conference

Three Blazers received honors during the 2022 SCJA conference that was held in Asheville, North Carolina.

University of Alabama at BirminghamWalker Kent and LavenderFrom left to right: Jeffery Walker, Ph.D., Kent Kerley, Ph.D., and Logan Lavender faculty and students from the College of Arts and SciencesJ. Frank Barefield, Jr. Department of Criminal Justice received numerous honors at the recent Southern Criminal Justice Association conference.

Jeffery Walker, Ph.D., University Professor, was awarded the SCJA Educator of the Year award, the highest recognition offered by the association. Kent Kerley, Ph.D., chair of the Barefield Department of Criminal Justice, was appointed the 2022-2023 SCJA president, and Logan Lavender, graduate student in the department, won third place in the graduate student poster competition.

“SCJA is the leading regional organization in our discipline, and I am thrilled that many of our faculty members and students are involved,” Kerley said. “The organization also houses the American Journal of Criminal Justice, which is currently ranked third among all criminology and criminal justice outlets.”

Lavender, a Rome, Georgia, native, won third place for the presentation of his recently published paper titled “Exploring the value of mentorship among women police officers.” Through this research, he and Natalie Todak’s, Ph.D., associate professor in the department, explored the prevalence of mentorship for female officers, the nature of mentorship relationships and their perceived effect on women’s career advancement. 

The 2022 conference, which featured the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration, was held in Asheville, North Carolina, and those in attendance had opportunities to access the most current research findings on a wide range of criminal justice-related topics.

The SCJA is a professional association serving criminal justice educators, researchers, practitioners and students committed to the ongoing development of criminal justice science and practice.