Department of Sociology and Criminology



Message from the Chair

Portrait of Dr. Mindy Bradley, Department Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology

Welcome from Dr. Mindy Bradley

As we live through a time of enormous political, economic, cultural, and medical shifts and uncertainties, sociology and criminology are more important than ever. Many of today's controversies involve basic questions about how we should organize our societies, what constitutes justice, and the correlates and consequences of social conflict and social control responses.

The Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Arkansas stands as a vibrant hub of academic inquiry and social exploration. Renowned for its commitment to fostering critical thinking and understanding of societal dynamics, our department offers a diverse range of programs and courses that delve into the complexities of human behavior, culture, and institutions. With dedicated faculty comprising accomplished teachers and researchers, students engage in thought-provoking discussions, rigorous research endeavors, and community-driven projects that address pressing social issues. Our faculty members are active researchers publishing scholarly books as well as articles in many of the leading journals in our fields. Faculty research projects have been funded numerous federal and state agencies and local partners, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, National Institutes of Mental Health, Walton Foundation, and the City of Little Rock. The department's collaborative and inclusive environment encourages students to challenge assumptions, develop empathy, and contribute meaningfully to the betterment of local and global communities. Through its innovative curriculum and emphasis on real-world application, our department equips graduates with the tools to navigate and shape an ever-evolving world.

An undergraduate major in sociology and/or criminology offers rigorous preparation for graduate study in sociology, justice studies, political science, and other social and behavioral sciences. It is also an excellent preparation for professional training in law, medicine, business, education, or social work. A sociology and/or criminology major also provides a strong foundation for careers in the private sector, government, social services, law enforcement, correctional agencies, and non-profit organizations. I invite students interested in pursuing a sociology or criminology major or minor to meet with our undergraduate coordinator for more specific information and advice on requirements, courses, and departmental activities in general. On our web site, you will find detailed information about our undergraduate and graduate program requirements; biographical information about our faculty, students, and staff; and a description of the various projects, teaching, and research interests in which our members are involved. I invite you to take a closer look and see the many opportunities available in our department.

Mission, Vision, Core Values Poster

Program Directors

Casey Taggart Harris Director of Graduate Studies
Director of Graduate Studies
Lori Holyfield Vice-Chair Undergraduate Program Director
Undergraduate Program Director
Lauren Sabon Director of Online Education
Director of Online Education


Christopher Shields Internship Coordinator
Internship Coordinator


    Departmental Collection

    • Data Snapshot: Characteristics of Bias Homicides Against the LGBTQIA+ Community
      • Background: Five people were killed and at least 17 injured on November 19, 2022 just before midnight at Club Q, an LGBTQIA+ club in Colorado Springs, CO. The shooting ended after a 22-year-old gunman wielding an AR-15 style rifle was disarmed by club patrons. Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials continue to investigate the mass shooting. The alleged shooter has been charged with murder and hate crimes.

        View Snapshot

    • Data Snapshot: Less than Half of Racially-Motivated Homicides Result in Official Hate Crime Charges
      • Background: On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was gunned down while jogging near his Georgia home. Portions of the physical altercation were caught on camera by one of the three men charged in the murder. The shooter reportedly uttered a racial epithet at Arbery as he lay in the street dying. Georgia is one of the four states without hate crime laws in the United states, but the FBI is currently investigating the shooting as a potential hate crime.

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    • Data Snapshot: Failed and Foiled Islamic Terrorist Plots Targeting Military Personnel in the United States Since 9/11
      • Background: On May 21, 2020, Navy police officers interrupted a terrorism- related incident by neutralizing a 20-year old gunman who opened fire on military personnel at an entrance gate outside of the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas. One sailor was injured before the gunman was killed by Naval police officers.

        View Snapshot

    • Datasets Available to Sociology and Criminology Graduate Students and Faculty Link ->

    • The Bias Homicide Database (BHDB)

      • The Bias Homicide Database (BHDB) is an open-source, relational database housed in the Terrorism Research Center (TRC). BHDB data include information on incident, victim, and offender attributes of bias homicides in the United States from 1990 to 2019. Students in the TRC contribute to the Bias Homicide Database (BHDB), an open-source, relational database containing information on bias homicides from 1990 - 2019.   Link ->


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    Departmental News

    Department of Sociology and Criminology received the 2021 Daniel E. Ferritor Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching at the University of Arkansas.Department of Sociology and Criminology received the 2021 Daniel E. Ferritor Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching at the University of Arkansas.

    The award is named in honor of Daniel E. Ferritor who served as Chancellor of the University of Arkansas from 1986 to 1997 and as interim chancellor in 2015. He also founded the Teaching Academy in 1988. The annual award honors the academic unit that best exemplifies a sustained, department-wide commitment to teaching excellence for all students.



    Graphic with photo of Dr. Hearne and text: Congratulations! Dr. Brittany Hearne was awarded The Career Enhancement Fellowship funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars.


    Dr. Brittany Hearne was awarded The Career Enhancement Fellowship funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars.

    The Institute for Citizens & Scholars has named 39 new Career Enhancement Fellows from across the nation for the 2021-22 academic year.

    Among the awardees of this prestigious honor is Brittany Hearne, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the U of A's Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.




    Dr. Adams was awarded Master Teaching Award by Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas. 

    The college honors up to three outstanding teachers annually, and selection is based on a letter of nomination, teaching evaluations and documentation about the nominee's teaching activities.



    Dr. Fitzpatrick was awarded Master Researcher Award by Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas.

    Awardees are chosen based on a nomination letter, the nominee's research accomplishments documented in a one-page summary of his or her research outlining its importance, a list of 10 publications, supporting evidence of exceptional performance in research, his or her curriculum vitae and an evaluation by the departmental chairperson.



    Student Opportunities

    Sociology Club

    Join Sociology Club

    Undergraduate and Graduate Students are more than welcome to join our new Sociology Club! If you are interested in our club please contact Sociology Club Faculty Advisors:

    Dr. Paez
    Dr. Allison

    We are looking forward to meet you!



    Student Resources