Our Multi-Disciplinary Faculty

Kent State University's Criminology and Criminal Justice faculty in the Department of Sociology and Criminology have diverse backgrounds that include police and police administration, juvenile justice, victimology and global security.

It is this breadth of experience that feeds the program's focus on multi-disciplinary leadership in the field of criminology and criminal justice. Each of our highly trained, full-time faculty members has a doctoral degree and a wealth of professional experience, ensuring the highest-quality education for our students.


Department of Sociology
Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

After service in the U.S. Army, Allen Lowery was certified as a law enforcement officer in Ohio, eventually serving as a street officer, detective, and undercover narcotics investigator. Allen also gained criminal justice experience as a deputy sheriff and a certified law enforcement academy instructor.

Dr. Lowery earned an Associate Degree in law enforcement from Tiffin University, a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science from the University of Findlay, an M.B.A. from Tiffin University, and a Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University with concentrations in Criminology/Deviant Behavior and Social Psychology. While in graduate school Allen also gained considerable experience in research methodology and statistical analysis. Additionally, Dr. Lowery had the opportunity to spend a week with Steve Gottlieb of the Alpha Group studying crime analysis.

Dr. Lowery has taught at the undergraduate and graduate level, served on several master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation committees, and developed courses and programs for several colleges and universities. He has experience instructing in seated, blended, hybrid and online environments.

Allen is currently an adjunct member of the criminal justice faculty of Kent State University, Ashland University, and Kaplan University, has past experience as a graduate faculty member with Troy University, and has served as faculty at Rhodes State College, Tiffin University, the University of Findlay, and Georgia State University. Allen has also served in the academic leadership positions of Regional Director, Site Director, Associate Dean, Dean, and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Additionally, he has participated in four accreditation or reaccreditation visits involving team visits from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the New England Association of Colleges and School, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


cdum@kent.eduDepartment of Sociology
Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Ph.D., University of Albany, 2014


Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

David Kessler received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in Political Science with a dissertation on Police administration. He became involved in the Justice System when he was hired by the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department to work on the Response Time Analysis Study. He worked for the Houston Police Department Operations Analysis unit from 1983 to 1990. He is currently an associate professor at Kent State University in Sociology and teaches courses in Justice Administration, Contemporary Policing, and Research Methods and Statistics. He has supervised numerous Master’s research papers, and seven dissertations to completion. His research interest is in police administration and research methods. He has published in numerous journals including the Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

Ph.D., Indiana University, 1989


Professor and Program Coordinator
Department of Sociology
Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Hedi Nasheri is a Professor and the Program Coordinator of Criminology and Justice Studies in the Department of Sociology at Kent State University and a Visiting Professor at the University of Turku Law School in Finland. Professor Nasheri has been appointed as a Senior Research Fellow at New York University School of Law’s Center for Research in Crime and Justice. She was appointed as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Professor Nasheri has been appointed as a Fellow at Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology & the Arts at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She has been appointed as a Visiting Fellow at Business Executives for National Security in Washington D.C. She has written and lectured extensively in the areas of law and transnational crimes and has given a number of invited keynote lectures nationally and internationally on a wide range of policy and intellectual property related topics. She was awarded a Fellowship at the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in United Kingdom and is a recipient of several international awards and grants, including a grant from the United States Department of Justice for studying issues related to intellectual property violations and a grant from the State Department of the United States for studying issues related to technology and intellectual property crimes in Eastern and Central Europe. Professor Nasheri is the author of five books, including Economic Espionage and Industrial Spying (Cambridge University Press), Crime and Justice in the Age of Court TV and Betrayal of Due Process, as well as numerous articles and monographs. Her research has been cited by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Jury System Improvement, the Australian Parliament, the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal, the United Nations’ Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the South African Law Commission, and the United States Code, Annotated. Professor Nasheri serves on the Scientific Committee of Technology Against Crime Forum and serves on the International Working Group on the Cyber Security and the Law, under the patronage of the Interpol and the French Minister of the Interior She served as an editor and serves on the editorial board of several of international journals. She served as the Chair of the International Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.


Adjunct Professor
Department of Sociology
Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Justin Key Canfil teaches and researches topics at the nexus of law, technology and security. In addition to being an adjunct professor at Kent State University, he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Columbia University's Department of Political Science.

Prior to his graduate studies, Justin worked as an international affairs and political professional, including in the U.S. Congress, where he served as a policy fellow, and at the Council on World Affairs in Cleveland, where he managed public diplomatic programs on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. A summa cum laude graduate of Ohio State University, he was also a visiting student at the University of Oxford in 2010 (jurisprudence) and Peking University in 2018 (Chinese language studies). He holds M.A. and MPhil degrees in political science from Columbia, and earned a special Ph.D, minor via the Columbia Law School curriculum (2015-2016).

Ph.D., Columbia University (in progress)
MPhil, Columbia University, 2017
MA, Columbia University, 2015
Visiting Student, University of Oxford, 2010
BA., Ohio State University, 2010


Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology

Research Interests: Policing; Program Implementation and Evaluation; Emerging Adulthood and Crime: Life-Course Criminology

Professor Elias Nader’s research in policing examines program implementation and evaluation as well as community perceptions of police initiatives. Currently, he is partnering with the Baltimore Police Department and the University of Baltimore to evaluate the pilot program of the Neighborhood Policing Plan public safety initiative. Additionally, he is leading a community collaboration to evaluate the Baltimore Police Department’s new community policing training. This work emphasizes the inclusion of community members in the research and evaluation process.

Professor Nader’s second area of focus is on the transition to adulthood and desistance from crime. In that research, he has partnered with community-based agencies that serve young adults and has conducted narrative interviews with young adults engaging in desistance. He is building on this work in a book for Routledge Publishers tentatively titled “Growing Up and Out of Crime: Understanding Desistance and the Transition to Adulthood,” which is expected for publication in 2022.

He is excited to work with both graduate and undergraduate students at Kent State and welcomes any inquiries from current and prospective students.

Ph.D. in Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 2019
M.A. in Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 2016
B.S. in Psychology, Ohio State University, 2012


Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

ABD, Case Western Reserve University
Ph.D., Ohio State University
M.A., Kent State University
B.A., Marietta College


Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Pamela Tontodonato is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Kent State University. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in Criminology. Currently a faculty member, she previously served as Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and as interim chair and undergraduate and graduate coordinator for the Department of Justice Studies. In 2007, she received the Raymond J. Kuhn and Shirley J. Kuhn Excellence in Undergraduate Advising Award and in 2006, the Student Accessibility Services and Ability Unlimited Outstanding Faculty award. She has served as a Trustee on the Executive Board of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Recent publications include works in the area of criminological theory and criminal justice education. She has published in journals including Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Violence and Victims, the International Review of Victimology, and the Journal of Criminal Justice Education. She was one of the authors of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Assessment web pages.

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1986
A.M., University of Pennsylvania, 1982
B.A., University of Maryland, 1981

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