Faculty & Staff



Dawn K. Cecil, Ph.D.

Professor & St. Petersburg Campus Chair

Phone: (727) 873-4618
Office: USFSP - Heller Hall 202
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Dr. Dawn K. Cecil is a Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of South Florida. She received her Ph.D. in Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland in 2002 and her M.A. in Criminal Justice Sciences from Illinois State University in 1995. Dr. Cecil studies media representations of crime and justice to uncover the main messages that contribute to people’s understanding of these issues. In her most recent book, “Fear, Justice & Modern True Crime” (2020), Cecil examines the current wave of true-crime televised series and podcasts to uncover their underlying messages about crime and justice, and to determine the role this popular genre plays in society.

Cecil teaches undergraduate courses in criminological theory and the correctional system, as well as crime in the media and inequalities and crime. In 2018, she received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award. Her peer-reviewed work has been published in The Journal of Crime and Justice, The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Feminist Criminology, The Journal of Criminal Justice, and The Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture.  

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