Faculty & Staff



Joni Bernbaum, M.A.

Associate Instructor & Internship Coordinator 

Phone: (813) 974-5759
Office: SOC 321
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Curriculum Vitae

Joni Bernbaum, M.A. is an Associate Instructor of Criminology and the Internship Coordinator. She began her professional career after an undergraduate internship through the USF Department of Criminology led to a full-time position at a local domestic violence center. After working there for many years, she then spent 13 years as the Assistant Director of the USF Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention, where she worked closely with community, state, and federal criminal justice agencies and organizations. Joni has over 20 years of professional experience in the field of victim services, helping clients overcome the trauma of their victimization by advocating for safety, healing, restitution, and justice.

Joni holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology, both from USF. She is a Clinically Certified Domestic Violence Counselor, Clinically Certified Human Trafficking Victim Services Provider, and Clinically Certified Criminal Justice Specialist from the National Board of Forensic Counselors; a Certified Instructor for Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Systems (for children and adults); certified in Basic Crisis Response Training from the National Organization for Victim Assistance; and a Designated Victim Services Practitioner by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Florida. Joni served as the Vice-Chair of the Hillsborough County Domestic Violence Taskforce, and is currently a member of that task force, and also the local fatality review team, human trafficking task force, and sexual assault response team. She is on the Advisory Board for the International Association of Human Trafficking Investigators.

Joni teaches classes on Victimology, Sexual Violence, Survey of the Criminal Justice System, Social Justice, Human Relationship Skills, Rape Aggression Defense, and Leadership, and has presented on victimization, human trafficking, and sexual and relationship violence at the local, state, and national levels. She has also coordinated nationally recognized/award-winning events at USF, including Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and Take Back the Night – and served on the University’s Safe Zone Advisory, Wellness, Women’s Status, Coordinated Community Response, and Campus Safety committees.

Joni has received a lifetime honorary membership to the Golden Key International Honour Society; received the USF Department of Criminology, Distinguished Alumni Award; received the USF/Student Affairs, “Changing Lives Award”; and was nominated by students, and awarded the “Inspire by Example,” USF Outstanding Faculty/Staff Leadership Award.