Wall of Fame
We are proud to recognize these alumni and students who have impacted our community locally, regionally and nationally.
The Department of Criminology Wall of Fame honors a select group of alumni who have distinguished themselves by attaining the highest level of professional accomplishment while demonstrating strong personal integrity.
Captain Alex Thiel, a Tampa native and former United States Marine Corps veteran, holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University and an M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration from USF, having completed Cohort 15. He has served with the Tampa Police Department for more than 18 years and is currently the Sector Commander responsible for Ybor City and downtown.
Throughout his career with the Tampa Police Department, Captain Thiel has held various positions, including Field Training Officer and Street-Crimes Officer. He has also been a member of the Honor Guard and the Crowd Management Team, where he served as assistant commander. As an instructor, he teaches a range of subjects, including High Liability areas, and is the department's lead driving instructor and coordinator.
Captain Thiel is an elected pension trustee with the Tampa Fire and Police Pension Fund and a certified public pension trustee with the Florida Public Pension Trustee Association. Recently, he was nominated and accepted as an Honorary Commander with the MacDill Air Force base 6th Air Refueling Wing.
In his personal life, Captain Thiel is the son of two retired Tampa Police Officers and is married to Katie Thiel, a retired detective with the Tampa Police Department. He takes pride in being a father to his two children, Emma (11) and Jacob Thiel (9).
Arthur (Art) Hushen is the Founder of the National Institute of Crime Prevention (NICP), a global CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) Training and Consulting company established in 1999. He earned a B.A. in Criminology from the University of South Florida in 1996 and is a USF Lifetime Alumni.
With 30 years of law enforcement experience, Mr. Hushen began his career as a police officer in South Texas in 1976, ultimately retiring from the Tampa Police Department in 2006, where he served in the Special Operations Division. He played an instrumental role in creating the first CPTED Unit in the country and also contributed to the development of the CPTED Training program for the Florida Attorney General’s Office, where he served as the lead instructor for over 15 years. As the President of NICP, Inc., Mr. Hushen continues to promote the implementation of CPTED concepts and strategies at the national and international level through training programs and consulting with various government, private sector, and nonprofit groups. He has served and continues to serve on several committees and associations, including the Executive Director of the US CPTED Association, Committee Member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America Security Lighting Committee, and Past Chair of the Florida Design Out Crime Association.
Mr. Hushen works alongside his wife and business partner Joelle, who is also a USF Lifetime Alumni, to advance CPTED strategies worldwide as a standard for designing safe and healthy communities. The NICP has established a professional recognition standard for those earning the CPTED Professional Designation (CPD) through its CPD program. He looks forward to continuing his work in promoting CPTED strategies and contributing to the creation of safer and healthier communities.
Dr. Joan Reid is a Criminology Professor and serves as the Director of the USF Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Risk to Resilience Research Lab located on the USF St. Petersburg campus. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Psychology, her Master's degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, and her Doctoral degree in Criminology, all from the University of South Florida.
Dr. Reid's research primarily focuses on sex trafficking of minors in the United States, and she has authored over 65 publications that have been featured in prestigious journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Annals of Internal Medicine, Justice Quarterly, and Sexual Abuse. Her research has made a significant impact, with her ranking as the fifth most active human trafficking researcher in the world. Her work has also been cited in various State Supreme Courts and in the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as numerous state human trafficking policy briefs, demonstrating its extensive influence on practice at both the regional and national levels. In 2021 and 2022, she was included in the Scopus list of the most cited scientists based on annual citations of her research.
Dr. Melissa Lugo is a Research and Policy Associate at the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission. She obtained her B.A. in Criminology and Anthropology from the University of Florida in 2011, followed by an M.A. in Criminology from the University of South Florida in 2013. In 2020, she earned her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati.
Dr. Lugo's research focuses on the integration of developmental and life-course criminology with corrections, the evaluation of correctional interventions, and data-driven approaches to inform sentencing practices. She has published her work in prominent journals such as Justice Quarterly, Crime & Delinquency, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, and Criminology & Public Policy.
Dr. Lugo has authored notable reports, including a multi-state study on risk assessment implementation and youth outcomes in the juvenile justice system and an evaluation of Ohio's prison programs. Her ongoing projects involve examining potential disparities at key decision points during conviction and sentencing, analyzing felony and misdemeanor convictions and sentences under the structured sentencing law, and evaluating the effectiveness of Juvenile Crime Prevention Council programs. Dr. Lugo is committed to further exploring North Carolina's sentencing, correctional, and recidivism data to assist the Commission in delivering recommendations to the General Assembly.
Each of these professionals has represented the department in ways that promote and enhance the department's identity.
Christiana S. Crowder is a Vice President for Citigroup’s Financial Intelligence Unit. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Criminology in 2016 and went on to earn her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law, graduating in 2021. She became licensed to practice law in October 2021.
While attending USF, Ms. Crowder received a grant through the Summer Research Institute which she used to conduct research with Dr. Ráchael Powers regarding conceptions of sexual violence among adolescents, more specifically which variables impact attitudes toward sexual encounters and interpersonal sexual violence. While in law school, she did pro bono work for the 13th Circuit Conviction Review Unit, where she reviewed a criminal case for the purpose of post-conviction relief, and for the 12th Circuit Children’s Legal Services, where she drafted dependency and termination of parental rights petitions.
At her current role at Citigroup, Ms. Crowder conducts money laundering, terrorist financing, and fraud investigations impacting Foreign Correspondent Bank clients. She compiles reports to present to senior management and to report to the federal government.
Danielle Thomas is a Ph.D. student at the University of South Florida in the Department of Criminology. She earned her B.A. in Criminology and Psychology, and her M.A. in Criminology from USF. Ms. Thomas is a lead research assistant for the CREATE (Crime Etiology and Treatment Evaluation) Lab where she facilitates a life-skills reentry program at a state prison and collaborates with various criminal justice stakeholders in the Tampa Bay area to promote successful reentry for returning citizens.
Ms. Thomas' MA thesis investigated the effectiveness of a life-skills program in reducing institutional misconduct, increasing social support, and improving readiness for reentry. Her thesis was nominated for the USF Outstanding Theses and Dissertations. She has co-authored a book chapter accepted for publication in the 8th volume of the Handbook on Prisons and Jails published by the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Corrections and Sentencing. Recently, she was awarded the Scott Allen Memorial Travel award to present her research on reentry and recidivism, employment and crime, and program evaluation at the American Society of Criminology meeting held in Atlanta, GA.
Monica Martinez is the Director of the Resource Development Department for the 13th Judicial Circuit Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). She received her Master's degree in Criminal Justice Administration and Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences from the University of South Florida. Ms. Martinez is tasked with securing grant funding for the various court programs, coordinating professional development opportunities for staff, launching the Leadership Development Program, and developing a Court Ambassador Program. Her Master’s Capstone Project was Assessing Development Needs for Succession Planning for the AOC; she was able to transfer the research into practical applications in her current position. Ms. Martinez serves on the Administrative Office of the Court’s Executive team, assisting and supporting the Court Administrator with carrying out administrative duties related to operation of the county and circuit courts.
During her time with AOC, Ms. Martinez has served as the manager of the Juvenile Diversion Program. She collaborated with community stakeholders on key initiatives such as the establishment of the Civil Citation Program in Hillsborough County and the Mental Health Juvenile Diversion process. Prior to joining AOC, she served in the State Attorney’s Office as a Victim Advocate and worked with the Pinellas County Child Protection Team.
Dr. Shelly M. Wagers is an Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg campus and currently serves as the President for the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan. Dr. Wagers has worked in the domestic violence (DV) field for over 25 years: first as an advocate, then as a law enforcement officer and now as a scholar.
Dr. Wagers’ primary research interests include examining the relationship between power, control and DV, along with developing evidence-based practices for DV policies and programs. She also focuses her research on the development of her theory on Internal Power and its theoretical correlation to intimate partner violence. Her most recent applied work examined factors impacting prosecutorial filing decisions in domestic violence cases. Dr. Wagers has published her research in numerous top peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Victims and Offenders, and Journal of Social and Interpersonal Relationships.
As an expert in domestic violence, Dr. Wagers regularly consults with and provides training on implementing evidence-based practices to address domestic violence to batterer intervention state certification boards and programs, domestic violence centers and law enforcement agencies. She served on the editorial board for the intimate partner violence section of the Handbook of interpersonal violence and abuse across the lifespan: A project of the National Partnership to End (Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV), which contains over 200 chapters and is consider a definitive work in the field. Dr. Wagers is regularly invited to present at conferences such as the Florida Office of the Attorney General National Conference on Preventing Crime and the Diverse Voices Family Violence Conference the largest annual family violence conference in Western Canada.
HAWKINS COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP AWARD
Julianne Holt is a graduate of Leto High School, Hillsborough Community College, and the University of South Florida. She graduated summa cum laude from South Texas College of Law in 1980 and returned to Tampa to begin her career as a practicing attorney. In 1987, she was appointed as a special court-appointed public defender, serving in that capacity for five years. In 1993, Ms. Holt was elected as the Public Defender of the 13th Judicial Circuit and has held that position for the past 31 years, providing dedicated service to the community. Along with her legal work, Ms. Holt has also been an adjunct professor at USF since 1997, demonstrating her commitment to education.
Ms. Holt has been recognized for her outstanding work and achievements. In 2014, she received the Employer of the Year Award from the Mayor’s Alliance for Persons with Disabilities for her work with Pepin Academies. In 2018, she was named Woman of the Year by the Zonta Club of Tampa and was inducted into the Hillsborough County Women’s Hall of Fame. The United States Middle District of Florida’s Historical, Education, and Public Outreach Committee also recognized her as a “Hidden Figure: Firsts in Tampa Bay” for being the first elected female Public Defender for Hillsborough County.
Ms. Holt has received numerous other awards and honors for her exceptional work, including the Juvenile Justice Board Circuit 13’s Public Service Award in 2019, the Tiger Bay Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, and the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, 2nd District Court of Appeal’s Champion of Professionalism Award in 2020.
MICHAEL J. LEIBER LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The late Dr. Max L. Bromley was an Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminology at USF, where he also served as the Director of the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration (MACJA) Program. Dr. Bromley's affiliation with the department spanned six decades, during which he taught numerous courses in law enforcement and campus security, earning the distinction of being the longest-serving faculty member.
Dr. Bromley began as an adjunct instructor in 1975 and was hired as an assistant professor in 1986. Following his retirement, he continued to serve as the director of the MACJA program, which he developed in 2006. The program has educated hundreds of employees in law enforcement, corrections, probation, juvenile justice agencies, and the courts across the state.
His contributions to the field of criminology extend beyond academia. Before joining
the faculty, Dr. Bromley served as the Associate Director of Public
Safety at USF and worked in the criminal justice field for almost 25 years. He played a pivotal role in establishing the first set of law enforcement accreditation standards for Florida, serving on the statewide task force. He was also involved in research on community policing and assisted the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics in developing and implementing the first national survey of campus law enforcement agencies. He authored the widely used guide, Department Self-Study: A Guide for Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, and his articles were published in leading journals such as Policing, Police Quarterly, Criminal Justice Policy Review, and Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice.
Dr. Bromley's immense contributions to the department and the field of criminology established him as an eminent scholar and an asset to the community. Sadly, he passed away in December 2022, leaving behind a legacy that will continue to impact the field and all who knew him for years to come.