EMU professor Donna Selman receives top award from national criminology society

by Geoff Larcom, Published January 07, 2011

Eastern Michigan University Professor Donna Selman has been honored as the Critical Criminologist of the Year by the American Society of Criminology.

Selman, a professor in the department of sociology, anthropology and criminology at Eastern, was honored at the society's annual conference recently in San Francisco.

The American Society of Criminology is an international organization whose members seek to understand the measurement, causes, consequences, prevention and treatment of crime and delinquency. Members include students, practitioners and academicians from the many fields of criminal justice and criminology.

 "The Critical Criminologist of the Year award is given to those young scholars that have not only attained recognition within one of the sub-fields in critical criminological thought, but also to those that live the ideals of the division though activism - public criminology - within the profession and in the public sphere," said Dawn Rothe, chair of the division of critical criminology in the society and professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

"Donna has been recognized as not only having achieved these things - making an impact in the field through scholarship, mentoring, and/or service as well as contributing to the ideals of critical criminology - but at a rate that exceeds other young critical criminology scholars."

Selman and an EMU colleague, Paul Leighton, recently wrote a book, "Punishment for Sale:  Private Prisons, Big Business and the Incarceration Binge," that earned EMU's Merlanti Ethics Award for its importance relating to corporate social responsibility.  Selman also serves as the lead bargaining representative for the EMU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

"To be recognized by the leading scholars in the field of criminology for my work on private prisons, as well as my work as a union leader, is quite an honor," Selman said. "This combination of scholarship and activism is really what being a critical criminologist is all about."

Before coming to EMU in 2005, Selman served as an assistant professor and director of the criminal justice program at Marygrove College. She has also taught at Western Michigan University. She received her doctorate from Western Michigan and earned her master's and bachelor's in criminology at Eastern Michigan.

EMU has about 450 undergraduate students and about 40 graduate students in the criminology and criminal justice program. Many graduate students go on to doctoral programs and become scholars/activists.


Geoff Larcom



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