SMART Executive Board

Dr. Kevin Karpiak

Dr. Karpiak is Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology at Eastern Michigan University. He is the founder and Director of Southeastern Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Research Project (SMART) and co-editor of the Cornell University Press monograph series Police/Worlds: studies in security, crime and governance.  He received his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley (2009), for which he conducted a multi-sited ethnography of French community policing reform. Since 2016 he has been conducting research on police oversight commissions in Washtenaw County, MI., and currently serves on the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office 21st Century Policing Compliance Commission as well as the Prevention and Front-End Subcommittee of the Washtenaw Equity Partnership. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles & chapters as well as edited a special issue of the journal Theoretical Criminology and the volume The Anthropology of Police with Routledge press

You can contact Dr. Karpiak at [email protected] or schedule an appointment here.

 Dr. Rita Shah (she/her/hers)

Dr. Rita Shah is a cultural criminologist who combines textual analysis with qualitative and visual methods to understand the ways in which correctional systems are socially and legally constructed. Her work has been published in the British Journal of Criminology and Contemporary Justice Review and is supported by NEH and NSF grants. Her most recent book, The Meaning of Rehabilitation and its Impact on Parole: There and Back Again in California (2017), queries the concept of rehabilitation to determine how, on a legislative and policy level, the term is defined as a goal of correctional systems. She received her BA in communications, legal institutions, economics and government (CLEG) from American University and her MA in social ecology and Ph.D. in criminology, law and society from the University of California, Irvine. In her free time, she can be found on photographic expeditions or watching football.


Dr. Paul Leighton

 Paul Leighton is a Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology at Eastern Michigan. He is a co-author of the Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison (12th ed, 2020), and Class, Race, Gender and Crime, (5th ed, 2018). He is a co-editor of The Palgrave Handbook of Social Harm (2021). Leighton has been published in Criminology and Public Policy, and written chapters for book published by Elsevier, Oxford and Routledge. He is a past President of the Board of SafeHouse, the local shelter and advocacy center for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. He is currently Chair the advisory board of Eastern Michigan University’s food pantry, providing advocacy and collaborating on academic research on food and housing insecurity.


Dr. Marilyn Corsianos

Marilyn Corsianos, Ph.D. (Vice-President, EMU Faculty Senate; Professor of Criminology & Sociology). Dr. Corsianos’ scholarly work is centered on social justice issues and the inequities in the criminal legal system. More recently, her research has focused on gendered sexual violence, police ethics and corruption, and the systemic abuses within the criminal court process and the wrongfully convicted. She is the author of The Complexities of Police Corruption: Gender, Identity and Misconduct (2012), the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Policing and Gendered Justice (2009), co-author (with Walter S. DeKeseredy) of Pornography and Violence against Women (2015), co-editor of Interrogating Social Justice (2000), and has published several articles in national and international scholarly journals. Currently, she is producing a documentary (funded in part by the Dean’s Professional Development Award) on the systemic abuses within the criminal court process and the wrongfully convicted. She has served as an expert witness on gender, policing and sexual violence at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (2016-2017), and was invited by the Department of Justice to be a speaker at the Research Summit on Women in Policing in Washington DC (2018-2019). This summit led to the first special report by the NIJ titled “Women in Policing: Breaking the Barriers and Blazing a Path” (July 2019). Also, as a member of EMU’s Title IX Research Committee, she served as co-investigator on EMU’s first campus climate survey on sexual misconduct culture (sponsored by the Office of the Provost) and co-authored EMU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Misconduct Culture: Final Report (May 2021). She has also co-authored the Final Report of the EMU Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Police Oversight (December 2020), as well as the President’ Commission on Women: Covid-19 Impact Survey Report (April 2021). In addition, as Chair of EMU’s Public Safety Oversight committee, she was the recipient of a grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSM) Community Policing Innovations Initiative to implement changes in police oversight at EMU. As a member of the SMART team, she serves on the Washtenaw Law Enforcement Oversight Consortium, and the work group with ICPOC on the AAPD traffic stop data.


 Dr. Grigoris Argeros

Professor Argeros's research examines the correlates of patterns of racial and ethnic changes in neighborhood composition and class- and race-related changes in the level of location attainment and residential segregation between racial and ethnic groups. His work has been published in City and Community, Journal of Urban Affairs, and Sociology Compass.


Dr. Barbara Patrick 

Dr. Barbara Patrick is Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration. She also serves as the chairperson of the Faculty Senate Task Force on Campus Climate, Race & Diversity Issues and Director of Community Outreach for the Department of Political Science. She has given invited lectures and organized workshops addressing systemic racism, issues of diversity, local partnerships and collaborations addressing the needs of underserved communities, policing in communities of color, and uses of administrative discretion in police officer dismissals. She has published research on issues of fairness and equity in public policy, performance management in public education, and citizen engagement in the administrative process. Her current research includes cultural competency in police engagement, police social media use, structure and outcome of state Civil Rights Commissions, and financial/economic disparities among underserved cities in Michigan. Her work can be found in the Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, Public Integrity, Public Performance, and Management Review, and Politics & Policy.

 Sara Srygley, Graduate Research Assistant

 I am a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University in the Department of Sociology, Criminology and Anthropology. I am currently in my final phase of the program, my thesis project, which is a quantitative study focusing on race, income, and the food retail environment in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. My current research interests are urban sociology, social inequality, community resources, and food justice. In my first two years as a Master's student at EMU, I worked as a graduate assistant and through that role I participated in the Virtual Graduate Research Conference in 2020 presenting research on racial and ethnic residential segregation patterns in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. In addition to my role as a student, I am a former child welfare worker and supervisor, now working at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan as a Survey Specialist on the Health and Retirement Study. I am also excited to be working with SMART at EMU on the Ann Arbor Police Traffic Stop Data project. I am looking forward to partnering with and learning from the SMART collaborative team and to continuing my varied work in social science research. 

 Coreena Forstner (she/they), Undergraduate Website and Social Media Coordinator 

Coreena is a senior undergraduate student studying Psychology and Criminology. She intends to graduate in Fall 2023 with University Honors, Departmental Honors in Criminology, and Highest Honors. Their study interests include criminal behavior, homicide, psychopathy, the social and biological risk factors of crime, and antisocial behavioral indicators in adolescence. After graduation, Coreena plans to continue her education in Graduate School and pursue her doctorate in Forensic Psychology. Coreena, also a McNair Scholar, works as a Residential Advisor on campus, is the Vice President of student organization, Active Minds, and is a Research Assistant for the SEED Lab where she is involved in the Predictors of Child Psychopathology and Resilience Study. They are excited to work for SMART as the website and social media coordinator.