Graduate Researcher Alumni Profiles

Dr. Hannah Cortina

Employer: RTI International
Job Title: Research Criminologist

“Hannah Cortina is a Research Criminologist with RTI’s Correction & Reentry Research Program. Dr. Cortina’s research interests include experiences of incarceration, the use of technology in criminal legal systems, and how correctional treatment programs affect reentry outcomes. Her multimethod research aims to incorporate the voices of those directly impacted by incarceration through experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Dr. Cortina manages projects, develops research protocols, coordinates and executes data collection, and conducts analysis tasks on projects funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Department of Labor (DOL), and foundations.”

Dr. Shannon Streisel

Employer: Villanova University
Job Title: Assistant Visiting Professor

Shannon Streisel is an Assistant Visiting Professor at Villanova University in the Department of Sociology and Criminology. During her time at the University of Delaware, she worked at the Center for Drug and Health Studies as a research assistant from 2016-2021. While working at the Center, Shannon worked on projects related to substance use treatment and prevention, criminal justice diversion, and integrating behavioral and mental health services. These projects consisted of both qualitative and quantitative work, which offered her great hands-on experience in understanding how research and evaluation was conducted. Shannon was able to design, conduct, and analyze research projects, as well as publish and participate in professional presentations while working at the Center. Her time spent at the Center for Drug and Health Studies was one of the most important and valuable aspects of her graduate career and she continues to work collaboratively with a number of her peers and mentors.

Dr. Patricia Becker

Employer: The College of New Jersey
Job Title: Assistant Professor of Criminology

Patricia Becker is an Assistant Professor of Criminology at The College of New Jersey. She was a Research Assistant at the Center for Drug and Health Studies from 2016-2020. While at CDHS, she primarily worked on data collection and analysis for The Robert Wood Johnson funded “Culture of Health” study and the “Delaware Contraceptive Access Now” (Del-CAN) project. Working at CDHS has provided her with many hands-on opportunities to gain data analytic skills, interviewing techniques, and the chance to travel and present at a number of conferences. Dr. Becker encourages graduate students to take advantage of any opportunity to learn and build your skill set. These skills have been invaluable and make you marketable in a number of career paths. Dr. Becker is so grateful for all the professional and personal guidance she has received from many of the individuals working for the Center.

Dr. Lin Liu

Employer: Florida International University
Job Title: Assistant Professor

Lin Liu came to the University of Delaware to pursue master and doctoral studies in criminology in 2014. Before that, she obtained her B.A. and M.A. in law in China and worked as a line prosecutor in Beijing for seven years. Her passion for examining the causes of crime motivates her to enroll in a wide scope of theoretical and methodological courses at UD, and her prosecutorial experiences allow her to closely weave theories with practices to gain a strong understanding of the criminal justice system.

Lin Liu’s research and expertise revolves around criminal justice actors’ focal concerns, offending trajectories, the heterogeneous etiologies of crime, and quantitative methodologies. Lin Liu is joining the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida International University. During her graduate studies at UD, she has published 13 research articles in journals including Crime & Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, Social Science Research, The Prison Journal, Marquette Law Review, Contemporary Justice Review, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Sociological Inquiry and International Criminal Justice Review.

Dr. Jascha Wagner

Employer: Texas A&M International University, Laredo
Job Title: Assistant Professor

Jascha Wagner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, TX. As a Graduate Research Assistant at CDHS from 2017-2020, he primarily worked on the Delaware Opioid Metric Intelligence Project (DOMIP). DOMIP is a National Institute of Justice funded project that provides community surveillance capabilities in Delaware to help reduce its prescription and illicit drug problems. Working on DOMIP provided Jascha with practical experiences in data management and data analysis. He credits these hands-on experiences with completely changing how he thinks about teaching and communicating research methods and data analysis. Jascha treasures the experiences he made at ‘the Center’ and continues to work together with the CDHS team on diverse projects.

Dr. Kai Lin

Employer: California State University, Sacramento
Job Title: Assistant Professor

Dr. Kai Lin is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Criminal Justice at California State University, Sacramento. He was a Research Assistant at the Center for Drug and Health Studies between 2014 and 2018. While at CDHS, he primarily worked on the data collection and analysis of the Delaware School Survey, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, as well as other survey projects conducted by CDHS. He was also involved in the evaluation of Delaware community organizations’ prevention efforts on alcohol and drug use among Delaware youths (SPF-PFS). In addition to offering opportunities to practice his data analytic skills with various survey data, working at CDHS has provided him with practical experience in implementing large-scale survey projects and program evaluation, as well as experience in communicating and liaising with local community organizers. He considers these hands-on experiences an invaluable complement to his academic training. He is also immensely appreciative of all the professional as well as personal support he received from the Center’s leadership and senior researchers. Although no longer affiliated, he carries many fond memories of CDHS and looks forward to potential research and professional collaboration with the Center in the future.

Dr. TaLisa Carter

Employer: American University
Job Title: Assistant Professor

Dr. TaLisa J. Carter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology at American University and worked at the Center for Drug and Health Studies from 2014-2018. While there, Dr. Carter worked on a variety of Criminal Justice related projects including Decision Making Project and observations of specialized courts and research in probation. Through CDHS, Dr. Carter forged invaluable relationships with researchers, practitioners and Criminal Justice institutions within and outside of Delaware. Dr. Carter strengthened her research skills at CDHS, completing three projects as the Principal Investigator in which she designed research plans, collected original data, conducted analysis, and presented executive summaries to criminal justice executives. The best part of working at CDHS for Dr. Carter was “hands down: the people. I miss them already. Good people make work, learning and even statistics so much better.”

Laura Adarve, MA

Employer: Latin American Community Center
Job Title: Prevention Specialist

Laura Adarve worked at the Center for Drug and health Studies from 2012 to 2014. After graduating, she was hired at the Latin American Community Center where she is a Prevention Specialist and does outreach to the community, prevention education sessions, partnering with businesses to promote healthy lifestyles, conducting alcohol and drug-free events, attending trainings and professional development opportunities, and referring clients to treatment services and other social services. While working at the Center, Laura worked on the SPF-SIG project, which was helpful because she became familiar with the Prevention field, its structure, functions, and jargon. Additionally, she learned so much about the way projects are funded and also how to understand politics within service organizations. Laura’s favorite part of working at CDHS was “the variety of projects that were always going on. All of my colleagues participated in different projects, so there was never a lack of activity going on. My other favorite part was having the ability and proper venues to participate in training opportunities that would eventually help me out in my career.”

Margaret E. Leigey

Employer: The College of New Jersey
Job Title: Associate Professor

Dr. Leigey is grateful for the opportunities that being a graduate research assistant at CDHS afforded her. She acquired valuable research experience. Much of her current research is qualitative in design. The CDHS projects Dr. Leigey worked on gave her the opportunity to develop interviewing skills. They also provided her with the chance to travel and present at conferences. She is also thankful for the professional contacts she made as a result of my affiliation with CDHS. Dr. Leigey encourages current graduate research assistants to take advantage of the different opportunities available to them at the Center. Say yes! Even if they don’t perfectly align with their interests, they will gain valuable experience and skills which will help them in the future.

Dr. Luye Li

Employer: SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Job Title: Assistant Professor

Luye Li (Ph.D. of criminology, University of Delaware) is an assistant professor of criminology at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly). Prior to joining SUNY Poly, she worked as a data analyst and research assistant in the Center for Drug and Health Studies from 2015 to 2018. Her researches focus on police legitimacy and procedural justice, intimate partner violence, and comparison of criminal justice systems between China and the United States. Her recent publications appear on Journal of Interpersonal Violence and Journal of Asian Criminology. In SUNY Poly, Luye teaches research method of social sciences and comparative criminal justice. In addition to research and teaching, she is also interested in applying advanced quantitative research method in research on criminal justice. Luye has earned the coursera certificate of machine learning from the Stanford University (License Number: LGT7F4S577F6) since July, 2018.

Holly Swan, PhD

Employer: Abt Associates, Inc.
Job Title: Associate Scientist

Holly Swan worked at CDHS from 2009 to 2013 on the Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS). One of the most important things that Dr. Swan takes away from her time at CDHS is that networking is everything! Dr. Swan has been applying this valuable lesson ever since and has developed collaborative relationships with a variety of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. These relationships have been critical for getting involved in projects and in developing successful proposals. Networking has also been essential for seeking career opportunities. Dr. Swan’s advice to current graduate research assistants is to do not be afraid to put yourself out there. A place like CDHS provides a lot of opportunities to present research at conferences and to meet other researchers and stakeholders locally and sometimes even nationally as part of projects. Use every opportunity given to you and seek out others. Also, no matter what you want your career path to be (academia, applied, something else) use your time at CDHS to get exposed to as many methods and techniques (quantitative and qualitative; design and analysis) as you can. Those are skills that are transferrable and that make you marketable in every field of research.

Dr. Thomas Mowen

Employer: Bowling Green State University
Job Title: Assistant Professor

Dr. Thomas Mowen worked at the Center for Drug and Health Studies from 2012 to 2014. While at CDHS, he primarily worked on the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Suicide Prevention Grant (GLS). In this role, Tom gained experience working on a multi-year federally funded grant and was able to gain hands-on training in data management, reporting, and presenting.

One part of working on the GLS that he found both important and challenging was the emphasis placed on community outreach as CDHS worked with school-, governmental, and community-based organizations in efforts to promote positive mental health among youth in Delaware. Dr. Mowen reflects on his experiences, “One of the best parts of working at CDHS was the opportunity to be involved in so many different projects and learning about all the exciting research that goes on in a vibrant research center.” Tom credits his time at CDHS with helping him develop both research and writing skills.

Dr. Whitney DeCamp

Employer: Western Michigan University
Job Title: Associate Professor

Dr. Whitney DeCamp, who is an Associate Professor at Western Michigan University, worked at the Center for Drug and Health Studies from 2007 to 2011 on a number of projects, such as the Delaware School Survey, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, College Risk Behavior Survey, SPF-SIG, and the Delaware School Health Profiles. For Dr. DeCamp, one of the more helpful aspects of working at the Center was the experience that he gained from managing and analyzing large datasets, which has been invaluable and helps him with nearly everything he does! Dr. DeCamp also got great experience learning about the research process, how to establish and maintain vital connections in the research community, and how to responsibly delegate to and to supervise those assisting with research. Dr. DeCamp states that his favorite part of working at CDHS was “the people who I got to work with. I always enjoyed coming to work, even on days when I had a lot of work to do, and it was because it was a great environment to work in.”