I am a professor of sociology and criminology at Northern Illinois University. My primary research interests include communities and crime, specifically investigating the effects of neighborhood structure and community organization on crime prevention and control. My recent research involves projects examining the link between animal violence and human crime in urban communities, as well as broader correlates of animal welfare. I also run an animal-assisted intervention at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles. I teach Foundations in Sociology, Criminology, Criminological Theory, Deviance, Communities & Crime and Animals & Society.
In my spare time, I am an active volunteer at my local animal shelter, and with Safe Humane Chicago, whose mission is to create safe and humane communities by inspiring positive relationships between people and animals.