Vivian Smith, PhD
Chair and Associate Professor of Criminology
Her experience as a National Institute of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse postdoctoral fellow, fostered her passion for collaborative and interdisciplinary research, while grounding her in both quantitative and qualitative methods.
Her passion for understanding women’s criminality, has led Smith to publish on issues related to the war on drugs against women. Smith has also been involved with research projects involving females with substance abuse diagnoses and histories of sexual and physical abuse.
She also conducted research involving the reentry of formerly incarcerated persons, including a process evaluation of a Community Collaborative Board (a board in charge of creating a health intervention for returning offenders). The study was part of a larger project spearheaded by Dr. Liliane Windsor. This work was published in Health Promotion Practice and received the Sarah Mazelis Paper of the Year Award at the Society for Public Health Education Conference in 2016.
She was part of a multiphase women and reentry project, where she collected and analyzed archival data from a women’s prison. She also created and facilitated a reentry survey instrument for women soon to be released from prison and halfway houses.
Smith has presented her research at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, American Society of Criminology Conferences, and at the annual meeting for the Society of Study of Social Problems.
Her experience informed her teaching interests and laid the foundation for a career focused on providing students with the critical skills to evaluate empirical research in order to create an informed opinion.
She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. Her classes include Statistics, Corrections, Reentry, Drugs in the Criminal Justice System, Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program and Senior Capstone.
Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and a certificate in African American studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned a master's and doctoral degree in criminal justice from the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice.