Heather Washington

Assistant Professor, SUNY Albany, School of Criminal Justice
Alumni

Heather Washington CV (pdf)

Dr. Heather Washington, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at State University of New York-Albany. discussed her reasons for becoming a criminologist, her graduate school experience, how it is to be a new faculty member, her research, and an exciting recent professional opportunity she had with Amanda Kenndey, Program Manager at CJRC for our newsletter.

Heather has a long-held fascination with studying crime. As an undergraduate at West Virginia University (WVU), Heather originally started as a forensic science major. However, this wasn’t the ideal area of study for her. “I quickly realized that what I was really interested in understanding was why people engage in crime,” she stated. Heather became a psychology major, eventually switching to criminology. “This is where I found my ‘home’,” she explained. When I asked her why criminology was such a precise fit for her interests, Heather said, “Criminology…is the discipline that really allowed me to explore the many facets and nuances of criminal involvement and its causes from biological, to social, to psychological, to familial, to macro level processes.” One of Heather’s mentors as an undergraduate was Dr. Rachel Woldoff, an alumna of the OSU Sociology program and one of Heather’s professors at WVU. Through Rachel’s influence and her own academic inclinations, Heather wound up as a graduate student in sociology at OSU.

Heather brought her passion and academic skills to her work as a Ph.D. student here. She was a graduate research associate for two major projects during her studies. Heather was on the research teams for the National Science Foundation-funded project, “Dynamics of Space and Time Use: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences for Crime and Problem Behaviors,” and the National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded study, “Spatial Patterns of Social Isolation, Adolescent Marijuana Use, and Co-morbid Sexual/HIV Risk.”

Areas of Expertise
  • Neighborhoods, Crime, and Delinquency
  • Race and Inequality
  • Family
  • Crime and Punishment
Education
  • M.A., The Ohio State University, (2008) Sociology
  • B.A., West Virginia Universiry (2006) Magna Cum Laude, Criminology and Investigations
  • Ph. D., The Ohio State University, (2012) Sociology