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ASU criminologist wins Young Scholar Award

ASU criminologist Min Xie, Ph.D., wins award for scholarly research.
April 25, 2012

Min Xie, assistant professor, will receive the 2012 Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award this fall from the American Society of Criminology for her unprecedented work at the ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The Cavan Award recognizes outstanding contributions by scholars who earned their postgraduate degree in the past five years.

“I think this is a day in which you feel happy, but at the same time you feel humbled and honored,” said Xie.  “Because when I look at my peers, there are several people whose work I really admire and am inspired by.”  

Xie has spent the first five years of her career at ASU after earning her doctorate from the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany, SUNY. 

“The list of past winners of the Cavan Award is a who's who of stars in criminology,” said Scott Decker, director of the school. “Dr. Xie joins this illustrious group, and is recognized for the high quality and impact of her work understanding patterns of victimization.”

One of Xie’s research areas delves into the impact of victimization, but goes beyond the effect on an individual and that person’s family.  Xie said she wanted to find out how victimization affected victims’ friends, their immediate neighborhood, and the community they live in. She found that victimization can lead to social instability, for instance, by causing someone to move away. 

“After the victimization, people make important decisions about how to cope with it,” said Xie. “This means the whole experience of victimization is linked with all other processes that can contribute to the future of the neighborhood.” 

A recent analysis of scholarly work by female criminologists ranked Xie the number one female scholar in the field when adjusted for the year in which a researcher earned a Ph.D. The study by University Texas Dallas found Xie was the sole or lead author on five articles published in elite criminal justice and criminology journals over a four year span. 

“It’s a great feeling when you work with a bunch of talented young scholars in the field, including people in our department,” Xie said. “And you look at them and they work so hard – they do so much work – and sometimes, you’re just trying to keep up.”

Xie and other young scholars have helped transform the school over the past several years.  It’s grown from a small program with six professors and a few hundred students to a school with nearly 2,000 students, 25 faculty members, and a dozen lecturers, associate faculty and online faculty. 

The school’s director credits the work of Xie and others as a reason why the school is quickly becoming one of the top criminology and criminal justice programs in the country.

“This award provides recognition for the quality of her work and the environment in the School to promote and support outstanding scholarship,” Decker said.

Another ASU faculty member, professor Travis Pratt, won the Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award in 2006. 

“I think in many respects it brought a level of national visibility to my work that publishing alone wouldn’t have given me,” said Pratt.