Criminology and criminal justice school director named American Society of Criminology Fellow


Beth Huebner in graduation robes standing behind a podium.

Professor Beth Huebner, director of ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, addresses the spring 2023 convocation of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Photo by Mark J. Scarp/ASU

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Beth Huebner, Watts Endowed Professor for Public Safety and director of Arizona State University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, has been named an American Society of Criminology Fellow.

Huebner is the fourth faculty member from the school to receive the distinction. The others are Professor Emeritus Scott Decker (2012), Regents Professor and former School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Director Cassia Spohn (2013) and Professor Michael Reisig (2022).

Spohn said the selection recognizes Huebner’s outstanding record of research and scholarship, as well as her years of service to the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and the ASC’s Division on Corrections and Sentencing, as well as her record of mentoring junior faculty and graduate students.

“This is indeed a prestigious honor, one that is awarded by the ASC to recognize scholarly contributions to criminology and distinction in the discipline,’” she said.

Huebner said it is one of the highest honors a criminologist can receive.

“I am thankful to my former students and current and past colleagues who nominated me,” she said. “I have spent most of my career partnering with local agencies and organizations on community-led reforms, and these individuals have been a constant inspiration for my work. I hope to use this platform as a way to continue to support young scholars, particularly those whose voices have often been minoritized in the academy.”

In nominating Huebner, associate professors Breanne Pleggenkuhle of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Kimberly Kras of San Diego State University, wrote that her curriculum vitae “clearly demonstrates the breadth and quality of scholarship Dr. Huebner has produced throughout her career, as well as the clear contribution to criminal justice policy, with over 30 reports and monographs to private and government program funders, justice organizations and research centers.”

Pleggenkuhle and Kras also said Huebner’s contributions to the discipline “have greatly advanced the field of criminology and the realm of public policy, especially related to corrections reform. Her work has real-world impact, and is in service to improving the functioning of our criminal justice system and the lives of those who work in it and are impacted by it.”

The nominators wrote that Huebner, who joined the faculty and began work as school director Jan. 1, has earned universal praise from academics and practitioners “for her ability to connect with her audience, whether engaging with participants in the field or while delivering her research.”

Huebner “values the diffusion of knowledge to audiences of all types, and her commitment represents the way in which academics can have immediate and significant impact on practice, particularly at the community level,” Pleggenkuhle and Kras wrote.

Since ASC announced its first fellows in 1976, selection has been open to society members in good standing for scholarly contributions such as innovations in public policy as well as enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion within society and the field of criminology, according to ASC’s official criteria.

In addition, a fellow must “have made a significant contribution to the field through the career development of other criminologists and/or through organizational activities within ASC.”

Huebner was one of four fellows announced in 2023. The other three named this year are Laura Dugan of Ohio State University, Shaun L. Gabbidon of Penn State University and Nancy Rodriguez of the University of California, Irvine. One hundred eighty-five criminologists have been named to the list since its inception. The society may select up to five new fellows annually.

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is part of the ASU Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

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