Leading Criminologist to Serve as Next Visiting Research Scholar

Alex Piquero to present universitywide lectureship, mentor faculty

Alex Piquero

OXFORD, Miss. – Alex Piquero, the world’s No. 1-ranked criminologist since 1996 in terms of scholarly publications in elite criminology and criminal justice journals, will serve as the next visiting research scholar for the University of Mississippi’s School of Applied Sciences.

An Ashbel Smith Professor of Criminology and associate dean in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, Piquero will be at Ole Miss March 22-23.

He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles in the areas of criminal careers, crime prevention, criminological theory and quantitative research methods and has been cited more than 29,000 times. Piquero has collaborated on several books, including “Key Issues in Criminal Careers Research: New Analyses from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development” and the “Handbook of Quantitative Criminology.”

Renowned for their presentations, strong research publication record and national competitive grant award record, speakers invited to the School of Applied Sciences’ Visiting Research Scholars Forum provide presentations, small-group discussions and individualized mentorship sessions to interested faculty, including a meritorious lectureship for a universitywide audience.

“Dr. Piquero has a vibrant personality and a great sense of humor,” said Linda Keena, interim chair of the Department of Legal Studies. “He is a phenomenal mentor. Those who attend should prepare for his engaging teaching style and his contagious passion for research.”

In a 2016 interview with NBC News, Piquero, a Cuban-American from Washington, D.C., explained his interest in understanding why people commit crimes:

“I’ve always been interested in the questions of: Why do people offend? Why do some continue and others stop? Why do people do what they do? And why are males different from females, and are those differences true for Hispanics versus whites versus African-Americans, etc.?” he said.

“The hope is that those kinds of research questions lead to answers that can help prevent crime through the right kind of interventions. We all want to have productive, pro-social members of society, but how do we achieve that? 

“I mean, I always wondered, why did we – children of immigrants who came to this country and had to start from the bottom – turn out the way we did, given the risk factors? Why do some of us do fine while others with no risk factors turn out a mess? How do we create an environment to produce the best possible citizens?

“I’m very interested in preventing crime by uncovering what we can do to help parents and kids in the earliest years. A lot of my research and policy work is on the topic of what we know about early family prevention.”

Daphne Cain, interim associate dean of applied sciences and chair of the Department of Social Work, said she looks forward to the interprofessional expertise Piquero brings to the forum.

“Dr. Piquero’s research is rooted in disciplines across the university: criminal justice, social work, sociology, anthropology, psychology and public policy,” Cain said. “Researchers from all disciplines will definitely appreciate his quantitative research methods as well.”

Registration is required to attend the universitywide lectureship at 4 p.m. March 22 in Lamar Hall, Room 129.

Faculty within the School of Applied Sciences must also register to attend Piquero’s schoolwide presentation and individualized mentorship sessions on March 23. Registration is available online at http://www.sas.olemiss.edu/scholarforum.

For more information about the Visiting Research Scholars Forum, visit http://www.sas.olemiss.edu/scholarforum.