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Faculty and Staff

Our faculty are a diverse community of scholars, teachers and activists for change with interests that span the globe. We share a common passion for justice in research, service and practice. Courses in the Department are taught by full-time and part-time faculty, many of whom are  recognized experts in their fields of study and practice.

Linda Bzhetaj
Special Instructor

Graham Cassano
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Brandeis University, Sociology
Urban sociology, theory, labor history, mass media, race, gender and class

Dennis Condron
Ph.D., Ohio State University, Sociology
Sociology of education, social stratification

Heidi Lyons
Associate Professor and Advisor
Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, Sociology
Family, population, social demography, life course, sex and gender, quantitative methods

Matthew May
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Georgia, Sociology
Religion, mental health, organizations, and work-family issues

Terri L. Orbuch
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Sociology
Interpersonal relationships, race/gender, interrelationships between relationships, marital stability and quality, sexuality and sexual norms, account-making and narratives

Maria Paino
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Georgia, Sociology
Education, organizations, occupation and work, gender and inequalities, research methods, deviance

Jo Reger
Professor and Chair
Ph.D., Ohio State University, Sociology
Social movements, gender, qualitative methods, organizations

George Sanders
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, Sociology
Sociology of religion, stratification, research methods, theory

Jon W. Carroll
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Michigan State University, Anthropology
Cultural transmission, sociopolitical and economic organization, Geographic Information Science (GIScience), aerial drones, computer modeling/simulation, archaeology of the Eastern Woodlands of North America

Henri Gooren
Ph.D., Utrecht University, Anthropology
Religion, Latin America

Mike Pytlik
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology—Judaic Studies
Doctor of Science in Jewish Studies, Spertus College
Archaeology of Israel, Archaeology of Sacred Sites in the Near East, formation of ancient states, leads Study Abroad archaeological trip to Israel.

Suzanne Spencer-Wood
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Anthropology
Feminist theory in anthropology and archaeology, archaeological theory and method, historical archaeology, industrial archaeology and cultural resource management

Hydeen Beverly
Special Instructor of Social Work
Ph.D The University of Texas at Austin
Resilience, educational attainment or urban youth, restorative justice, children of incarcerated parents, mental health practice with racial/ethnic families.

Stephanie Brandimarte
Director of Field Education
LMSW, University of Michigan
Gerontology, end-of-life care, family transitions, mental health

Maria Beam
MSW Director of Social Work
LMSW, Michigan State University
Ph.D., Oakland University, Educational Leadership
Community and organizational development, program evaluation & food insecurity

Nicolaus Espitia
Assistant Professor of Social Work
Ph.D., University of Michigan, Social Work & Sociology
Social policy, community organizing, macro practice, community-based methods, social disparities, and race, ethnicity and immigration.

Paige Freed
Assistant Director of Student Support
LMSW, Wayne State University
Medical social work, Hospice

Angela Kaiser
Associate Professor of Social Work
Ph.D., Wayne State University, Social Work
Organizational and community processes

Raenece Johnson
Coordinator of Field Education
MSW., Michigan State University
Higher education, Black student transfer, student basic needs

Nikki Scott
Visiting Assistant Professor

Scott J. Smith
Associate Professor of Social Work
Ph.D., Arizona State University, Social Work
Sexual health, health disparities, international social work

Kareen Tonsing
Associate Professor of Social Work
Ph.D., The University of Hong Kong, Social Work
Immigration-related factors, mental health, immigrants and refugees, domestic violence”

Betty Tonui
Assistant Professor of Social Work
Ph.D., The University of Texas Arlington, Social Work
Refugees, Immigrants, trauma mental health, health disparities, international social work

Special Instructor
MSW, Wayne State University
Community Practice, Organizational culture and processes, Interprofessional collaboration, Systems change, Intimate Partner Abuse, Campus Sexual Assault

Jacob H. Becker
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, Sociology
Communities and crime, quantitative analysis, urban sociology, neighborhood social control

Terressa Benz
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Criminology, University of California, Irvine
Critical criminology, firearm ownership and carry practices, criminological and sociological theory, law and society, elite and white-collar crime, community context of crime, crime and public policy, policing and self-protection, urban sociology, ethnographic field methods, deviance and social control

Lori Burrington
Associate Professor
J.D.,Ph.D., Ohio State University, Sociology
Contextual effects on adolescent and early adult crime, delinquency and health-risk behaviors; race, ethnic, class and gender disparities in problem and health-risk behaviors

Kimberly Byrd
Director of Field Services & Student Support
MSW, Wayne State University
Post Master Certificate in Higher Education

Wendi L. Johnson
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, Sociology
Criminological theory, delinquency, health and well-being, family and parenting, inequality, adolescence and emerging adulthood, quantitative methodology

Albert J. Meehan
Ph.D., Boston University, Sociology
Policing, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis

Watoii Rabii
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University at Buffalo, Sociology
Crime, Law, Deviance, Race and Ethnicity, Immigration, Urban Sociology, Masculinity

William E. Bezdek

Ph.D., University of Chicago, Psychology

Judith K. Brown
Ed.D., Harvard University, Human Development

James W. Dow
Ph.D., Brandeis University, Anthropology

Dorothy Nelson
Ph.D., Michigan State University, Anthropology

Jacqueline Scherer
Ph.D., Syracuse University, Sociology

Gary Shepherd
Ph.D., Michigan State University, Sociology

Richard B. Stamps
Ph.D., Michigan State University, Anthropology

In Memoriam

Peter Bertocci
Ph.D., Michigan State University, Anthropology

David R. Maines
Ph.D. University of Missouri, Sociology

William Cousins

William Cousins has over 35 years of law enforcement and security experience.  In 2006, after serving over 22 years, he retired as an Assistant to The Special Agent in Charge in the United States Secret Service.  Upon retirement, he worked in a consulting capacity for Deloitte before joining the security department at Chrysler, where he rose to the position of Director of Corporate Security.  He then went on to become the Head of Security for American Axle Manufacturing.

Mr. Cousins is the founder and Managing Director of the firm WJ Cousins & Associates.  In this role he is able to leverage his experience and expertise in the areas of security, investigations and consulting.  Mr. Cousins has been selected as the lead security consultant for projects in both the public and the private sector. 

Mr. Cousins earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Madonna University and Master of Science from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University-Police Executive Leadership Program.   He is an adjunct professor at Oakland University teaching courses in Security.  He is a member of the American Society for Industrial Security, Oakland County Sheriff’s Advisory Council and the Domestic Security Advisory Council. 

Christopher Dingwall

Daniel Kennedy
Daniel Kennedy, Ph.D., began his career in criminal justice and security administration as a civilian crime analyst with the Detroit Police Department in 1966. Over the next decade, Dr. Kennedy also served as a counselor for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as a probation officer in Detroit, and as a senior administrator of two police academies in southeastern Michigan. While serving in these capacities, he studied sociology and criminology at Wayne State University, earning B.A. (1967), M.A. (1969), and Ph.D. (1971) degrees along the way. Since completing his formal education, Dr. Kennedy has had extensive specialized training in various aspects of criminal behavior, policing operations, corrections operations, and private sector security management. For the past twenty-five years, Dr. Kennedy has developed expertise in forensic criminology: the application of criminological knowledge to matters of immediate concern to various courts of law.

J. D. Macri
Joseph D Macri, Ph.D. began his career as a sworn Probation Officer in the city of Detroit. After 10 years he moved to the University of Detroit as full time faculty and became Department Chair and Program Director in the Criminal Justice Department of the Graduate School. He then went to Oakland Community College as District Wide Director of Public Safety and Campus Police, also serving as Academic Dean for all Criminal Justice/Public Safety programs, including the Oakland Police Academy and the Oakland Fire and EMT Academies. After taking an early retirement from OCC Dr Macri spent 2 ½ years at a comprehensive Medical Center in Miami FL (Jackson Memorial Hospital-Public Health Trust) where he was Vice President for Safety, Security and Emergency Management. Dr Macri has served in both the US Army and US Navy Reserves and is currently a Marine Safety Staff Officer in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, working primarily in Planning and Analysis roles. He is also a certified instructor/facilitator in the US Coast Guard TCT(Team Coordination Training –Operational Risk Management) program. His formal education includes BA, MA (Eastern Michigan University) and Ph.D. (Wayne State University),all in Sociology, Criminology, and Criminal Justice Education, in addition to several specialized Police Academy and Military programs,primarily in criminal justice, planning and data analysis topics. 

Elizabeth Rose Paré
Elizabeth R. Paré graduated from Wayne State University in December 2009, earning a Ph.D. in Sociology. Her dissertation, “Mother and Student: The Experience of Mothering in College,” explored the nature of student motherhood and whether educational institutions are equipped to handle students who have full-time parenting responsibilities. She is currently working on publishing parts of this dissertation in article form. Her primary research interests include family, gender, and education. Her work has been published in the Michigan Family Review, Journal of Family Issues and Advances in Gender Research.

Teddi Setzer
Teddi Setzer received her Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology at the University of South Florida in 2010. She is a bioarchaeologist who researches biocultural adaptations to malaria infections and changing climates. She is also interested in archaeological science, disease theories, European prehistory, mortuary analysis, skeletal biology, and the analysis of mummified remains. Her hands-on teaching and service to the City of Pontiac has gained attention throughout the United States by the Associated Press.

James Windell
James Windell, M.A., teaches criminal justice classes at Wayne State University and Oakland University. Previously he was a court clinical psychologist with the Oakland County Circuit Court's Psychological Clinic for more than 25 years where he conducted group therapy with delinquent adolescents and co-led the high-conflict post-divorce group ADEPT. He was a probation officer in juvenile court and a supervisor in Oakland County Youth Assistance, a delinquency prevention program. As a psychotherapist, he specialized in work with disruptive and oppositional children and teens.

Megan Widman

Megan has been teaching in the Social Work program since 2012. She teaches Social Welfare Policies (SW 3302), Fundamentals of Social Work (SW 3203), Field Seminar (SW 4970 / SW 4971), and more. Megan’s experience in the field includes over 15 years’ direct practice with survivors of sexual and domestic violence as well as educational interventions, systems change applications, and primary prevention approaches to ending these crimes. Megan is involved in training law enforcement on domestic violence and sexual assault response strategies on a statewide level through the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards. As the previous Co-Chair of the Oakland County Coordinating Council against Domestic Violence and Co-Founder of the Farmington Hills High Risk Response team, Megan is focused on macro solutions to issues like violence, poverty, and racism. Megan completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. Megan went on to obtain her master’s degree in Social Work from Wayne State University, with a concentration in Community Practice and Social Action.

Tanisha Moir

Tanisha has been teaching in the Social Work program since 2016. Her focus includes Field Seminar and Substance Abuse Theory and Practice I and II.  In addition, she has taught other courses in Oakland University’s Social Work program, through the Continuing Education program and at Marygrove College prior to its closing. At the individual and community levels, Tanisha centers the experiences and needs of people with marginalized identities including race, class, gender, legal status, sexual orientation and ability. Since 2003 Tanisha has served people experiencing problems related to substance use, trauma, mood dysregulation, psychosis, poverty, stigmatization, criminal injustice, and systemic oppression. She has been a provider in outpatient and inpatient treatment settings, a clinical supervisor in several agencies and is founder of and practitioner in a private practice. Tanisha has an associate degree in mental health/social work from Oakland Community College, a BSW from Marygrove College and an MSW from the University of Michigan.  She is a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and has received certificates from the NASW in Core and SUD Supervision. She also serves as a member of Oakland Community Health Network’s Substance Use Disorder Oversite Policy Board. 

Paul Bernstein

Courtney Byers
Office Assistant II
Sociology, Anthropology & Criminal Justice

Debbie Valla
Office Assistant for MSW and BSW Programs
Social Work

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work & Criminal Justice

Varner Hall Room 518
371 Varner Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2420
fax: (248) 370-4608

Social Work
Varner, Room 513
371 Varner Dr.
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(248) 370-2371
[email protected]