Department News


Dr. Michael Jenkins was interviewed recently by WNEP-TV about the investigation into the murder of four Idaho college students. The suspect who was arrested is from Northeastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Jenkins discussed the possible distraction social media had on the investigation.



The University of Scranton will offer a new Master’s Degree in Cybercrime Investigation and Cybersecurity in a fully online format that will focus on the criminological aspects of the much-in-demand field.

In addition, the graduate degree program is aligned with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, which consists of standards, guidelines and best practices to manage cybersecurity risk. The program, which will be offered starting in the fall of 2022, will help prepare students for various professional certifications by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, such as Certified Ethical Hacker and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator.

 Study Abroad Course in South Korea - S/CJ 284: Special Topics in Criminal Justice


Students studying abroad in South Korea duringg the summer got to go to the border of North and South Korea, go to a variety of training sites and the South Korean Supreme Court.  

Sinchul Back, Ph.D. and Michael Jenkins, Ph.D. and nine other students stayed in Seoul, South Korea for 10 days while studying special criminal justice topics. The University of Scranton’s criminal justice department would like to offer more abroad courses as well as a variety of them. They plan to offer this South Korea course every summer. 

If you have any questions or interest in future trips, contact Sinchul Back at 



Dr. Ismail Onat and Mehmet Bastug co-authored in the article “Fears of cyberterrorism, terrorism, and terrorist attacks: an empirical comparison” in the Journal of Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression.

Bastug and Onat also presented their research article “The Influence of Media Exposure on the Fear of Cyberterrorism” at the American Society of Criminology in November of last year.

Bastug was named to the 100 member Certified Ethical Hacker of Hall of Fame by the EC-Council in 2021. 


On April 11, 2022, Ismail Onat, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Scholarly Publication Award, presented to faculty members who have attained distinction in scholarship or creative activity.



Dr. Loreen Wolfer's Research Methods and Statistics class for Fall 2020 learned about the topic Loreen pic
while helping a social services agency to evaluate one of its programs.

The class worked with Scranton's Outreach - Center for Community Resources to evaluate prisoners' satisfaction with the programs the agency offers within the Lackawanna County Prison. Students critiqued the center’s current survey, entered the resulting data, and analyzed it. They contributed to a report that Dr. Wolfer will present to Outreach to help the organization design future programs as well as possible grant applications.

The project benefited both the students and the agency. Students learned about class material in a real world application, and Outreach received program analysis while being able to direct their attention where it is needed most, helping their clients.

Dr. Sinchul Back attended the third annual National Cybersecurity Summit hosted by  sinchul-back.jpg
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

He also:

  • Published an article, "Cybercriminal Profiling: An Application of SSBACO Methods," in the Journal of Digital Forensics.
  • Published a paper, "Cyber Situational Crime Prevention Activities and the Breadth of Cybercrimes Among Higher Education Institutions," in the International Journal of Cybersecurity Intelligence and Cybercrime.
  • Wrote "Cyber Place Management and Crime Prevention: The Effectiveness of Cybersecurity Awareness Training Against Phishing Attacks," which will be published in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice.

Dr. Ismail Onat created a report on jail reduction strategies for the Lackawanna County  ismail_onat.jpg

He also published two articles:

  • "Microcycles of Terrorist Violence in Turkey: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of PKK Attacks," in the Asian Journal of Criminology.
  • "Fueling Anti-Americanism in Turkey: Framing the News by the Pro-Government and International Media," in the International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics.
Dr. Ismail Onat received the 2019 Kaleidoscope Award from the Rutgers Center on Public Security.

The center presents the award each year to a recipient who has demonstrated innovative applications of Risk Terrain Modeling that advance research and practice for the public good.

Dr. Onat has advanced Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) through applications to terrorism, drugs and crime analysis from an international perspective. He incorporates professional judgment into risk analysis and research projects that are place-based and actionable, and has demonstrated a unique ability to help practitioners maximize local resources and expertise to solve problems.

This is exemplified in his participation with The Center for the Analysis and Prevention of Crime, where he combines his RTM knowledge with practitioner insight and student learning to enhance the technological and analytical capabilities of students, police officers, and other criminal justice agencies in the regional community.

Criminal Justice Major Growing in Popularity

The criminal justice major is one of two at Scranton (along with history) to see the number of incoming students triple in the past three years.

The number of incoming students declaring a major in criminal justice increased from 13 in 2017-18 to 39 in 2019-20.

University officials cited three reasons for the growth:

  • cogent explanations of career employment opportunities following graduation
  • having an engaging faculty, whose expertise has fostered the development of new courses in cybercrime and crime analysis
  • providing appealing courses

“Parents want to see routes to employment and they have heard about new technology-based programs in criminal justice,” said James Roberts, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Justice. “We have been blessed to build off what we already had into new areas of crime analysis. Police departments and private sector firms are recruiting for positions in cyber security and crime analysis and the salaries are quite good –some start in the range of $70,000 or $80,000.”

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