College Welcomes Four New Faculty in Fall


Four new faculty will join the College this fall in Forensic Science and Criminal Justice and Criminology..

Four new faculty members will join the College of Criminal Justice this fall, adding expertise in corrections, victim studies, and forensic science.

Joining the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology is H. Daniel Butler, who studies institutional and community corrections, and Dr. Eryn Nicole O’Neal, whose research interests include intimate partner violence and sexual assault. The Department of Forensic Science will add Dr. Bobby LaRue, a geneticist and former Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and Dr. Madeleine Swortwood, a toxicologist and Postdoctoral Fellow from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“We are excited to have these accomplished scholars join our faculty,” said Dr. Phillip Lyons, Dean of the College of Criminal Justice and Director of the Criminal Justice Center. “They will broaden our scope and expand our capacity. We are looking forward to welcoming them in the Fall.”

Photo of Daniel ButlerButler is completing his Ph.D. from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. His research focuses on the use of prison sanctions, inmate misconduct, and recidivism. His research has been published in outlets that include Justice Quarterly, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Journal of Criminal Justice, The Prison Journal, and Trauma, Violence, and Abuse.

Photo of Eryn O'NealDr. O’Neal, a Ph.D. graduate of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, focuses on intimate partner sexual assault, arrest and charging decisions in sexual assault cases, and qualitative methods. Her research has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals, including Violence Against Women, Feminist Criminology, Women & Criminal Justice, and Journal of Interpersonal Violence. In 2015, she received the American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime Graduate Scholar Award for her research contributions to the field of women and crime.

“Dr. O’Neal and Mr. Butler bring expertise that complements our Department’s existing strengths in victimology and corrections,” said Dr. William Wells, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. “Both are highly skilled researchers and will make strong contributions to our Department. I’m excited for them to join our faculty and begin making a positive impact on our undergraduate and graduate students.”

Photo of Bobby LaRueDr. Bobby LaRue served as an Assistant Professor in Molecular & Medical Genetics at UNT Health Science Center, where he was appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow after earning his Ph.D. degree. His research interests focus on improving the typing of degraded and low quality DNA samples. His dissertation focused on the stress experienced by metazoans in low oxygen environments and the cell signaling pathways used to ameliorate the damage caused by these conditions. His articles have been published in Forensic Science International, the International Journal of Legal Medicine, and BMC Genomics. Dr. LaRue also served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army as part of the International Peacekeeping Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Photo of Dr. SwortwoodDr. Swortwood was a postdoctoral fellow with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the National Institute of Health which examines the causes and consequences of drug use in an effort to improve individual and public health. She investigated toxicology and metabolism of cannabinoids and stimulant drugs and developed skills in the administration of the Drug Recognition Expert tests to identify drug use in the field. While pursuing her Ph.D. degree at Florida International University, Dr. Swortwood served as an intern at the Federal Drug Administration Chemistry Center and the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Toxicology Lab, where she was hired as a toxicologist. Her articles have been published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Journal of Chromatography, and thAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology .

“We are so pleased to have Drs. Swortwood and LaRue join our faculty,” said Dr. Sarah Kerrigan, Chair of the Department of Forensic Science. “Both have exceptional backgrounds and research agendas in forensic toxicology and DNA -- the two most common postgraduate employment disciplines for our graduates. I have no doubt that they will have tremendous impact on both our masters and doctoral programs in forensic science.”

Member of The Texas State University System