Burke honored with award for criminal justice research

Tod Burke is the latest scholar-activist to be honored with the Richard Tewksbury Award by the Western Society of Criminology (WSC).

Burke, who serves as associate dean of the Radford University College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences and a professor of criminal justice, received the award in recognition for “significant contributions or activism on the intersection of crime and sexuality,” according to the WSC.

“It’s an honor to receive this award and it’s humbling because of all the people who do such incredible research,” Burke said. “I’m proud of my work and that I can share it with others, particularly by bringing it into the classroom.”

The award was bestowed at the 43rd WSC annual conference held Feb. 4-6 in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Burke called on his colleagues to share their own research.

“I like to integrate theory and practice,” he said. “Anything we can do to help students, professionals and our communities is a good thing. I’m looking forward to see if I sparked an interest in anyone out there.”

Burke is the co-author of “Foundations of Criminal Justice” and the author or co-author of more than 145 articles. Much of his work deals with the intersection of sexuality, crime and justice, a historically little-studied area. Many of his articles specifically deal with LGBT issues in criminology and criminal justice.

“The areas that I deal with are areas where there’s so much more that needs to be done,” Burke said.

While Burke frequently co-authors work with his students, much of his research and writing has been conducted with Stephen Owen, chair of and professor in the Department of Criminal Justice.

"This recognition is reserved for scholars who have achieved international prominence in an important field that has many impacts within and beyond the justice system," said Owen, who also attended the conference. "Contributions such as Tod’s have significantly advanced the field, making this recognition all the more appropriate."

In addition to research and teaching, Burke has consulted on LGBT issues with organizations such as the New York City Police Reserves Unit, and in nearly 200 guest lecture or media appearances. He is a frequent commentator on radio and television concerning a range of criminal justice issues, including LGBT-focused commentary on bullying, hate crimes, hazing and domestic violence.

Feb 17, 2016