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Painting by Paul Gaugin

Barbara J. Costello

Barbara Costello

Associate Professor


Ph.D., University of Arizona

Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency, Research Methods

Professor Barbara Costello began her academic career as a student at the University of Rhode Island, and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology in 1986. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, and was on the faculty of Mississippi State University for six years before returning to URI.

Professor Costello specializes in criminology, and much of her research focuses on testing and extending control theories of crime. Her current research involves studying peer influence on deviant behavior, with an emphasis on the mechanisms by which peers influence each other's behavior toward prosocial behavior.

Professor Costello regularly teaching courses on crime and delinquency and research methods, and she is teaching a seminar on the sociology of food production and distribution in the Fall 2010 semester.

News & Announcements

New Faculty in Sociology:

Dr. Melanie S. Brasher has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University in 2013. Prior to coming to URI, Dr. Brasher was a visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College. Her appointment is a joint appointment in Sociology and in Human Development and Family Studies where she will participate in the Gerontology program. For more info click here.

Dr. Hilda Lloreans has joined the department as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut in 2005. Prior to coming to URI, she was a visiting Assistant Professor at Brown University and a Lecturer at Middlebury College. She has also held positions as a Research Associate at the University of Puerto Rico and at the Institute for Community Research in Hartford, Connecticut. For more info click here.

Early Career Faculty Research Award

For the second year in a row, an anthropologist has been awarded the University’s Early Career Research Award. Assistant Professor Holly Dunsworth received the 2014 award for her research comparing energy use in apes and other mammals with particular reference to how the energetics and metabolic parameters of pregnancy, fetal growth, infant growth, and lactation and how those determine the timing of birth in humans and other mammals. Kudos to Holly!!!

Department contacts

Department Chair
Leo Carroll,

Justice, Law & Society Minor Coordinator
Professor Leo Carroll,

Administrative Assistant
Theresa Nobile,