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Painting by Paul Gaugin

Judy Van Wyk

Associate Professor


Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Violence, White Collar Crime

Judy A. Van Wyk earned undergraduate degrees in Sociology from Connors Junior College (A.S.) and the University of Oklahoma (B.A. Summa Cum Laude). She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Tennessee. She is currently a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Rhode Island in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and teaches general courses in sociology, research methods, and criminology as well as topics courses in terrorism, family violence, and white-collar crime. She is faculty advisor for Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society and co-chairperson for URI’s Multicultural Center Diversity Week on campus.

Professor Van Wyk’s research centers on violence and white-collar crime, and her work is published in some of the most highly respected journals in criminology and criminal justice. She investigates both victimization and the perpetration of crime and tests multi-level cross-disciplinary explanations for crime.

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,