To recognize alumni of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ) who have engaged their communities in exceptional ways, the School proudly announces its 2020 alumni awards.
Dr. Marie Griffin Distinguished Alumni Award— Ben Henry
The Dr. Marie Griffin Distinguished Alumni Award, which is given each year to a practitioner in one of the justice professions, is in memory of beloved School of Criminology and Criminal Justice professor Marie Griffin. This distinguished award is given to Ben Henry, deputy director, Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (AZPOST).
Ben is an alum who has had a major impact on public safety, and throughout his time in law enforcement, he has been a strong advocate for research and has looked for ways to partner with ASU students and faculty. Local law enforcement has benefited from Ben’s 26 years of experience in almost every Phoenix Police Department division and bureau, during which time he has received numerous honors including the Distinguished Service Award and the Chief’s Unit Award.
He also served as Chief Deputy of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office before transitioning into his current role of Deputy Director at AZPOST.
Ben was nominated by Associate Professor Cody Telep, who noted, “Much of the success of several research grants can be attributed to Ben laying the groundwork, and the ongoing partnership with ASU is a testament to Ben’s belief in the value of research for police agencies.”
Alumni Scholar Award— Eryn Nicole O'Neal
The Alumni Scholar Award is presented to Eryn Nicole O’Neal, assistant professor at Sam Houston State University. Eryn is an ASU 2016 PhD graduate in criminology and criminal justice who has compiled an outstanding record of research and scholarship in a very short time period.
Eryn’s research and scholarship focuses on issues related to sexual assault and sexual assault victimization—especially sexual assault case processing decisions, intimate partner sexual assault, resistance strategies, help-seeking behavior and motivations for false reports.
In all of her work, she adopts a feminist perspective and she uses state-of-the-art qualitative and quantitative methods to answer theoretically informed research questions. She interprets her findings using a trans-disciplinary lens that reflects her grounding in theoretical criminology, women’s and feminist studies, criminal justice policies and practices, political science and psychology. Further evidence of the quality of her scholarship comes from the fact that she has won numerous national awards, including the 2019 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Victimology Section New Scholar Award, the 2018 American Society of Criminology Division of Victimology Faculty Researcher of the Year Award and the 2018 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences William L. Simon/Routledge Outstanding Paper Award, among other awards and honors.
Eryn was nominated by Regents Professor Cassia Spohn, who said, “This body of work points to a rising star in our profession and I look forward to watching Eryn’s career progress.”
Early Career Excellence Award— Lt. Leonard Redhorse III
This year’s recipient of the alumni award for Early Career Excellence is Police Lt. Leonard Redhorse III (MA 2016) of the Navajo Nation Police Department (NPD). He was recognized for his significant contributions to the NPD’s large vision that focuses on improving services and vetting strategies for justice program deliveries.
Among other accomplishments, Lt. Redhorse developed the first community listening session for NPD. The sessions created a platform for the NPD to speak universally about criminal justice topics to the Navajo Nation community. This was the first process to incorporate community expectations into planning processes. This effort has improved community relations and has been positively received by the Navajo Nation community.
Equally impressive were Lt. Redhorse’s work around NPD’s fleet program, body camera program and E 9-1-1 pilot.
In his nomination of Lt. Redhorse, Deputy Chief of Police Daryl Noon said, “He has advocated for an increased involvement by criminology and criminal justice academic programs for assessing First Nation police programs.”
SCCJ Director Jon Gould, who began work at ASU in January 2020, noted, “As I begin my tenure here at ASU, I am continually amazed, inspired and humbled by the work I see coming from our alumni and community partners. I hope we will not only grow these existing relationships, but also expand opportunities through enhanced alumni and community engagement.”
Photo caption: Recipients of the 2020 School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Alumni Awards, from left, Ben Henry, Lt. Leonard Redhorse III, Eryn Nicole O'Neal.