Catherine Kaukinen, Ph.D., joined the UCF faculty this month as the newly appointed professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice in the College of Health and Public Affairs. Her appointment follows a nationwide search.

Kaukinen comes to UCF from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, where she was a highly accomplished researcher and scholar with interests in intimate partner violence, family violence, violence against women and campus violence. This spring she received UCCS’s 2015 Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, and last fall she was inducted into the university’s Million Dollar Club for receiving more than $1 million in sponsored program awards.

Most recently, Kaukinen secured a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to develop and coordinate campus resources, services and programs to reduce sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. This was her second award from the OVW to support violence prevention, outreach and awareness. In addition, she has received multiple grants from the National Institute of Justice, the Canadian Embassy, and the Colorado Department of Corrections and Adult Parole.

Kaukinen is also an experienced campus leader, having served as the president of UCCS’s Faculty Assembly and co-chair of the Faculty Council for the University of Colorado System. For eight years she served as director of UCCS’s master’s degree program in criminal justice, and for four years she was the director of the bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice.

In addition to her roles at UCCS, Kaukinen has held faculty positions at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She holds a doctorate in sociology from The University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada.

Kaukinen has served as an expert witness for the Attorney General of Canada and the Canadian Justice Department in a Supreme Court case. Recently, she received a contract to complete a book on the prevention of violence against women on college campuses.

At UCF Kaukinen is leading a department with 31 faculty members, more than 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students, and a new Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice launched this fall.

“Dr. Kaukinen is an extraordinary scholar with much to offer the department, college and university,” said college Dean Michael Frumkin. “Her vision for our criminal justice programs will help shape the department’s goals and enhance its visibility across the profession.”