UNE’s New Criminology Program and the Fascinating Woman Who Founded It

UNE has introduced a brand new program to the mix and Professor Alexandra Campbell has a lot to say about what she hopes it will become.

UNE’s New Criminology Program and the Fascinating Woman Who Founded It

Brave, passionate, and empowering are only a few words that embody Professor Alexandra Campbell. She began her time here at UNE in 2001, since then she has taught many different classes in the sociology field and worked as a primary contributor to the launch of the new criminology program. Some of her classes include Deviance and Crime and Medical Sociology. Alongside classes she’s taught in the past, Campbell plans to run new courses specific to the major such as classes in forensics, crime media culture, and the sociology of addiction.

Professor Campbell obtained her PHD in criminology after spending time researching skinheads and white supremacy; describing her research as covert and overt investigations within the groups. She talks about her experiences and how they explore the depths of criminology stating, “covert research basically means you go undercover and you pretend, or you create a persona that allows you to be mistaken for a skinhead or whatever you’re participating in. In criminology, in order to get good honest data, a case has been made that covert research is needed to really understand a deviant group.”

After obtaining her PHD at Cambridge university, Campbell made the transitory move to the United States. Upon moving here she got a job at UNE as a professor. Originally Campbell did not expect to go into teaching until realizing, “I just really enjoyed it, I really enjoyed student interaction and teaching young people.”

With 21 years of experience now Campbell, with the help of Dean Millen, planned the new Criminology major. Dean Millen describes his emphasis towards the program as, “We were having conversations about what it would look like to build out the program into the social sciences, and since we had local expertise in Dr. Campbell, our idea was to form a major to build up that part of our academic footprint”. Now running, the new major already has at least 12 students in it. “It’s really impressive, the program is already surpassing our expectations.” 

When asked what drew her to criminology, Campbell said, “What was really interesting was thinking about why people did things and what motivated people to do things. I was also really interested the pathology of a murderer and the type of people who would commit that crime.”

Deciding to start a new program here at UNE does not only take a lot of work, but shows the determination Campbell has to turn UNE into a school that can welcome people from different backgrounds. “When we think about UNE we think about it mostly being a medical school. So, I’m hoping this new program diversifies our student body and that we graduate really critically minded students who may work in the criminal justice system but with a critical eye and can think thoughtfully about their role and engage in the legal system with social justice in their mind.”

Campbell anticipates that this program will open a lot of doors for students who want to completely immerse themselves in this field. Internships with members of law enforcement have been mentioned which is a great opportunity for students who want to work on the enforcement side of criminology.

The criminology program is a huge change to UNE and will hopefully, with the help of great professors like Dr. Campbell, be a fantastic new facet to the programs that define UNE. 

Lastly, part of which inspired Campbell to pursue her career in Criminology, was the shows she watched. Here are a few that she suggested:

‘Cagney and Lacey’- Amazon Prime

‘Columbo’- Peacock

‘Quincy M.E.’- Youtube

‘How to Get Away with Murder’- Netflix

‘Sins of my Mother’- Netflix

‘Law and Order’- Hulu

‘CSI’- Hulu