Dr. Alex A. Piquero, an award-winning teacher with over 25 years of experience in criminology and criminal justice, is the new Chair for the Sociology Department at the University of Miami this fall.  His work focuses on many topics within the realm of criminology, from the relationship between immigration and crime to evidence-based crime prevention programs, police use of force, life-course patterns of criminal offending, as well as issues surrounding race and social issues like the NFL players’ protests during the U.S. national anthem, crime rates among NFL players, and most recently, changes in crime patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He first became interested in criminal justice under the guidance of Dr. Laure Brooks during his studies at the University of Maryland in 1989.

"During the spring semester of my freshman year, I took an Introduction to Criminal Justice course taught by Dr. Laure Brooks, who is the reason I changed majors and set a new path toward criminology. Her enthusiasm for the topic and her willingness to bring me onto a research project (assessing attitudes among police officers) changed my life", Piquero said. 

He has gone on to received numerous teaching awards, including the University of Florida’s College of Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year Award and the University of Maryland’s “Top Terp” Teaching Award. In 2014, he received the University of Texas System Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.  He talked with A&S News about his scholarship and passion in criminology, his mentors, and his Lifetime Achievement Award from the Division of Developmental & Life-Course Criminology of the America Society of Criminology.

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Picture of Dr. Alex  Piquero