Sociology & Criminology Faculty & Staff
I am Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Butler University. Before coming to Butler, I earned a dual-title Ph.D. from Purdue University in sociology and gerontology. I then spent at year at the University of Missouri as a postdoctoral scholar in the Research Center for Human Animal Interactions.
My research interests include the roles of women and mothers, health and body weight issues, and social psychology. I teach a variety of courses including; families, international crime, gender, race, and crime, health and society, aging and the life course, and gender and society.
My research is currently funded by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). This research examines mothers’ perspectives of the benefits of interscholastic activities of their high school students. This is a 10 year longitudinal study that begin in the fall of 2019. I also host the podcast, MOMent with Mom, with members of the NFHS.
Professor Emeritus Ken Colburn was a tenured, full-time Butler faculty member in the Sociology and Criminology Department since August, 1987, prior to his retirement in December 2020. Prior to joining Butler, Ken held faculty appointments at IUPUI and DePauw University. He earned his PH.D. and Masters degrees in Sociology from York University (Toronto, Canada); and his B.A. in Philosophy and Sociology from Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ). Ken served as Department Chair from 1991 through 1999. During his career he published 25 articles in such journals as: The Canadian Journal of Sociology; Human Studies; Journal for the Liberal Arts and Sciences; Theory and Society; Society; Sociological Inquiry; The Sociological Quarterly; Clinical Sociology Review as well as in book chapters. While keenly interested in theoretical issues and research related to community and deviance, Ken also undertook applied research including the homelessness within Indianapolis. He served from 2010-2020 as the Senior Editor of the Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences (currently The Midwest Social Sciences Journal); and Ken founded and served as the Inaugural Editor of the Butler Journal for Undergraduate Research) from 2013 to 2020.
Jay Howard is Professor of Sociology and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University in Indianapolis. For two years (August 2017-May 2019), he simultaneously served as Acting Dean of the College of Communication. Prior to coming to Butler, he served as Interim Vice Chancellor and Dean (2007-09), Assistant Dean for Budget and Planning(1999-2002), Head of the Division of Liberal Arts, and Professor of Sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC). He earned a BA in Sociology from Indiana University South Bend (1988), and an MA (1990) and PhD (1992) in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Howard’s research interests range from the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning to religion and popular culture. His most recent book, Discussion in the College Classroom: Getting Your Students Engaged and Participating in Person and Online, was published by Jossey-Bass (2015). His Advice Guide, "How to Hold a Better Class Discussion," in The Chronicle of Higher Education is available online. https://www.chronicle.com/article/how-to-hold-a-better-class-discussion
First Contact: Teaching and Learning in Introductory Sociology, co-authored with Nancy Greenwood, was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2011. Other publications in the scholarship of teaching and learning include: "The Sociology Literacy Framework and Students’ Views of Learning in Introductory Sociology," Teaching Sociology (with Jess Butler, 2018), "Student Reading Compliance and Learning in the Social Sciences" in Learning from Each Other (2018), “The John F. Schnabel Lecture ‘Sociology’s Special Pedagogical Challenge,” Sociological Focus (2015), “Where Are We and How Did We Get Here? A Brief Examination of the Past, Present, and Future of the Teaching and Learning Movement in Sociology,” Teaching Sociology (2010), “Teaching and Learning and the Culture of the Regional Association in American Sociology,” Sociological Focus(2007), “The Role of the Introductory Sociology Course on Students’ Perceptions of Achievement of General Education Goals” Teaching Sociology (2007), and “Just-in-Time Teaching in Sociology or How I Convinced My Students to Actually Read the Textbook,” Teaching Sociology (2004). He is editor of Discussion in the College Classroom: Applications for Sociology Instruction (2004) published by the American Sociological Association Teaching Resources Center.
His book, co-authored with John M. Streck, Apostles of Rock: The Splintered World of Contemporary Christian Music (University Press of Kentucky,1999) was named a 2000 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title.
Dr. Howard served as Deputy Editor of the American Sociological Association journal, Teaching Sociology (2003-09). He is a Fellow of the P.A. Mack Center at Indiana University for Inquiry on Teaching and Learning. He served as the 2006-07 President of the North Central Sociological Association and as an elected member of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation Board of Trustees (2004-2010).
Professor Menéndez is a comparative sociologist whose research and scholarship have examined issues of ethnicity, cultural identity, media and power, and the process of European integration using multiple research methods. His published books include French and US Approaches to Foreign Policy, Palgrave 2014, The Cultural Realm of European Integration. Greenwood Press, Power and Television in Latin America, which received the Choice Magazine’s 1994 Outstanding Academic Book Award. Previous books published in Spanish include The Dominican Student (Santo Domingo: Intec, 1987), Spanish Migration to the Dominican Republic (Oviedo: Consejo de Comunidades Asturanas, 1993). Iin addition he edited Safeguarding German-American Relations in the New Century: Understanding and Accepting Mutual Differences, in collaboration with Hermann Kurthen and Stefan Immerfall. Lanham, MD: Lexington Publishers: 2006, and an Human Being and Society. (Santo Domingo: Intec, 1987) in collaboration with Jose Alcantara Almanzar. He has published many articles in professional journals in English, French, and Spanish, such as Research in Political Sociology, International Journal of Cultural Studies, International Review of Sociology, International Journal of Contemporary Sociology, and International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society as well as in edited volumes. Professor Menéndez’s current research interests lie in (1) investigating the cultural influences on international relations; namely, analyzing how conceptions of cultural identity, sense of belonging, and perceived national interests determine decision making in the international arena; (2) exploring ideologies of nationalism and the connections between popular culture, everyday life, and broader social processes such as globalization and transnationalism, particularly as these issues relate to the process of immigrants’s integration in Europe and the United States.
Dr. Katherine (Kate) Novak is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology where she teaches courses in criminology, mental illness, social psychology, research methods and statistics. She holds a B.A in sociology and in psychology, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology, with a concentration in criminology, and a Ph.D. minor in Criminal Justice from Indiana University-Bloomington.
Much of Dr. Novak’s current research focuses on adolescent and college student substance use and delinquency and has been published in academic journals such as Crime & Delinquency, Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Criminal Justice, Sociological Inquiry, Journal of Social Psychology, The Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, The Journal of Family Issues, The Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, and The Journal of Primary Prevention. She is the co-author of two textbooks- Individual and Society: Sociological Social Psychology (with Lizabeth A. Crawford) and Applied Communication Research (with Judith M. Buddenbaum). Additionally, Dr. Novak has collaborated with other faculty on research projects focusing on homelessness in Indianapolis, perceptions of crime and safety in the local community, immigrants’ perceptions of prejudice and discrimination, faculty work-load satisfaction, and student learning in a topically-focused introductory sociology course. She has published several class assignments and activities in TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology and serves on the advisory board for the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Dr. Novak regularly mentors students, supervising internships and directed research projects, and serving as the faculty advisor for department and university honors theses. Her students have presented their research at college and sociology conferences and to organizational leaders and administrators and have published papers in peer-reviewed research journals.
Dr. Novak has received many internal grants for both research and teaching, and she has won a number of university awards. She received the Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 2016 and the Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award in 2010 and 2003.
Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B. 2013. Individual and Society: Sociological Social Psychology. Routledge/Taylor& Francis. [2nd edition released March 2018] https://www.routledge.com/Individual-and-Society-Sociological-Social-Psychology-2nd-Edition/Crawford-Novak/p/book/9781138284692
Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B. 2023. “Beliefs About Alcohol and the College Experience as Determinants of Academic and Social Outcomes Among Undergraduate Students.” College Student Journal 56(4):371-381.
Kowalski, Jennifer R., Lineweaver, Tara L., and Novak, Katherine B. 2021. “DevelopingIntegrative Thinking in Undergraduate Students through an Interdisciplinary General Education Course on Mental Illness.” College Teaching. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/87567555.2021.1982856\
Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine, B. 2020. "College Student Activities, Social Capital, and Drinking Behavior." Journal of Alcohol and Drug Eductation 64(1):9-32.
Crawford, Lizabeth A, Novak, Katherine B, and Rasitha R.Jayasekare. 2019. “Volunteerism, Alcohol Beliefs, and First-Year College Students’ Drinking Behaviors: Implications for Prevention.” The Journal of Primary Prevention. Advanced On-line Publication. https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s10935-019-00558-z?author_access_token=VsSE7FJJx4odI99TFRd2z_e4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY5U0p0vLjEfjXTWGPJg3fnUs7hDFpqWDQBu-3S9HNrZBdSXHQeiJNHtTScfiJScXxZnrFgi8YqhWDnMn4l9SXYNcCZl9aE9GpZQl-UpIAGxcA%3D%3D
Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B. 2018. “Being with Friends and the Potential for Binge Drinking During the First College Semester.” Journal of the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition 30(2):79-96.
Crawford, Lizabeth A., Novak, Katherine B., and Foston, Amia K. 2016 (online)/ 2018 (print).“Routine Activities and Delinquency: The Significance of Bonds to Society and Peer Context.” Crime & Delinquency 64(4):472-509.
Howard, Jay R., Novak, Katherine B., Scott, Marvin B. and Cline, Krista M.C. 2014. “Another Nibble at the Core: Student Learning in a Topically-Focused Introductory Sociology Course.” Teaching Sociology 42(3):177-186.
Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B. 2013. “The Effects of Public Self-Consciousness and Embarrassability on College Student Drinking: Evidence in Support of a Protective Self-Presentational Model.” The Journal of Social Psychology 153(1):109-122.
Crawford, Lizabeth A. and Novak, Katherine B. 2011. “Beliefs about Alcohol and the College Experience, Locus of Self, and College Undergraduates’ Drinking Patterns.” Sociological Inquiry 81(4):477-494.
Crawford, Lizabeth A., and Novak, Katherine B. 2010. “Beliefs about Alcohol and the College Experience as Moderators of the Effects of Perceived Campus Drinking Norms on Levels of Alcohol Use among College Undergraduates. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education. 54(3):69-96.
Novak, Katherine B.and Crawford, L. A. 2010. “Routine Activities as Determinants of Gender Differences in Delinquency. Journal of Criminal Justice 38(5):913-920.
Menendez-Alarcon, Antonio V. and Novak, Katherine B. 2010. “Latin American Immigrants in Indianapolis: Perceptions of Prejudice and Discrimination.” Latino Studies. 8:93-120.
Alex Roehrkasse is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology. He is also a faculty affiliate in the Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program.
Alex’s research focuses on inequality, crime and punishment, families and children, and quantitative and historical methods. He is particularly interested in the ways that families interact with the legal, criminal justice, and child welfare systems, with consequences for racial, class, and gender equity and child well-being.
Alex teaches courses on introductory sociology, sociological theory, research methods, social statistics, victimization, incarceration and inequality, and prison abolition, among others.
Before joining the faculty at Butler, Alex held postdoctoral fellowships at Cornell and Duke Universities. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. in economics from Brown University. More information about Alex’s research and teaching is available at alexr.info.