Illinois State University assistant professor of criminal justice sciences Miltonette Craig was named a 2020 Emerging Scholar by the national magazine “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.”

According to the magazine, hundreds of scholars were nominated for the award. Craig is one of 15 nominees chosen as an Emerging Scholar. 

Craig was nominated by Department Chair for Criminal Justice Sciences Brent Teasdale, Ph.D. and Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology Todd McLoda, Ph.D.

“The nomination alone is an honor because being truly valued by administration for my scholarly contributions is an amazing feeling. Within a couple of months, I found out that I was a recipient of the award,” Craig said. 

As an ISU faculty member, Craig conducts innovative scholarly research and teaches criminal justice classes.

“My research fits within the broader area of police-community relations. This area addresses the relationship between neighborhood residents and the law enforcement agencies that serve them,” Craig said. 

Before her work at ISU, Craig earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia State University College of Law and master’s degree in criminal justice from Florida International University.

Craig also works with citizens to bridge the gap between law enforcement agencies and community members.

“Ideally, communities and law enforcement would have collaborative interactions with each other so that officers can effectively ‘protect and serve’ and residents can support agencies with maintaining public safety and order,” Craig said.

“In reality, such cooperation does not exist in many neighborhoods due to historical and systemic conflict.” 

Currently, Craig’s research focuses on common negative interactions civilians have with police. 

“I am at the beginning stages of examining patterns within complaints against the police regarding several categories including allegations of lack of service, violence, illegal searches and civil rights violations,” Craig said. 

“I am also proud of my ongoing work with an Equity and Inclusion group within the McLean County Drug Court, which is working toward improving successful outcomes among minority participants,” Craig continued. 

Craig’s photo is also featured on the cover of the magazine’s Emerging Scholars issue. 

Craig presented at Normal’s first Racial Equity Summit alongside city councilwoman Chemberly Cummings and recently spoke on a panel called “A Conversation on Race” organized by Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe in Bloomington. She looks forward to presenting at the Diversifying Faculty in Illinois conference later this month. 

MAIA HUDDLESTON is a News Reporter for The Vidette. She can be contacted at mkhuddl@ilstu.edu Follow her on Twitter at @maiawrites 

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