November 28, 2017 at 12:45 pm

New Faculty Amanda Cox Specializes in Criminal Justice

Dr. Amanda Cox , photo shot outside be greenery

Dr. Amanda Cox


Dr. Amanda Cox is a new Sociology lecturer at Ohio University this fall—and a Center for Law Justice & Culture affiliate.

She is teaching Introduction to Sociology and a Sociology Capstone titled “The Death Penalty in the United States.”

Cox’s interest in the death penalty began in high school but took a back seat as she decided she wanted to go to law school after earning her undergraduate degree. While in college she attended a class focusing on criminal law that was taught in the style of a law school class. She realized that law school was not for her and decided to pursue other options. After talking to her professors, who recommended graduate school, she realized she wanted to teach. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she grew up. She later earned a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from the same university.

As she was pursuing her Ph.D., her interest in the death penalty reemerged. So she decided to focus her dissertation on this interest. Her dissertation looks at whether a person’s opinions on the death penalty change after they are presented with accurate information. Her dissertation is titled, “Assessing the Malleability of Student Death Penalty Attitudes: An Experimental Test of the Marshall Hypothesis.”

Cox says that when she saw the job opening for her current position at OHIO, she thought it was perfect for her. She was particularly interested in the Ohio First Scholars Program, a program through the Allen Student Advising Center that seeks to provide support and opportunities for first-generation college students. As a first-generation college student herself, Cox wants to help other first-generation students with the struggles associated with being the first family-member to attend a four-year college. She also wants to become involved with her students and affect them in positive ways.

Cox says that she is truly enjoying Athens so far. She enjoys the small-town feel, and she enjoys working for a public, rather than private, university. She also likes to use the bike path to go running. In the future Cox hopes to teach a course on criminal justice ethics, as she feels that is important for people who want to work in that area. She would also like to teach a media and crime class.

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