February 5, 2020 at 8:07 am

Alumni News | Fissel Enjoys Research and Teaching at University of Central Florida

Erica Fissel

Erica Fissel

Ohio University alum Erica Fissel ’13 is an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Central Florida. She is also involved with the Violence Against Women Faculty Research Cluster.

Fissel earned her B.A. in Sociology-Criminology with a minor in Psychology from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University.

After graduating from OHIO, she went on to pursue a master’s and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati.

Fissel’s research at UCF focuses on interpersonal victimization, specifically victimization that occurs in cyberspace, such as cyberstalking and intimate partner cyber abuse. She examines the relations between victimization, the reporting and help-seeking behavior of victims, and the various consequences associated with victimization.

She also works with a non-profit organization, the Cybercrime Support Network, to implement and assess programs meant to aid victims of cybercrime. She explains the most enjoyable part of her job is seeking answers to questions about victimization, then applying that knowledge to impact society.

At UCF, Fissel teaches an undergraduate course called Women & Crime. The class explores women’s roles in the criminal justice system as victims, offenders, and professionals working within the system. Fissel finds teaching very rewarding as she enjoys helping her students understand new ideas, as well as hearing their perspectives on sensitive, and often controversial, issues. 

Her OHIO Experience 

Fissel describes two experiences she had at OHIO that were instrumental in determining her career path. The first was the research methods course she took with Dr. Deborah Thorne, which fostered her interest in research and eventually led to an independent research study with Dr. Kelly Faust. Together, she and Faust created a research question, then Fissel worked to find and examine the data.

“It was a great experience to work through a research project from start to finish,” Fissel says.

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