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Rebecca Paynich Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice and Sociology

Rebecca Paynich

Contact Rebecca Paynich

Ph.D., Political Science, Washington State University, 2003 
M.A., Criminal Justice, Washington State University, 2000

Dr. Paynich is a leading researcher in the field of law enforcement and innovation. She has been involved in several research projects throughout her academic career including work as a researcher on the Project Safe Neighborhood grant for the state of North Dakota analyzing and mapping gun crimes in that state. In addition, Dr. Paynich traveled to Honduras to teach a course she developed on crime mapping to national and local criminal justice practitioners tasked with combatting gang extortion crimes. This work was funded by a USAID grant. Currently, Dr. Paynich is conducting research on the work experiences of women in law enforcement and is examining key concerns women face in this male-dominated profession including balancing family and work, dealing with the stresses of the job and issues of sexual harassment.

Dr. Paynich is widely published: the third edition of her book, Law Enforcement in the United States (with J. Conser and T. Gingerich) is from Jones and Bartlett Publishers (2012); she also is the co-author of Fundamentals of Crime Mapping, (now in its 2nd edition with B. Hill), also through Jones and Bartlett Publishers (2013). Dr. Paynich regularly presents at national conferences on her research and has been actively involved in advocating for higher education for law enforcement in Massachusetts during the Quinn Bill policy discussions. Dr. Paynich has also contributed as a subject matter expert and editor on several white papers for the International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA). Dr. Paynich is also currently a Fulbright Specialist Roster Candidate (2016-2021).

As part of her graduate work, Dr. Paynich passed proficiency exams in public policy, public administration, and justice studies. Rebecca Paynich earned a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (2000) and Ph.D. in Political Science (2003) from Washington State University. She holds classes in statistics, research methods, crime mapping, corrections, police ethics, criminology, policing, and many others. She hails from the West and enjoys hanging out with her husband and three kids.