New Faculty Spotlight

goodrumSarah Goodrum, Ph.D.


Q: Where are you from originally?
A: I am originally from Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston. 

Q: What is your educational history?
A: I obtained my B.A. in Sociology from Texas A&M University, and my M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001.

Q: What is your job history (related to your field)?
A: For two years after graduate school, I was an NIMH postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Kentucky’s College of Medicine, and for nine years, I was an Assistant and then an Associate Professor of Sociology at Centre College, a small liberal arts college in Danville, Kentucky.  I moved to Colorado in 2012 to serve as a Research Associate in the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado-Boulder.  I joined the faculty at UNC in Fall 2014.

Q: Do you have any publications or research that you are especially proud of?
A: I am proud of my research on the loss of a loved one to homicide, which examines families’ experiences with the criminal justice system following a murder.  I have several publications from this work, but I am most proud of the articles that appeared in Law and Social Inquiry (2007, 2013) and Symbolic Interaction (2008).  The LSI articles discuss the gaps between victims’ rights, victims’ expectations, and criminal justice workers’ constraints in cases of murder.  Many victims sought  a personal and even emotion connection with the criminal justice workers (e.g., detectives, prosecutors) handling their loved one’s murder case, more so than a specific role in the management of the case.  Criminal justice workers found it challenging to protect the system’s interest of preserving the integrity of the investigation while also honoring family members’ needs for information and justice.  The findings from the SI article indicate that potential supporters have difficulty hearing about another person’s loss to murder and supporting those with such a loss, which I find heartbreaking.   Many people are uncomfortable seeing such profound grief.  Some of my other research examines intimate partner violence, fear of crime, and death penalty defense attorneys’ work.

Q: What research are you working on now/research interests?
A: I am working on finishing the research on loss to homicide, and I am beginning work on the prevention of school violence.  I feel fortunate to be able to tell participants’ stories in ways that shed light on dark topics and inform policy and practice in the criminal justice system.

Q: What courses are you teaching?
A: Currently, I teach CRJ380: Justice Research and Statistics I and CRJ 480: Justice Research and Statistics II.  At some point, I hope to teach courses on Law and Society or the Sociology of Law.

Cynthia Melendrez


Q: Where are you from originally?
A. I am from Mexicali (Baja California North).

Q: What is your educational history?
A: I went until the first year of Medical School in Mexicali, then we crossed 1998 to California and I started all over. I got the BA in Spanish Literature in Spanish from San Diego State external campus Calexico in 2006. The MA in Peninsular Literature in San Diego State main campus in 2009. I got the Ph.D. in 19th and 20th Hispanic, Border and Mexican Literature from the University of New Mexico in May 2014.

Q: What is your job history (related to your field)?
A: I have been a TA at San Diego State and University of New Mexico. UNC is my first job as Professor/Instructor.

Q: Do you have any publications or research that you are especially proud of?
A: I published some academic articles:

  • “Nuevos sujetos sociales como producto del narcocorrido.” Divergencias Revista de Estudios Lingüísticos y Literarios de la Universidad de Arizona, Summer 2011. 47-58.
  • “Babel: creación de una identidad globalizada, imágenes de una realidad fragmentada dentro de las películas de Iñárritu.” Sin Fronteras Revista Académica y Literaria de la Universidad de Florida, Spring 2011. 1-27.

Also, I published some fiction work:

  • “El no regreso del regreso.” Diálogo Bilingual Publication of the Center for Latino Research, DePaul University, Spring 2012. 26-28.
  • “Fragmentos de tu mar.” Divergencias Revista de Estudios Lingüísticos y Literarios de la Universidad de Arizona, Winter 2010. 69-77.
  • “No image to Relate.” Making Waves Creatively Exploring Identities, University of New Mexico, Spring 2010. 6-7.

Q: What research are you working on now/research interests?
A: Working right now in several projects one is the manuscript of the “perspectivas del despojo: cuerpo, lengua y espacio, un nuevo discurso queer en la literatura fronteriza/chicana”. Title could change….
My research interest are: Mexican cinema from 1950’s – 1990’s, Border Feminine Literature, Border Studies, Queer Studies and Gender Studies

Q: What courses are you teaching?
A: Fall 2014 - SPAN 202 and SPAN 341. Spring 2015 - SPAN 331, SPAN 457, SPAN 303 and HISP 111

New Faculty
2014-2015

Karla Del Carpio Ovando, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Ather Zia, CR Lecturer of Gender Studies and Anthropology

Sarah Goodrum, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

Cynthia Melendrez, CR Lecturer of Hispanic Studies

Mary Evans, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

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