Providing further expertise for those working within the criminal justice system
    About The Program

    Northern’s Behavioral and Justice Studies Graduate Certificate will allow you to gain further expertise for working with populations involved in the criminal justice system, such as in a prison, in community corrections, juvenile detention, the state or federal government, or those who are victims of crimes.


    This graduate certificate is meant to be a stand-alone credential option for students not seeking a master’s degree. It can also be an entry point for the NSU Counseling Master's Degree. Completing this graduate certificate will earn you 12 credits toward the master’s degree.


    Contact Information

    For more information, contact the NSU Office of Graduate Studies at or 605-626-2558.


    Ph.D., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale


    Dr. Brownfield joined the NSU faculty in 2015. Her current research looks at deviance and “bad behavior” in online forums devoted to support networks. She recently has published articles on depictions of prisons in film and rural policing on television.


    Courses Taught
    SOC 100  Introduction to Sociology
    OC 281  Socio-Cultural Theory
    CJUS/SOC 485  Capstone
    Other courses offered on a rotational basis


    Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

    Popular culture

    New media research methods

    Online phenomena


    Social psychology, identity, narrative, and deviance

    Chair, NSU Institutional Review Board


    Ph.D., M.A., Wichita State University

    M.S., Fort Hays State University

    B.A., Washburn University

    B.S., Kansas State University




    Dr. Jeffrey Howard joined NSU's faculty in 2009. He received a Ph.D. degree in human factors psychology from Wichita State University, Wichita, Kan., in 2007; an M.A. degree in experimental psychology from Wichita State University in 2004; an M.S. degree in clinical psychology from Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kan., in 2001; a B.A. degree in psychology from Washburn University, Topeka, Kan., in 1999; and a B.S. degree in radio/TV journalism from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., in 1990.


    Research Interests

    Music cognition

    Dr. Erin Kaszynski, LPC, received a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Texas A&M University-Commerce with an emphasis on multicultural counseling (2021); a Masters of Education in Counseling with a focus on Community Counseling from the University of North Texas (2014); and a Bachelor of Arts in Art from Austin College in Sherman, Texas (2002). She is a licensed professional counselor in Texas. 

    She has experience in community agencies as a clinician, clinical supervisor, and administrator. She has also worked as a counselor and clinical helper in residential inpatient and outpatient, field-based, higher education, private practice, and middle/high school settings. She has served as a mental health educator and trainer across the North Texas region to increase mental health awareness and strengthen intervention skills of clinical and non-clinical individuals. She also has engaged in advocacy for marginalized populations.



    Ph.D. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

    M.Phil. Martin Luther Christian University

    M.S. Mahatma Gandhi University

    B.S. Mahatma Gandhi University




    Dr. Shalini Mathew is an assistant professor, field coordinator and Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) liaison for the master’s in counseling program. She is a National Board of Certified Counselors nationally certified counselor. She is serving as a site visit team member on the CACREP team of site visitors.


    Dr. Mathew earned a doctor of philosophy degree in rehabilitation counseling and counselor education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (2019), a master of philosophy degree in school…

    Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, 2002

    M.A., Idaho State University, 1993

    B.A., University of Calgary, 1989



    Dr. Pamela Monaghan-Geerneart has been a member of the faculty in the department of history and social sciences at Northern State University since the fall of 2019.  


    Courses Taught 

    SOC 100  Introduction to Sociology 

    Soc 261  Human Sexuality 

    Soc 423  Social Stratification 

    Soc 491  Medical Sociology 

    Soc 350  Race and Ethnic Relations 

    INDG 404  Contemporary Issues in Native and Indigenous Communities 

    INED 411/511  South Dakota Indian Studies 


    Research Interests 

    Ph.D., Sociology, University of Michigan, 2016

    B.A., Sociology, Indiana University, 2010



    Dr. Christopher Near joined Northern State University in 2020 as an assistant professor. He taught previously at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


    Courses Taught

    CJUS 201 Introduction to Criminal Justice

    CJUS 203 Policing in a Free Society (online)

    CJUS 380 Research/Data Analysis in Criminal Justice

    CJUS 433 Criminal Procedure (online)

    SOC 455 Juvenile Delinquency (online)


    Research Interests…

    Ph.D. University of Kansas, 2021
    M.S. University of Kansas, 2018
    Dr. Qiao joined NSU in 2021. She earned a Ph.D. in 2021 and a master’s degree in 2018 from University of Kansas, with a specialization in development and learning. Her research has focused on developmental and cultural issues related to bullying, such as peer influences, empathy skills, teacher-student relationship, organizational climate, and cognitive, emotional, and professional influences of bullying, responses towards bullying, coping with bullying, and institutional policy on bullying.
    Courses Taught
    PSYC 101 General Psychology
    PSYC 221 Lifespan Developmental Psychology
    PSYC 300 Introduction to Scientific Psychology
    PSYC 304 History of Psychological Ethics
    PSYC 325 Child and Adolescent Development
    PSYC 451 Psychology of Abnormal Behavior
    PSYC 492/…