Dr. Melanie Holland is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama. She later graduated with a PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University.
Dr. Holland's research endeavors to contextualize sentencing disparities. She has examined differential sentencing outcomes across race, ethnicity, gender, and citizenship status. Rather than treating these demographic characteristics as mutually exclusive categories, Dr. Holland strives to disentangle important nuanced distinctions in sentencing outcomes within these intersecting identities. She is particularly interested in highlighting sentencing disparities between U.S. citizens and noncitizens as well as among noncitizens of differing characteristics and origins. Additionally, her research explores how these sentencing gaps fluctuate throughout time, across geographic regions, and according to societal attitudes. These studies are intended to contribute substantively and theoretically to the courtroom decision making literature.
In addition to contributing to the growing scholarly literature on disparate sentencing outcomes, Dr. Holland recognizes the necessity of disseminating knowledge. In furtherance of this goal, she has published her work in several scholarly, peer-reviewed journals including Women and Criminal Justice, the Journal of Crime and Justice, Race and Justice, Criminal Justice Review, the Journal of Ethnicity and Criminal Justice, and International Criminal Justice Review. She has also presented the results of her research at various regional and national conferences including those hosted by the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the Southern Criminal Justice Association, and the Midwest Sociological Society, to name a few. Dr. Holland has also shared her knowledge in multiple featured interviews.
Moreover, Dr. Holland believes that it is of the utmost importance to create and nurture a passion for Criminology and Criminal Justice among students. She does so by blending lectures, creative assignments, and interactive discussions with the intent of contextualizing the material, enhancing critical thinking, and encouraging articulate self-expression. These skills are believed to benefit students within and beyond the classroom setting. She extends this teaching philosophy and the corresponding strategies to all of her courses including Crimes and Defenses, Criminal Courts, Judicial Processes, The American Jury, Graduate Research Methods, Undergraduate Research Methods, Punishment, Survey to Corrections, Juvenile Justice, Ethics in Criminal Justice, Advanced Criminiological Theory, Introduction to Criminology, and Introduction to Criminal Justice.