Portrait image of Emmaleigh Kirchner
EmmaLeigh Kirchner

Chair, Department of Social Justice & Community Health, Associate Professor, Criminology & Criminal Justice

Contact Information

OFFICE: Preston 115
PHONE: 814-824-2328

Dr. Kirchner is an associate professor of Criminal Justice. She has conducted numerous research projects on parenting and its effect on delinquency, which can be found in several journals including: The American Journal of Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice Studies. Dr. Kirchner’s research interests also focus on theory tests, corrections, race, gender, and juvenile delinquency. Dr. Kirchner previously served as the Managing Editor of Criminal Justice Policy Review and The American Journal of Criminal Justice. She currently serves on the executive board for the Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences, the board of Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and is the faculty advisor of the Criminal Justice Association and the Student Alliance for Prison Reform.

About Dr. Kirchner
    • Ph.D., Criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2016
    • M.S., Administration of Justice, University of Louisville, 2011
    • B.S., Administration of Justice University of Louisville, 2009


    • CRJS101: Justice in America
    • CRJS104: Introduction to Corrections
    • CRJS203: Deviant Behavior
    • CRJS205: Introduction to Juvenile Justice & Juvenile Delinquency
    • CRJS222: Human Behavior in Corrections
    • CRJS230: Criminology
    • CRJS318: Introduction to Research Methods in Criminal Justice
    • CRJS336: Advanced Criminology
    • IMU101: Introduction to Mercyhurst
    • IMU102: Involvement at Mercyhurst


    • CJA501: Research Methods in Criminal Justice
    • CJA621: Advanced Criminology
    • CJA622: Advanced Research and Analysis
    • CJA511: Historical and Comparative Criminal Justice

    Study Abroad

    • FSAT300: Crime & Punishment in the Western World (London and Paris), FSAT300: Comparative Criminology Ireland (Belfast, Galway, and Dublin)
    • FSAT300: Sleuthing in the UK (Edinburg and London)
    • FSAT300: Progressive Incarceration (Europe)
    • FSAT300: Human Trafficking in Greece (Greece)

    Criminological theory, research methods, comparative criminal justice, corrections.

    • Criminological theory testing, parental incarceration, parenting and delinquency, pedagogy
    • Kirchner, E. E. (2018). Parental social economic status. In C. J. Schreck Encyclopedia of Juvenile Delinquency and Justice.
    • Ward, K.C., Kirchner, E.E., & Thompson, Andrew J. (2018) Social disorganization and rural/urban crime rates: A county level comparison of contributing factors. International Journal of Rural Criminology, 3(2).
    • Kirchner, E. E., & Higgins, G. E. (2014). Self-control and racial disparities in delinquency: A structural equation modeling approach. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 39, 436-449.
    • Webmaster, Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences
    • Board Member, Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

    2018, ACJS Sage Junior Faculty Teaching Award