Meet Criminal Justice Studies Faculty


Director, Criminal Justice Studies
Assistant Professor

[email protected]

Cicely J. CottrellDr. Cicely J. Cottrell is a restorative justice trainer, educator and researcher. She mostly enjoys her role as an educator, where she challenges and supports her students in reimagining and reinventing the meaning of justice.

Dr. Cottrell has gained several years of criminal justice system experience in various agencies, such as the Kentucky Department of Corrections, Administrative Office of Kentucky Courts, and the United States House Committee on the Judiciary.

Because of these experiences, she teaches her students that a great deal of compassion and mercy are needed when making decisions that not only impact one’s freedom, but the ability for people to acquire their basic needs to survive, such as food, water, housing, education, health care, communication, and transportation. Dr. Cottrell agrees with Bryan Stevenson in that, “to be fully human, we must pay attention to suffering, poverty, unfairness, and injustice.”

Dr. Cottrell is currently researching and publishing in the areas of restorative justice, college student engagement, and youth homicides by police with intentions to push for accountability and transparency in law enforcement use of force policies and procedures. She received her PhD in Sociology and Criminology from Howard University with a certificate in Women’s Studies, her M.S. in Administration of Justice is from the University of Louisville, and her B.A. in Political Science is from Western Kentucky University.

Dr. Cottrell was active in the Breonna Taylor and police reform conversation; she’s appeared in the HuffPost’s “How Louisville Can Still Get Justice for Breonna Taylor,” on WLKY News’ “Professors: LMPD reforms in Breonna Taylor settlement show promise, shortcomings,” and on WFPL’s “In Conversation: The Breonna Taylor Decision and Its Aftermath.” Read more about Dr. Cottrell.


Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice Studies

Amanda RobertsDr. Amanda Roberts is a researcher and educator. She is passionate about educating students and helping them find their interests within the field of criminal justice. She enjoys building relationships with students to better help guide them in their education and career path. She embraces the uniqueness and individuality of each student and strives to provide a welcoming, inclusive learning environment in the classroom.

Dr. Roberts has taught a variety of courses including Introduction to CJ, Criminological Theory, Rehabilitation of the Offender, Community Corrections, and Punishment, Prisons, and Justice. She is currently focused on development and planning of new courses.

Her research interests focus on corrections and examining correctional staff both in the institution and the community. Specifically, she is interested in the psychological effects of working in corrections and the prevention of negative work-related outcomes through evidence-based practices. She has partnered with the Kentucky Department of Corrections on research projects designed to examine these issues. Her work has recently been published in Deviant Behavior and International Criminal Justice Review. Her interests also include criminal justice policy reform specifically focusing on correctional issues like reentry, overreliance on incarceration, and increasing use of evidence-based rehabilitative programming.

Dr. Roberts received her PhD in Criminal Justice at the University of Louisville, her MA in Criminology from Western Kentucky University, her BA in Psychology and BS in Administration of Justice from the University of Louisville.

Marsha L. Mayes-BurtonMarsha Lynn Mayes-Burton is a minister, author, speaker, seminar leader and social worker. She owns Circles of Peace LLC, which specializes in training individuals, families, corporations, organizations, and churches in dispute and conflict resolution skills/techniques, anger management, parenting skills, relationship coaching, and restorative practices. Marsha is a certified anger management specialist, a court-approved mediator, and a facilitator for Restorative Justice Louisville.

Marsha has a passion to teach youth, teens, and adults alternative ways to resolve disputes instead of resorting to violence or other criminal behavior. It is also her passion to help individuals who have been victims of child sexual abuse to change their perspective of the trauma and view themselves as victors or conquerors of sexual abuse. Marsha conducts workshops and seminars to convey her messages of reconciliation, healing, and forgiveness to all persons.

Marsha holds the following degrees: master’s degrees in Dispute & Conflict Resolution (Sullivan University), Social Work (Spalding University), and Divinity with a concentration in Black Church Studies (Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary). At present Marsha is actively pursuing a Doctor of Ministry Degree.

There are no upcoming events.