Lecturer in Sociology


Ph.D. Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, 2014
M.A. Sociology, Western Kentucky University, 2010
B.A. Sociology, Western Kentucky University, 2008


Leslie Abell is a sociologist who studies crime, deviance, and gender. Her most recent research explores how gender shapes individuals’ opportunities and life course transitions and the resulting impacts these transitions have on behavior. Specifically, her work focuses on how family formation (particularly becoming a parent) impacts criminal behavior and substance use. She also studies how morality and self-identity are related to deviant behavior.

Dr. Abell joined the CI faculty in 2014 and regularly teaches core curriculum courses, such as Introduction to Research Methods and Statistical Applications in the Social Sciences, as well as a variety of electives, such as Crime and Society and Sex, Love, and Money: The Family. She is also actively involved in both lower and upper division service learning courses. In the Sociology Capstone course, she often engages students in Community Based Research with local community partners or partners on campus. This applied research allows students to see “sociology in action” while providing tangible benefits for community partners. She looks forward to developing pedagogical research based on these service learning experiences.

Representative Courses Taught

  • SOC 201 Social Problems
  • SOC 202 Introduction to Research Methods
  • SOC 303 Statistical Application in the Social Sciences
  • SOC 370 Crime and Society
  • SOC 412 Sex, Love, and Money: The Family
  • SOC 499 Sociology Capstone


Crime, deviance, gender, families, desistance, service learning

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