Closeup of Melanie-Angela Neuilly
Melanie-Angela Neuilly

An expert in comparative criminal justice and criminological theory, Melanie-Angela Neuilly began on Aug. 1 a three-year term as chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University.

“My goal as chair is to coordinate, facilitate and catalyze faculty’s work and to build bridges between our unit and others for furthering the department and university’s land-grant mission,” Neuilly said. “Meeting the needs of our students and our communities through our research, teaching and service is all the more pressing in the midst of a pandemic and demands for social justice.”.

Neuilly brings a broad range of strengths, experience and energy to her new role, said Matthew Jockers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Her leadership will help propel the department’s growth and interdisciplinary success.”

In addition to conducting research into medico-legal practices and violence as a public health concern, Neuilly recently served as interim associate vice provost for faculty inclusive excellence at WSU. Her primary responsibilities included training department chairs and directors; orienting new faculty; coordinating faculty professional and personal development opportunities; leading the Provost’s Leadership Academy; and serving as liaison to the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program.

She was elected a founding executive board member of the Advisory Committee on Faculty Affairs for the national Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and has been active in several professional organizations, including service on committees of the American Society of Criminology’s Division of International Criminology.

Neuilly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on criminological theory, research methods, homicide and violence, and comparative criminal justice. She also developed and leads a short course in criminal justice for students of WSU and of the University of Idaho (UI) at locations alternating each year between England and The Netherlands.

While maintaining an active research program, publishing and fulfilling her departmental duties, Neuilly served as chair of the WSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women, chair of the WSU Task Force on Paid Parental Leave, and at-large representative for the WSU Faculty Senate. In the community, she is a commissioner for the city of Moscow, Idaho, serving on the Fair and Affordable Housing Commission. In each of these roles, she strives to promote social justice, gender equity and anti-racism, she said.

Neuilly earned master’s and doctoral degrees in criminal justice from Rutgers University, and both a master’s degree in psychology and a doctoral degree in human sciences from the Université de Rennes II in Rennes, France. Before joining the WSU faculty in 2011, she taught for five years at UI in Moscow.