Co-Director of the Criminal Justice Program, Beth Easterling holds a Ph.D. in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology from the University of Tennessee, M.S. in Applied Sociology from the University of North Florida, and a B.A. in Economics from Roanoke College. Her areas of interest include families and crime/incarceration, punishment and society, and social stratification. With a background in applied sociology, she searches for practical, policy, and programming implications in her academic research and uses those examples to bring the classroom to life. Dr. Easterling loves teaching in a liberal arts environment! She enjoys teaching introductory level courses as they provide the opportunity to introduce students from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds, and interests to sociology, criminology, and criminal justice. She enjoys teaching upper level courses to criminal justice majors as these courses allow her to discuss specific sociological and criminological topics in depth with criminologists and criminal justice practitioners-to-be. Dr. Easterling serves as the faculty advisor for Nu Sigma, the Mary Baldwin Chapter of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.
When not doing research or teaching, Dr. Easterling enjoys running and spending time with her daughter, her husband (who she has followed all over the east coast and beyond thanks to his career in the Marine Corps), and her two rescue dogs.
Co-Director of the Criminal Justice Program, Chief (Ret.) Davis is known for his expertise in police communications and patrol operations. Chief Davis began his law enforcement career in 1977 with the Williamsburg, Virginia, Police Department. After serving in patrol and investigations, he was promoted to lieutenant and then promoted to major where he served as the commander of the uniform and support services divisions. In 2003, he was appointed as the chief of police for the city of Waynesboro. He retired from Waynesboro in February 2011 and has a consulting business. Active in many professional organizations, Chief Davis is the 2010–2011 president of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, chairman of the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation, a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, past president of the Central Shenandoah Association of Chiefs of Police, past southwest regional representative on the Executive Board for the Hampton Roads Law Enforcement Information Exchange, and past member of the executive board of the Capital Wireless Information Net. Chief Davis is also a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the Southern Criminal Justice Association and the Virginia Association of Criminal Justice Educators. Chief Davis currently sits on the Restorative Justice Executive Committee for Blue Ridge Court Services and the Alcohol Beverage Control Law Enforcement Advisory Committee. Chief Davis has a B.A. in Criminology from Saint Leo’s College and a M.S. in Justice and Risk Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Professional Executive Leadership School conducted by the Virginia Police Chief’s Foundation at the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies. Chief Davis serves as the faculty advisor for Nu Sigma, the Mary Baldwin Chapter of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.
When not teaching, Chief Davis enjoys spending time with his wife whom he met in high school, reading, flying model planes, traveling, his Beagle, and visiting his grand kids and his Beagle
This Associate Professor of Sociology’s research includes work on educational attainment, race, religion, and environmental issues. His areas of interest include social movements, environmental sociology, community service, social inequality, sociology of education, sociology of religion, and mountaineering. Stuhlsatz received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Wichita State University; a master’s degree in sociology from University of Wyoming, and a PhD in sociology from University of Virginia.
Originally from South Carolina, Carey Usher came to MBC in 2002 after completing her graduate work at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her dissertation research examined effects of neighborhood context and social capital on physical and mental health. Further extension of this study focused on social capital and community investment in high poverty areas. Her teaching interests include medical sociology, community and urban sociology, and research methodology. Current research focuses on student success in higher education, with emphases in transition, community cohesion and teaching and advisement. She is a strong supporter of single-gender education, having completed her undergraduate degree at Converse College in South Carolina. She advises several student organizations, including the Sociology Club, Habitat for Humanity, Campus Girl Scouts, Soles for Souls, and College Republicans, and the Alpha Kappa Delta and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. Drs. Usher and Stuhlsatz are currently serving as Co-Principal Investigators on a gang-assessment initiative with the Office on Youth.
Employed with the Staunton Police Department fresh out of college in 1984, Jim Williams has held every rank in the department, becoming chief in July 2003.
Williams graduated with a bachelor of science in administration of justice and a master of science in criminal justice from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police.
His background includes a commitment to community policing, geographical policing, and the use of research and technology to enhance law enforcement and criminal justice. He has been published in a number of periodicals, including the American Journal of Criminal Justice and American Police Beat.
Williams has served as an adjunct instructor at Blue Ridge Community College since 1991. He is past president of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the president of the Central Shenandoah Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia representative to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s State Association of Chiefs of Police, and the current president of the VCU Alumni Association.