East Carolina University’s Dr. Heidi Bonner, assistant professor of criminal justice, is the recipient of the 2017 Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Early Career Award. The award, which recognizes and rewards exceptional performance by tenure-track assistant professors, was announced at a special reception in Bonner’s honor, hosted at the home of Dr. William M. Downs, dean of Harriot College.
“I was incredibly flattered to be selected,” said Bonner. “I know many people in the college who do incredible work and it was an honor to be this year’s recipient.”
Bonner, who received her Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University at Albany, SUNY in 2012, just finished her fifth year at ECU and loves the people.
“I have met so many great colleagues in and out of my department,” said Bonner. “I especially enjoy research collaborations that cross disciplines, and [I] have had the opportunity to engage in more of those relationships now that we are part of Harriot College.”
As a researcher, Bonner’s interests lie in criminal justice decision making behavior, offender behavior while incarcerated, evaluation of criminal justice policy and practice, job stress and satisfaction, and the effectiveness of instructional strategy in the classroom. She engages in researcher-practitioner partnerships and currently is participating in several projects with local agencies, including evaluating policies pertaining to response to violence against women.
“We have great students, and I enjoy interacting with them in the classroom and through research mentoring opportunities,” said Bonner. “Getting to know students over four years and then reading their names at graduation is always bittersweet.”
This year, Bonner also received the Founders Award from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Association. At ECU, Bonner was honored with the Chair’s Faculty Excellence Award in 2013 and 2016, and she has participated in both the BB&T Faculty Leadership Fellows Program and the Chancellor’s Leadership Academy.
Because she enjoys working with agencies, Bonner is a proud member of the Board of Trustees for the John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety and a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Family Violence and Prevention in Greenville. This year, she also was selected for one of the National Institute of Justice’s Standing Review Panels.
The Dean’s Early Career Award represents the college’s breadth of faculty excellence in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics. It is made possible through the generosity of the Harriot College Advancement Council. In addition to her recognition at Downs’ home, Bonner will be acknowledged at Harriot College’s fall convocation in August.
“The award’s primary focus is on the faculty member’s productivity in research and creative discovery, which must be judged to be of such high quality and impact that it exceeds expectations,” said Downs. “Outstanding performance in professional development must be complemented by demonstrated excellence in instructional effectiveness and service, and I am extremely pleased to say Dr. Bonner exceeded these qualifications.”
-by Lacey Gray, Univeristy Communication