MSU Faculty Affiliates

MSU faculty members whose research engages with law and legal institutions are eligible to become Law College Faculty Affiliates.

Faculty Affiliates participate in the intellectual life of the Law College through symposia, speakers, and other public events at the College; presenting research at the College; submitting papers to the Law College’s series on the SSRN-Legal Scholarship Network and other institutional repositories; and promoting events in their home departments that may be of interest to Law College faculty and students.

MSU faculty may apply to be a Law College Faculty Affiliate by submitting a current CV and Affiliate Application (MS Word) to the Associate Dean for Research at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The current Law College Faculty Affiliates are:

Mark Axelrod
Ph.D., Duke University; J.D., Stanford University Law School
Mark Axelrod is an Associate Professor of International Relations in James Madison College and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. His scholarship centers around negotiation and implementation of international law, particularly environmental provisions. He studies (1) relationships across issue areas in international politics, including institutional adaptation and stagnation over time, climate change adaptation through Regional Fisheries Management Organizations, and ecological impacts of international trade law; and (2) the interaction between national and international resource governance.

Ryan Black
Ph.D., Washington University 
Ryan C. Black is an Associate Professor in the College of Social Science, Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. His research interests focus on the judiciary and, in particular, the U.S. Supreme Court. His on-going projects include an examination of how personal motivations influence a justice’s behavior, two papers that investigate the role of attorney characteristics on the likelihood of winning, and a paper that evaluates the post-retirement behavior of justices who serve by designation on the court of appeals.

Joshua Cowen
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.P.P., Georgetown University
Joshua M. Cowen is an Associate Professor of Education Policy in the College of Education at Michigan State University and co-director of the Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC). His research interests focus on school choice policy and teacher quality. He has analyzed school choice and teacher quality programs in Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin, as well as school accountability programs in New York and Wisconsin. His current research is a collaborative effort focusing on teacher collective bargaining in several states.

Steven Dow
Ph.D., University of Michigan; J.D., The Ohio State University College of Law
Steven Dow is an Associate Professor in the College of Social Science, School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. His research interests involve exploring the overlap between criminal law and civil law, especially in the context of regulating the financial services industry and the automobile industry; and examining the Fourth Amendment limitations on police “knock and talk” practices and other aspects of police-occupant doorway confrontations.

Melinda Gann Hall
Ph.D., University of New Orleans
Melinda Gann Hall is a Professor in the College of Social Science, Department of Political Science at Michigan State University and an MSU Distinguished Faculty Award winner. Her research utilizes empirical methods of analysis to investigate the operations of state supreme courts, particularly judicial decision making and judicial elections. The decision making studies assess how the justices’ choices are shaped by law, their preferences, institutional design, and the external environment. The judicial elections projects challenge conventional wisdom about these races, including perceptions about the harsh consequences of attack advertising.

Timothy Gates
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
Timothy J. Gates is an Associate Professor in the College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Michigan State University. His research interests relate to highway and traffic safety, traffic operations, roadway design, and transportation economics. His research has helped inform policy makers as to the effects of various traffic related law and policies, particularly proposed legislation, on highway safety. His research often addresses the impacts of legislation and/or policy on traffic crashes and/or injury severity.

Matt Grossmann
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
Matt Grossmann is the Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and Associate Professor of Political Science in the College of Social Science, Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. He studies American public policymaking, especially the roles of interest groups, political parties, and public opinion. His current work investigates the role of income inequality in policy responsiveness.

Angela Hall
J.D., Ph.D., Florida State University
Angela T. Hall is an Assistant Professor in the College of Social Science, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University. Her research interests include employee accountability, social factors that impact employee behavior, and legal claiming; the conditions under which employees invoke their legal rights vis-à-vis their employers; and legal issues in human resources management such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. Current projects include a multi-disciplinary study examining employee rights and barriers to employment; gathering of data from a project involving ex-offenders; examining how employers may remove legal and social barriers to employment for persons with disabilities so that they may obtain and retain employment; and co-authoring a paper on the legality and human resources management practicality of pre-employment personality testing.

Ronald E. Hall
Ph.D., Atlanta University; MSW, University of Michigan; MCS, University of Detroit
Ronald E. Hall is a Professor in the School of Social Work at Michigan State University. His research focuses on mental health, cutaneo-chroma, intra-racial racism, Bleaching Syndrome, Black/White conflict, race relations/diversity, organizational issues, social welfare policy and services, and research methods. Professor Hall co-authored Color Complex: The Last Taboo Among African Americans (Harcourt Brace 1992) and testified as an expert witness in the nation’s first skin color discrimination case involving African Americans. In 2003 Dr. Hall received the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship for Skin Color as a Post-Colonial Issue Among Asian-Americans. As of 2013 Dr. Hall completed a tour of the world where he collected survey data and conducted focus groups pertaining to the social implications of skin color among people of color.

Stacy Hickox
J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School
Stacy A. Hickox is an Associate Professor in the College of Social Science, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University. She focuses her research on removing barriers for two groups: persons with disabilities and applicants with a criminal record. Research related to persons with disabilities focuses on access to accommodations, such as leave and telework, under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Research related to ex-offenders focuses on employer policies and state law restrictions which have a disparate impact on protected groups. Her most recent project looks at accommodations which allegedly conflict with the rights of other employees or the processes established in a collective bargaining agreement, and includes extensive review of court decisions which consider such conflicts in determining whether an accommodation is reasonable or imposes an undue burden on the employer.

Thomas J. Holt
Ph.D., University of Missouri – St. Louis
Thomas J. Holt is a Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Professor Holt’s research focuses on issues related to law to regulate cyberspace and cybercrime in a domestic and transnational context. Specifically, he examines the experiences of digital forensic examiners in court presentation and its relationship to defendant outcomes including plea bargains. He also considers the challenge of applying and enforcing laws related to cybercrime in a global context, such as malicious software creation and use.

Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovich
Ph.D., University of Delaware; S.J.D., Harvard Law School
Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovich is a Professor in the College of Social Science, School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Her research is focused on courts and policing, both internationally and comparatively. She studies how lay participants make decisions in legal cases. In the area of international law, she examines how victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity evaluate justice delivered by the transnational and domestic courts. She also explores issues of police integrity, accountability, and legitimacy.

Thomas Jeitschko
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Thomas D. Jeitschko serves as the Dean of the Graduate School, Associate Provost of Graduate Education, and is a Professor of Economics in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. His research areas include industrial organization, antitrust and consumer protection, and law and economics with sub-specialties in auctions, procurement, intellectual property, financial markets, network industries, platforms and media, and litigation. He has expertise in financial markets, securities and derivatives; exchanges/ telecommunications and internet content provision; in intellectual property; auctions; and pricing practices and price gouging.

Mohammad Hassan Khalil
Ph.D., University of Michigan 
Mohammad Hassan Khalil is an Associate Professor in the College of Arts and Letters, Department of Religious Studies, where he serves as the director of the Muslim Studies program. Dr. Khalil also teaches Introduction to Islamic Law as an Adjunct Professor at MSU College of Law. He earned his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Michigan and specializes in Islamic thought. He is the author of Islam and the Fate of Others: The Salvation Question (Oxford University Press, 2012) and the editor of Between Heaven and Hell: Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others (Oxford University Press, 2013), and is currently completing a book on jihad and radicalism.

Nazita Lajevardi
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Nazita Lajevardi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. Her research lies at the intersection of race and ethnic politics, representation, and discrimination. She examines how racial minorities fare under American democracy and how their treatment in American politics and under the law has shifted over time. A large portion of her work empirically assesses how these communities fare under disenfranchising laws, whether they be voter identification laws, felon disenfranchisement laws or state electoral laws. She also conducts research on race and policing and evaluates how representation of minorities on police forces effects outcomes across a variety of measures, including fewer excessive force complaints filed and fewer fatal encounters with law enforcement.

Patricia Marin
Ph.D., University of Maryland
Patricia Marin is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education, Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University. Her work in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) at Michigan State University bridges issues of access, equity, diversity, and policy in higher education. Current research examines research used in policy and practice, with a focus on the law. Additional research foci include admissions policies and affirmative action, the changing nature of Hispanic Serving Institutions, Latino students in higher education, and diversity in college classrooms. Her largest current project examines how the various actors in the Fisher affirmative action case engaged with research when preparing their briefs. The research also analyzes how the connections between researchers and the organizations generating the briefs influence the acquisition of research as well as how it was interpreted and used.

Dawn S. Opel
Ph.D., Arizona State University; J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law
Dawn S. Opel is an Assistant Professor in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. Her scholarship examines how to improve workplace communication in legal and medical clinical settings. An important aspect of this work is studying how provisions of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the transition from cost-based to value-based, preventive-focused care affects clinical communication, specifically, in activities related to care coordination. She seeks to include legal services as a part of care planning for vulnerable populations that may require legal assistance as well as medical and other resources.

Sarah Reckhow
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Sarah Reckhow is an Assistant Professor in the College of Social Science, Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. Her research and teaching interests include urban politics, education policy, nonprofits and philanthropy, and racial and ethnic politics. Her work on urban schools has focused on policy reforms in New York City, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Detroit. She has studied different governance arrangements for urban districts, including state and mayoral control. Current projects include the recent award of a research grant to study the use of research evidence in the development of teacher quality policy debates.

Eric Scorsone
Ph.D., Colorado State University
Eric Scorsone is an Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Local Government Finance and Policy within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University. His research focuses on law and public finance with a particular focus on municipal government. He works at the intersection of how law shapes municipal financial decisions and how law responds to municipal financial decisions.

Brandon Sullivan
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Brandon A. Sullivan is an Assistant Professor in the College of Social Science’s Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection at Michigan State University. His research focuses primarily on emerging areas of crime and justice, particularly those involving transnational criminal enterprises and networks, including fraud, product counterfeiting, extremist financial crime, and environmental/conservation crime. Current research includes the examination of relevant laws, the enforcement of those laws, and their impact on both individual criminal behavior and actions taken by various legal actors.

Laura Cabrera
Ph.D., Charles Sturt University
Laura Cabrera is an Assistant Professor in Michigan State University’s Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, Department of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine. Dr. Cabrera’s research interests include the ethical, social, legal, and policy implications of neurotechnology, in particular when used without a clear medical purpose. Her current research analyzes attitudes toward pharmacological and brain stimulation enhancing interventions, their normative and health policy implications, and the ethical and regulatory challenges in the use of psychiatric interventions.

John T. Yun
Ed.D., Harvard University
John T. Yun is an Associate Professor in the College of Education, Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University. His areas of expertise include diverse learners and educational equity, educational policy, and evaluation. His research focuses on issues of equity in education, specifically patterns of school segregation; the effect of poverty and opportunity on educational outcomes; the educative/counter-educative impacts of high-stakes testing and the power of evaluation and the law to impact policy and practice.

April Zeoli
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
April M. Zeoli is an Associate Professor in the College of Social Science, School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the impact and implementation of statutes governing the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence. She conducts interdisciplinary research, with a goal of bringing together the fields of public health and criminology and criminal justice. Current projects focus on firearm use in domestic violence and the potential impact of legal firearm restriction for perpetrators of domestic violence on intimate partner homicide.