Renowned researcher to lead Kennesaw State’s Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences

KENNESAW, Ga. | Oct 15, 2021

Kennesaw State University has named accomplished sociologist and scholar Catherine (Katie) Kaukinen as dean of the Norman J. Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences, effective January 1.

Kaukinen currently serves as a professor and chair in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida. Along with overseeing the department’s day-to-day operations, Kaukinen has established new academic programs to meet the needs of diverse student populations, developed a faculty mentorship program, and implemented strategies to meet student recruitment, enrollment and retention goals.

“Dr. Catherine Kaukinen’s commitment to academic excellence, innovative scholarship and community engagement makes her an ideal fit for Kennesaw State University,” said KSU Interim President Kathy Schwaig. “Under Dr. Kaukinen’s leadership, the profile of the Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences will continue to rise.”

Catherine (Katie) Kaukinen
Catherine (Katie) Kaukinen

Kaukinen is a dedicated researcher, examining aspects of violence against women, such as the long-term consequences of the violence; victim coping, resilience and decision-making; the history of Title IX and federal initiatives to address violence against college women; and the evaluation of campus-based prevention and intervention programs. The multiple grants she has received include more than $1 million from the United States Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women, to develop a multi-campus intervention and prevention program.

“Dr. Kaukinen will bring valuable perspective to the collaborative of deans at KSU,” said Ivan Pulinkala, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Her record as a scholar and administrator is reflective of her dedication to diversity, inclusion, equity and service to the academy."

Kaukinen twice has shared her expertise with the United Nations, most recently as a speaker for the U.N.’s Global Forum on Gender Statistics. She also collaborated with other experts to compile a report for the Council on Criminal Justice outlining the nation’s domestic violence trends during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kaukinen’s research has been published in several academic journals and she has been honored with awards from organizations including the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Society of Criminology. Earlier this month, Kaukinen received a UCF Luminary Award in recognition of faculty whose scholarship makes a significant impact.

“I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to lead this outstanding college within a university that I greatly admire for its academic excellence and leadership,” Kaukinen said. “I look forward to joining the excellent faculty, staff and students of the Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences in reaching high goals and producing the leaders of tomorrow.”

Prior to Central Florida, Kaukinen served as an associate professor of public affairs at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina, and assistant professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University.

Kaukinen earned her doctorate in sociology from the University of Toronto. She received two degrees from the University of Windsor – a master’s in sociology and bachelor’s in criminology – and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lakehead University.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit