Melanie Palacios Soderstrom joins faculty for Fall 2022

headshot of Melanie Palacios Soderstrom

Melanie Palacios Soderstrom has been hired as an Assistant Professor by the School of Criminal Justice and Criminology, and will begin fall 2022. She is a former criminal defense attorney with a commitment to engaging in impactful applied research evaluating criminal/juvenile justice programs and policies. Her dissertation takes advantage of a Florida school district’s decision to integrate and expand their school resource officer (SRO) program in the 2016-17 school year. The study uses a convergent parallel mixed methods design to explore the roles, training, and perceptions of the SROs, while simultaneously analyzing their impact on student outcomes.

Melanie was recently awarded a grant from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing to study the effectiveness of Youth Mental Health First Aid training for law enforcement officers and explore the instructors’ experiences implementing the training within their agencies. She has also worked on multiple evaluations of the Mental Health First Aid training program and is currently serving as co-principal investigator and project coordinator of the CPASS project, funded by SAMHSA. Her research has been published in School Mental Health and Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice.