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2012 Media Releases

University of Denver Experts Available to Discuss the Aurora Shooting

July 20, 2012—DU experts available to speak with reporters.

Carolyn Lunsford Mears
Adjunct professor, researcher, and guest lecturer
Contact: Jordan Ames, External Communications Manager, (303) 871-2781 or [email protected]

Mears is an adjunct faculty member and dissertation advisor with the University of Denver.

She has presented to audiences in the U.S., Europe, and Australia on such topics as rampage shootings, trauma response and recovery, school safety, leadership during crisis, and organizational change.

Her recent publication, Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma: Advice Based on Experience, is an anthology of stories of individuals in a variety of settings that experienced traumatic loss. Contributors include faculty at Virginia Tech, a dean of the New York Law School (eight blocks from the World Trade Center), as well as educators, students, and parents at Columbine, Platte Canyon HS, Jokela School Center (Finland), schools in post-Katrina New Orleans, and others.

An educator whose son was a student at Columbine High School at the time of the shootings, she wanted to learn from the experience. As a result, she enrolled in the University of Denver to conduct dissertation research that could be used to help others faced with tragedy. Her study, Experiences of Columbine Parents: Finding a Way to Tomorrow, was selected as 2005 AERA Qualitative Dissertation of the Year,

Sam Kamin
Director, Constitutional Rights & Remedies Program and Professor of Law
Contact: Kamin's Cell: (303) 907-3177

Kamin has a research background in criminology, crime rates, and causes of crime rate fluctuation. He can also speak about gun availability and searches in public places for guns.

He joined the faculty at the Sturm College of Law in 1999 and was promoted to Associate Professor at the end of the 2004-2005 academic year. Holding both a J.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, Professor Kamin is active in the Law and Society Association and in the field of law and social science generally. Professor Kamin's research interests include criminal procedure, death penalty jurisprudence, federal courts, and constitutional remedies. He is the co-author of two books analyzing California's Three Strikes and You're Out Law and has published scholarly articles in the Virginia Law Review, The Indiana Law Journal, the Boston College Law Journal and Law and Contemporary Problems, among others.

Courtney Mitchell
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology|
Contact: Jordan Ames, External Communications Manager, (303) 871-2781 or [email protected]
Note: Over the weekend, she will be out of town but should be available via cell phone for interviews.

Mitchell is a faculty member in the Master's in International Disaster Psychology Program at the University of Denver. She teaches Gender Based Violence, Crisis Intervention and, International Disaster Psychology.

She can speak about crisis intervention protocols in situations such as this, and likely psychological needs and reactions.

Her doctoral degree is in Affect/ Social Psychology, with a Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience tool, from the Psychology Department at the University of Denver where she studied trauma, memory and rauma, memory and emotion in social context, including symptoms of psychopathology, using methodology ranging from qualitative coding in trauma narratives to psychophysiologyemotion in social context, including symptoms of psychopathology, using methodology ranging from qualitative coding in trauma narratives to psychophysiology.

Daniel McIntosh
Professor of Psychology
Contact: Jordan Ames, External Communications Manager, (303) 871-2781 or [email protected]

McIntosh studies emotions and coping, and variability in people's responses to mass trauma. In his coping research, he studies how social and cognitive resources influence emotional adjustment. He is particularly interested in responses to traumatic events, uncontrollability, or high levels of stress, and the role of religion.

He is the co-author of several academic papers on the Columbine High School shooting and the 9/11 tragedy.

Kim Gorgens
Clinical Associate Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver
Contact: Jordan Ames, External Communications Manager, (303) 871-2781 or [email protected]
Note: Gorgens is traveling and unavailable for interviews until Monday morning.

Gorgens can speak to mental well-being of the victims and public. She can also speak to the unique mental health needs of the first responders. She was a paramedic for almost 7 years and had a few mass casualty experiences and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing experience.

She is a full-time Clinical Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver and teaches the Psychophysiology and Clinical Neuropsychology sequence at the doctoral level and several courses in the Forensic Psychology and International Disaster Psychology Master's Degree programs. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology, and has worked extensively with medical patients in various settings.

Lisa Pasko
Assistant Professor, Criminology
Contact: Jordan Ames, External Communications Manager, (303) 871-2781 or [email protected]

Pasko's primary research and teaching interests include criminology, the female offender, delinquency and the juvenile justice system, sexualities, and punishment. She has published papers on youth violence and teaches a course on "Murder in America."

Her dissertation examined juvenile delinquency and justice in Hawaii, with particular attention on the differential impacts institutional policies and decision-making have on boys and girls. Recently finishing a Colorado Division of Criminal Justice funded grant entitled "In and Out of the System: Understanding and Addressing the Female Juvenile Offender in Colorado," Dr. Pasko's current research examines correctional attitudes about girls, sexual behavior, and sexual minority status. As a public sociologist, she is also a board member for the Colorado Coalition for Girls and is performing an on-going evaluation of InterCept, a girl offender intervention program in Colorado Springs, CO. She is co-author of The Female Offender: Girls, Women, and Crime and other articles that explore issues of girls and juvenile justice. Dr. Pasko's courses include Criminology, Discipline and Punishment, the Female Offender, Masculinities, and Murder in America.