Topics of interest:Alternative Adjudication Methods, Mentally Disordered Offenders, Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Complex Systems
Dr. Monic P. Behnken is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and the director of the leadership studies program at Iowa State University. A first generation college student, Behnken completed her B.A. in psychology at the University of Houston. She then completed a joint J.D./Ph.D. program in psychology and the law, earning her Juris Doctorate degree from Golden Gate University School of Law and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. Behnken is an attorney, licensed to practice law in Iowa and California. In criminal justice studies, Dr. Behnken uses her interdisciplinary training to educate students about the complex relationship between psychiatric disorders and justice system involvement. Her research focuses on psychiatric risk factors for offending behavior and the effectiveness of diversion programs designed to keep mentally disordered offenders out of jails and prisons. In leadership studies, Dr. Behnken teaches students about the importance of self-reflective growth, community and service in the development of a holistic leadership identity. Dr. Behnken is also an active member of the community, serving as an elected member of the Ames Community District Board of Directors, the co-chair of the Equity Working Group for the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, and a sought-after speaker on issues of equity and inclusion. Dr. Behnken is an award-winning professor, receiving 2017 Woman Impacting Iowa State recognition, the 2019 YWCA Women of Achievement Award and the 2019 Exemplary Faculty Mentor Award.