Professor/Department Chair


College of the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences


Criminal Justice



Bizzini Hall B125B

Dr. Gerstenfeld joined the Criminal Justice Department at Stanislaus State in 1993. She served as coordinator of the CJ program beginning in 2000 and became department chair in 2005. Her primary research area is hate crimes. She has written the leading textbook on the subject; the book is currently in its 4th edition. She is also interested in juvenile justice, psychology and law, jury decision making, and international and comparative criminal justice, and is co-author of a popular Introduction to Criminal Justice textbook.

Dr. Gerstenfeld has received two Fulbright grants to teach and conduct research in Zagreb, Croatia. She and a team of other scholars are currently conducting a large cross-national study on student attitudes toward LGBT people and toward punitiveness.

1996 Ph.D., Psychology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
1992 J.D., University of Nebraska
1992 M.A., Psychology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
1988 B.A., Psychology, Reed College, Portland, Oregon

CJ 2250 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
CJ 3315 - Hate Crimes
CJ 4250 - Psychology of Criminal Behavior

Hate crimes
Psychology and law
Juvenile justice
Jury decision making
International and comparative criminal justice
Criminal justice policy