Sarah C. Nicksa

Sarah C. Nicksa, PhD

  • Associate Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Gender & Sexuality

Programs I Teach


  • PhD, Sociology (2011)
    Northeastern University (MA)
  • MA, Sociology (2006)
    Northeastern University (MA)
  • BA, Sociology (2004)
    College of Charleston (SC)

About Me

I enjoy teaching a variety of courses in the criminal justice department, including those on juvenile delinquency and the juvenile justice system, victimology, domestic terrorism, crime and the media, and drugs and society. I am dedicated to teaching and getting to know my students and strive to build a community in the classroom.

As an instructor, I have a dynamic and adaptable teaching style, and I emphasize critical engagement with the material, which helps students not only understand the concept at hand, but learn the skills of evaluation and critique of arguments, laws, and public opinion. In 2011, I created the Crime Film Series, which uses movies and documentaries to help students make the link between what they learn in the classroom and the world they experience outside the classroom. The series is held throughout the semester in the evenings and present films that are linked topically with my current courses.

Research Interests

Much of my research focus is on bystanders of sexual violence; specifically, I study how and why college students choose to intervene in sexual assault and dating violence. I also study the experiences and help-seeking of survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence.


  • Lisak, D., Gardinier, L., Nicksa, S.C., & Cote, A.M. (2011). False allegations of sexual assault: An analysis of ten years of reported cases. Violence Against Women, 16(12), 1318–1334.
  • Nicksa, S.C. (2014). Bystander's willingness to report theft, physical assault, and sexual assault: The impact of gender, anonymity, and relationship with the offender. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(2), 217–236.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Society of Criminology (ASC), Eastern Sociological Society (ESS)