Congratulations to our recently promoted faculty

October 28, 2021

By Adriana González Braniff

Simon Fraser University’s School of Criminology proudly congratulates Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Lysova and Dr. Danielle Murdoch for their recent promotions. Lysova was promoted to associate professor, and Murdoch was promoted to senior lecturer. Both Lysova and Murdoch have received multiple awards and grants, and their significant research contributions are broadening perspectives and positively impacting the world.

About Alexandra Lysova and her current research:

Alexandra Lysova, SFU Criminology associate professor, grew up in Russia (Vladivostok) where she developed research interests in social problems and crime. In 2009, after earning her Doctor of Sciences degree in Sociology at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg, she worked as a professor at the Far Eastern Federal University. Due to professional and political reasons, Lysova decided to move to Canada, where she was selected for a prestigious Trudeau Award and Scholarship in 2011. After she received her PhD in Criminology from the University of Toronto, she happily accepted an offer from SFU, joining one of the leading criminology teaching and research centers in the world – the SFU School of Criminology.   

Lysova, passionate about teaching and sharing her experiences with students, primarily teaches Family Violence and Criminal Justice (CRIM 406), Violence and Aggression (CRIM 313/406), and a large mandatory writing-intensive course, Current Theories and Perspectives in Criminology (CRIM 300W). She appreciates when students are open-minded, ask difficult questions, and treat the world as a complex place. 

Lysova’s teaching and research focus on violence, and more specifically, intimate partner violence and homicide. She started to study intimate partner violence from women’s and children’s perspectives, and has expanded her attention to men who also experience violence and aggression in relationships. “I believe that addressing male victims’ needs can help reduce violence not only against men but also against women and children in the relationship,” she says. Lysova often extends her research outside of Canada and collaborates with other leading researchers in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom on the issue of male victims. 

As for current research, Lysova is working on several major projects:

One project, supported by SFU’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Research Grant, focuses on intimate partner homicide (IPH). Lysova, along with SFU Criminology graduate student Cristina Pastia, broaden perspectives on intimate partner homicides perpetrated by and against men, by examining the context of such homicides and the family violence history as a significant predictor. They argue that more effective policies and the justice system’s responses to address men’s intimate partner victimization may help prevent some intimate partner homicides perpetrated against both men and women. 

The second project, supported by the recently awarded 2021 SFU-SSHRC Grant, intends to address serious limitations related to the missing information on the context of intimate partner homicides involving male deaths. Lysova along with Dr. Benjamin Roebuck from Algonquin College in Ottawa, and SFU Criminology graduate students Kenzie Hanson and Simone Tardif, are creating a dataset of such cases in Canada using multiple data sources (e.g., media reports, coroner’s data, domestic homicide reviews). According to Lysova, the data will help them develop new knowledge about a typology of such cases, which may be helpful for enhancing measures that help prevent future deaths related to IPH.

Additionally, in September 2021, Lysova was awarded SFU’s Community-Engaged Research Initiative Grant (CERi) to examine help-seeking barriers for men who experience family abuse. “Male victims are less likely than female victims to seek help, and little social awareness of this issue and norms of traditional masculinity are some of the potential barriers to men’s help-seeking,” she says. This work is done in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Men and Families (CCMF) in Vancouver and SFU Criminology graduate student, Kenzie Hanson. They plan to conduct several focus groups with community members to learn how to increase awareness among men. “We believe that by proving resources and help to men who need it, we may help prevent violence and deaths,” Lysova says.

Furthermore, Lysova, in collaboration with colleagues from several Canadian Universities, is co-organizing the interdisciplinary International Conference on Men and Families, bringing together academics, community members, and other stakeholders to collectively examine various men’s issues with a focus on violence and abuse, and the impact on families and communities. “We have secured many delegates from different countries, including Australia, Canada, Belgium, Mainland China, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, United Kingdom, and the United States.” The conference will take place in Toronto, September 2022. 

Note: As part of her research, Lysova is currently recruiting men who have experienced abuse in their families and wish to participate in an interview. Please contact Dr. Lysova if interested or if you wish to learn more about this study. 

About Danielle Murdoch and her current research:

SFU Criminology senior lecturer, Danielle Murdoch, describes SFU’s School of Criminology as the place and people that helped kindle her passion for research and teaching.

Murdoch started as a lecturer at SFU in September 2016 after working two years at Boise State University as an assistant professor in criminal justice. She received her BA in Criminology at SFU, and after completing an MPhil in Criminological Research at the University of Cambridge, returned to SFU to attain a PhD in Criminology. She attributes her success in academia to the preparation she received while studying at SFU.

Murdoch teaches a variety of undergraduate classes: Introduction to the Criminal Justice System (CRIM 131), Women and Criminal Justice (CRIM 304), Introduction to Corrections (CRIM 241), Correctional Practice (CRIM 343), and Decision-Making in Criminal Justice (CRIM 410). Her inclusive approach has made her known among undergraduate students for delivering passionate, engaging lectures and creating a supportive classroom environment where questions and discussion are encouraged.

Her passion for teaching and the effort she puts into her classrooms have been recognized with a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Cormack Teaching Award in 2019. The award celebrates excellence and innovation in teaching, recognizes the passion that faculty bring to the classroom, and the value they bring to their students’ education.

Murdoch extends her contributions beyond the classroom, as a workshop facilitator and proposal coach at the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD), which aims to inspire, support, and enhance inquiry into all aspects of teaching and learning at SFU. She has received three Teaching and Learning Development Grants (TLDG), which are intended to recognize teaching development as a scholarly activity and to stimulate faculty-led investigation of new or innovative teaching and learning practices at Simon Fraser University. These grants allow faculty members to identify learning and teaching questions of particular interest to them, share their findings with their colleagues and apply them to their teaching. 

Murdoch’s first grant, Understanding the Barriers to and Educational Value of Student Participation in Prison Tours, explores the barriers to student participation in prison tours, student motivation to attend the prison tours, and how student participation in prison tours contributes to their learning and understanding of course materials. The second grant, Developing Tools to Support Graduate Students in their Role as Teaching Assistants, involves developing tools to support graduate students in their role as teaching assistants, and the third and most recent, Disrupting Colonialism through Teaching: An Integrated Seminar Series and Grants Program, involved Murdoch decolonizing her approach to teaching by integrating Indigenous scholarship and literature as a key component in CRIM 410: Decision-making in Criminal Justice. 

Murdoch’s current activities include participating in CEE's Anti-Racist Pedagogies Program: Healing from Racism Journey, a multi-month/multi-semester professional development endeavour, participating as a member of the Tools for Well-Being in the Classroom: Fall 2021 cohort, and co-authoring another edition (sixth) of the Canadian Corrections textbook with Dr. Curt Griffiths. 

CEE’s Anti-Racist Pedagogies Program: Healing from Racism Journey is designed to facilitate the journey of 12 SFU teaching faculty and sessional instructors in their commitment to anti-racist pedagogies. As a participant, Murdoch will develop a plan for implementing strategies in her teaching practice through self-research and growth of her ongoing practices as an anti-racist educator.

Tools for Well-Being in the Classroom (TWC) is a Well-being in Learning Environments initiative that builds on the work that instructors are already doing to support student learning and well-being. Through this initiative, Murdoch is implementing strategies to support student well-being in her classes.