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Dr. Sharon Melzer is an Assistant Professor Criminal Justice at SUNY Plattsburgh. She is also the Executive Director of the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime (IASOC). Her doctorate is from American University in Justice, Law and Society with an emphasis on terrorism, transnational crime and corruption. Her dissertation, Counterfeit and Contraband Cigarette Smuggling: Opportunities, Actors, and Guardianship, addressed the multi-billion dollar crime of international cigarette smuggling and used both quantitative and qualitative data. The dissertation contained a case study on cigarette smuggling in Turkey, where she completed her field research. Dr. Melzer’s current research addresses sentencing guidelines, cigarette smuggling, the crime-terror nexus, the PKK, and the link between counterfeit purses and terrorism, environmental crimes, and human exploitation. Her work was recently featured in the CNBC special "Crime, Inc.: Counterfeit Goods," which aired in the US, Canada, Asia, and Australia. She has also published her research in various academic outlets.
Dr. Melzer has taught courses on transnational and organized crime, human trafficking, research methods, criminological theory, terrorism, and transnational crime. At SUNY Plattsburgh, she will teach courses on criminological theory, transnational crime, terrorism, and white collar crime. She has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, has received several awards, and provides service to several national organizations.
Prior to entering the academe, she held a joint position as a Research, Evaluation, and Financial Analyst with the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. She also holds a Masters in Public Administration from Penn State University, a Masters of Science in Criminology from Florida State University, and Bachelors of Arts in Administration of Justice and History from Penn State University.