Neil Websdale's Portrait

Neil Websdale, Ph.D.

Professor Neil Websdale is Director of the newly formed Family Violence Institute at Northern Arizona University and Director of the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative (NDVFRI). He has published work on domestic violence, the history of crime, policing, social change, and public policy. Dr. Websdale’s five books include: Rural Woman Battering and the Justice System: An Ethnography (Sage), 1998, which won the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Outstanding Book Award in 1999; Understanding Domestic Homicide (Northeastern University Press), 1999; Making Trouble: Cultural Constructions of Crime, Deviance, and Control (Aldine Books, co-edited with Jeff Ferrell), 1999; Policing the Poor: From Slave Plantation to Public Housing (Northeastern University Press), 2001, winner of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Outstanding Book Award in 2002 and the Gustavus-Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights Award in 2002. His latest book, Familicidal Hearts: The Emotional Styles of 211 Killers was published by Oxford University Press in 2010. Dr. Websdale is currently working on a new book, tentatively titled, The Tale the River Told: The Murder of Susan Casey. His social policy work involves helping establish networks of domestic violence fatality review teams across the United States and elsewhere. He has also worked on issues related to community policing, full faith and credit, and risk assessment and management in domestic violence cases. Dr. Websdale trained as a sociologist at the University of London, England and currently lives and works in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Holly Hulen

Holly Hulen, M.A.

Holly Hulen, Assistant Director of the Family Violence Institute at NAU, has over twenty years of administrative experience that includes grant and contract management, program development and implementation, fiscal management and staff supervision. Her skills include public relations, marketing and fund development. She has a strong background in direct service that includes providing crisis intervention assistance to victims of crime, managing a homeless shelter, coordinating children’s social service programs and providing advocacy for seniors. She earned her M.A. in Applied Sociology at Northern Arizona University and also serves as NAU Adjunct Faculty.

Stephanie Mayer

Stephanie Mayer, B.A.

Stephanie Mayer, Coordinator at the Family Violence Institute, has been involved in the domestic and sexual violence field for nine years. She joined the team in September 2012 after four years at the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence (AzCADV). Throughout her time at AzCADV, she was the staff liaison for their involvement in fatality review and served on five teams throughout the state. She also tracked deaths and analyzed trends in the state and used the information to create a policy document which stakeholders utilized in various types of advocacy. Outside of her involvement in DV related deaths, she coordinated a statewide domestic violence/sexual violence reproductive health project funded by Futures Without Violence from 2010-2012, heading a multi-disciplinary Leadership Team and organizing and implementing trainings around the state. Prior to taking on that role, she served as a Systems Advocate focused on policy issues. She also previously lived and worked in western Massachusetts, designing and implementing primary and secondary violence prevention curricula for schools and community-based programs. She graduated from Arizona State University, where she was involved in anti-violence against women programs and campaigns.


Nitika Sharma, Ph.D.

Nitika Sharma, a post-doctoral fellow at the Family Violence Institute, joined the institute in the summer of 2014. She graduated in the spring of 2014 from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her doctoral dissertation explored and analyzed the fixity and fluidity of menstruation rituals among Hindu women of Nepalese origin. Her research interests are in the areas of gender inequality, gender-based violence and qualitative research. In her graduate career, in addition to her dissertation research, she began research on the Bhutanese refugee population resettled in the U.S. and also initiated a research project with Dr. Amanda Shigihara to examine the dynamics of voluntary childlessness. At the FVI, she primarily explores grant opportunities and participates in ongoing and new research projects.

Adrienne Celaya

Adrienne Celaya, Ph.D.

Adrienne Celaya is a post-doctoral scholar at the Family Violence Institute. In the spring of 2014 she received her doctoral degree in Sociology from the University of Miami, where her dissertation examined the effects of individual, couple and neighborhood factors on intimate partner violence among natives and immigrants. Her professional endeavors include serving as Coordinator and Data Analyst for Miami Dade County’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, with whom she worked with for eight years. While in Miami, she also served as a member on several committees to include the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative, FCADV’s Batterer Accountability Subcommittee, the Attorney General’s Statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council of Miami-Dade County, and the Domestic Violence Coordinated Response Committee. Her research interests include intimate partner violence, family violence lethality research, Latino/immigrant violence, and immigration policy analysis. Specifically, her research focuses on issues surrounding minorities and immigrant populations, and their larger implications in the criminal justice system and the provision of social services.

Nathalie Dart

Nathalie Dart, B.A.

Nathalie Dart, Project Support, for the Family Violence Institute, graduated in May of 2014 with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. She joined The FVI in the spring of 2014. At the FVI she works on special projects, provides technical assistance, updates the NDVFRI website, and created the FVI website. Outside of the FVI and throughout her academic career at Northern Arizona University, Nathalie was active in student groups working towards social change. Nathalie conducted sociological research that was presented at the Western Social Science Association Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico in April of 2014.

Joel Rake-Marona

Joel Rake-Marona

Joel Rake-Marona, Intern for the Family Violence Institute, is currently attending Northern Arizona University as a Senior, and will graduate in the spring of 2015 with a B.A. in both Sociology and Advertising. He initially came to The FVI in the Spring of 2014 to assist with research, but has since moved on to help with a wide range of projects including graphic design, marketing and event coordinating. Joel came to NAU with the intention of learning marketing skills so that he might offer them to socially conscious groups like The FVI. Looking to the future, Joel plans to continue learning and working in research and marketing with groups dedicated to social change.