Dr. William E. Thornton is a Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology at Loyola University New Orleans. His teaching has covered a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses and topics in the disciplines of sociology, criminal justice, criminology and security. Dr. Thornton is a forensic criminologist specializing in crime foreseeability, crime prevention, premises security litigation, and security assessment. He is author and co-author of several books, chapters, articles and other materials in the fields of criminology, juvenile delinquency, security, and social justice. He is a program planning and evaluation specialist and has done extensive evaluations on both private and public programs and organizations.
Dr. Thornton has served as a board member, commissioner, consultant or researcher on dozens of task forces, committees or studies in New Orleans, Louisiana and other states dealing with such issues as crime and delinquency, youth problems, jail and prison overcrowding, school crime and security, crime in public housing, drug use, casino gambling and crime, criminal court sentencing disparities, faith based correctional programs, community policing, and other specialized police units. He served as a crime/security consultant for the New Orleans Downtown Development District for several years helping to enhance business and tourism in the city by designing and implementing various crime prevention and public safety programs for businesses in the central business district.
Dr. Thornton is currently conducting research on the physical and social aspects of disasters in relation to different types of criminal activity including violent, property and white collar crimes. His most recent research involves the analysis of post-Katrina Latino migrant worker victimizations and the impact that these crimes have on day labor populations. Dr. Thornton is also writing a book dealing with public and private security and crime prevention, which will be used in college and university courses in the field of criminology and criminal justice.
Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 1977
Research Methods, Incident Crime Analysis, Juvenile Delinquency, Social Psychology, Forensic Criminology, Private Security, Premise Liability
Dr. Lydia Voigt is currently Distinguished University Professor Emerita and formerly the Reverend Joseph H. Fichter, S. J., Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences in the Department of Sociology at Loyola University New Orleans. She has been a member of Loyola’s faculty and academic community for over 40 years. In addition to her teaching and scholarly activities, she has served over 25 combined years of administrative service in numerous administrative positions including: Director of the Loyola Core (2015-2017), Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (2009-2013; 1996-2001), Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (2001-2003) (the first woman to serve in this position at Loyola), and Departmental Chairperson in the Department of Sociology (2005-2009; 1983-1992).
• Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in sociology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
• B.A. degree in psychology, Boston University, Boston, MA
• Disciplinary areas of expertise include: criminology (theoretical (causal) and statistical analyses of homicide and violence patterns), and state-of-the-art security and safety best practices.
• Authored/co-authored 13 books and over 50 publications including monographs, chapters, journal articles, and evaluation studies; and given over 100 scholarly papers and invited presentations at professional conferences around the world.
Awards and Honors
• Loyola’s Dux Academicus Award(1997) for outstanding achievement in teaching, research, and service,
• Loyola’s Diversity Champions Award(presented 2001),
• The National Conference on Student Recruitment, Retention, and Marketing Award for leadership excellence and Loyola’s campus-wide retention accomplishments presented in July 2001, and
• The Effective Retention Program Award presented by the National Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange awarded in August 2001.
• Named in honor of Dr. Voigt, the Dr. Lydia Voigt Dux Sociologius Award, is presented to the top graduating student by the Department of Sociology, Loyola University New Orleans (established in February 2018).