Samantha O'Hara

Assistant Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice

Phone Number:
Office Location:
Wallace Hall 301
Office Hours:
Fall 2015:
Tuesday/Thursday 9:10 – 11:10 am
Wed 10:30-12:30 pm
Other times and dates by appointment
Term 2 in Ankeny: Mondays 5:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Ph.D. Criminal Justice, 2006, University of Nebraska at Omaha
M.A. Sociology, 1996, University of Northern Iowa
B.A. Criminology, 1994, University of Northern Iowa

Hello! I joined the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Simpson College in August 2013.  I bring with me teaching and research interests in domestic violence, courts/sentencing, community-based corrections, and ethics and leadership in the criminal justice system. I also enjoy presenting on related topics, to various state-wide groups, in order to continue to serve the public good.

Over the years, I have held a variety of teaching and practitioner roles.  For example, from 2009 to 2012, I taught at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy as a law enforcement instructor specializing in Violence Against Women issues. I served the basic academy classes in multiple subject areas, provided in-service education across the state, collaborated on leadership training for command staff, and led other special projects. Before this role, usually in addition to full-time work in the criminal justice system, I led courses at University of Northern Iowa from 1997 to 1998; DMACC from 2008 to 2013; and Simpson College in 2009 and 2012.

My practitioner work includes work as a sworn federal law enforcement officer from 1998 until 2008 with the U.S. Probation Office for the Southern District of Iowa. Other non-profit work included Family Service League’s Battered Women’s Shelter and Lutheran Social Services and as well as  government positions at the Iowa 2nd Judicial District Department of Correctional Services and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

One of my duties at Simpson College include advising students on possible internship/field experience sites, and leading their academic work.  Because of my practical work in this field, I really enjoy contributing in this area.  Are you interested? Would you like to help?  Please contact me via email at, or post a message on the Facebook for the Department ( if you are a student looking for some ideas, or an agency looking for outstanding students. I look forward to meeting you soon!

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