Public Affairs and Social Research Institute


The Department of Public Affairs and Social Research offers a variety of research opportunities and research expertise. For example:

  • The CATI Lab (Computer Assisted Telephoning Interviewing) provides research support to the university and community partners who are engaged in electronic data collection and outreach efforts. The CATI Lab system of computers and software:

    • Assists in the creation of the survey questionnaire.
    • Places the questionnaire into computer memory.
    • Allows up to six interviewers working on a survey at the same time.
    • Can manage multiple survey projects simultaneously.
    • Automatically selects the proper route in conditional branching questions.
    • Randomly selects telephone numbers and facilitates the use of random digit dialing sampling.
    • Collects raw data from interviews ready for statistical analysis.
  • Faculty Expertise: Our faculty are well versed in a variety of research topics/issues. Please feel free to contact them if you need more information.
Dr. Frances P. Bernat
Associate Dean

  • The Border and Undocumented Minors
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Courts
  • Cybercrime
  • Human Trafficking
  • STEM and Robotics Education
  • Truancy
  • Women and Criminal Justice
  • Youth Resilience and Deviance

Dr. Kelly Frailing
Director of Criminal Justice
Assistant Professor

  • Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster
  • Crime and Deviance
  • Criminological Theory
  • Offenders with Mental Illness
  • Specialty Courts

Dr. Kate Houston
Assistant Professor

  • Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster
  • Crime and Deviance
  • Criminological Theory
  • Offenders with Mental Illness
  • Specialty Courts

Dr. Clint Osowski
Clinical Professor

  • Cross-border violence
  • Fraud
  • Investigations
  • Mexican drug trafficking organizations

Dr. Claudia San Miguel
Associate Professor

  • Administration of Justice Policing
  • Border and Homeland Security
  • Death Penalty
  • Human Trafficking
  • Immigration
  • Justice Policy
  • Juvenile
  • Delinquency / Prevention / Violence
  • Law and Society
  • Victimology

Dr. Elizabeth Tomsich
Assistant Professor

  • Violent Victimization

Dr. Mark Menaldo
Director of Political Science
Director of History and Political Thought
Assistant Professor

  • History of Political Thought
  • International Relations
  • Leadership

Dr. Simon Zschirnt
Assistant Professor

  • American Politics
  • American Legal History
  • Judicial Politics

Dr. Peter Haruna
Assistant Professor

  • Analysis of Governance Structures
  • International and Comparative Administration
  • Public Budgeting Development and Analysis

Dr. Lynne Manganaro
Associate Professor

  • General Public Administration
  • Gender and Racial / Ethnic Issues in Public Policy
  • Public Policy and Policy Analysis
  • Research Methods and Statistics

Dr. Mehnaaz Momen
Associate Professor

  • Citizenship
  • Gender Politics
  • Immigration Policy
  • Marginality
  • Public Space
  • Urban Governance

Dr. Maria Reyes
Visiting Instructor

  • Local Government
  • Political Theory
  • Public Administration Theory

Dr. John Kilburn
Associate Dean

  • Border issues
  • Community & Urban Sociology
  • Sociology of Education
  • Violence

Dr. Judith A. Warner

  • Animals and Society
  • Border Security
  • Domestic Violence
  • Environment and Eco-Tourism
  • Race and Ethnic Relations
  • Race, Class, and Gender in the Criminal Justice System
  • Sociology of Gender
  • Women in the Criminal Justice System

Dr. Marcus Antonius Ynalvez
Director of Sociology
Associate Professor

  • Quantitative methodology (generalized linear models)
  • Social change and globalization
  • Social inequality and stratification
  • Social networks (egocentric and sociometric techniques)
  • Social research methods (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Sociology of science and technology
  • Statistics and probability sampling survey designs



Department of Public Affairs and Social Research
5201 University Boulevard, 301 Canseco Hall, Laredo, TX 78041-1900
Phone: 956-326-2475 E-mail:



5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900 Work956.326.2100