Amber J Powell

Amber Joy is a second-year PhD student in sociology at the University of Minnesota. Her current research interests include punishment, victimization, youth, and the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. More specifically, her work focuses on institutional responses to sexual violence. Her prior research draws on ethnographic observations to study how legal actors construct narratives of credibility in child sexual assault jury trials. Currently, she is working with Michelle Phelps on a qualitative project that explores how North Minneapolis residents, activists, and law enforcement officials understand police reform. She is also a regular contributor to The Society Pages, writing on a range of topics including sexual assault, prisoner reentry, and racial disparities among youth of color.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • BS: Criminology & Law Studies, Marquette University , Milwaukee, 2015.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Law, Crime & Punishment
  • Gender, Race, and Class
  • Institutional responses to crime and victimization
Research & Professional Activities


  • Court Monitor for WATCH Program: Monitoring domestic violence and sexual assault adjudication in Ramsey and Hennepin county courtrooms., May 2017
  • Department Development Committee of the President's Initiative to Prevent Sexual Misconduct. Minneapolis, MN. University of Minnesota.: March 2018
  • Intersectionality and Credibility in Child Sexual Assault Trials: Powell, Amber, Heather Hlavka; Sameena Mulla, Gender & Society, 31(4) 457-480, 2017. Link
  • Beverly and Richard Fink Summer Fellowship ($4,000), May 2017 - August 2017
  • Ford Predoctoral Fellowship Honorable Mention, March 2017