Sociology and Criminology

Randy LaGrange

Randy LaGrange

Professor of Criminology

*Curriculum Vitae

1983 Ph.D. Sociology, Rutgers University

1980 M.A. Sociology, University of Toledo

1979 B.S. Criminal Justice, University of Toledo

1977 A.A. Law Enforcement, University of Toledo

Randy LaGrange

I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, located on the western edge of Lake Erie. Growing up I found myself on the receiving end of my dad's boot and the principal's paddle more often than I would like to remember. Thankfully, the important people in my life cared enough about me to try to set me straight (see Proverbs 13:24). I guess that was the beginning of my interest in crime and delinquency.

I was an ok student but did not enjoy school. I never planned on going to college. Police officers back then, which is what I wanted to be, seldom headed to college. But I did attend the local community college to study law enforcement. When I finished my AA degree there were no local police officer jobs immediately available. So I continued going to school and received my degree in criminal justice. By this time I found myself truly enjoying school and learning about people and society. My favorite undergraduate sociology professor, Dr. James King (we called him "King James"), sat down next to me in the cafeteria one day to have lunch and chat. I did not think he even recognized me from his large class, but he did. Isn't it amazing how one chance encounter by someone who took the time to reach out to a shy undergraduate student can change everything? Anyways, he encouraged me to reconsider police work for a living and to think seriously about grad school in sociology. So I did. I earned the MA in Sociology from the University of Toledo (thanks Dr. King!) and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University (go Scarlet Knights!).

For over three decades I have been here at UNCW where I teach and do research in criminology. Cely, my lovely wife of 35 years, is a retired kindergarten teacher. We have two sons. The oldest son lives in Raleigh with his wife and our two grandchildren. He is a graduate from NC State and works as a chemical engineer at a large plant. Our youngest son graduated from UNCW and is currently a medical student at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. My wife and I belong to Windermere Presbyterian Church here in Wilmington. Professional interests: police policy, perceptions of crime, juvenile delinquency and sport in society. Favorite pastimes: tinkering in my workshop, mowing the lawn, watching sports and playing golf. FORE!

I hope to have the opportunity to sit down next to you someday over lunch and chat.


Specialty Areas
  • Police Studies
  • Fear of Crime
  • Research Methods
  • Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
Course Syllabi
Courses Taught
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Police in Society
  • World Criminal Justice Systems
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Research Methods
  • Criminal Justice Internship
Current Research Interests
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
  • Religion and Crime
  • Deviance On-and-Off the Playing Field

Professional Associations
  • Alpha Phi Sigma
  • American Society of Criminology
  • North Carolina Criminal Justice Association
  • North Carolina Sociological Association