Jillian Peterson, PhD
Co-founder and President
Dr. Jillian Peterson is a Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Hamline University. Jill launched her career as a special investigator in New York City, researching the psycho-social life histories of men facing the death penalty. Jill has led large-scale research studies on mental illness and crime, school shooting prevention, and mass violence, which have received national media attention. She is a sought-after national trainer and speaker on issues related to mental illness and violence, trauma, forensic psychology, and mass violence. Jill earned her Doctorate in psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine. She is trained in restorative justice, violence mediation, crisis intervention, de-escalation, and suicide prevention.
James Densley, PhD
Co-founder and President
Born and raised in England, Dr. James Densley is a Professor of Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University, part of the Minnesota State system. James first moved to the United States to teach special education in the New York City public schools. After earning his Doctorate in sociology from the University of Oxford, he quickly established himself as one of the world’s leading experts on street gangs and youth violence, including cyber violence. James’ work has attracted global media attention. He has been an invited or plenary speaker on three continents. James is the author of six books, 45 peer-reviewed articles in leading social science journals, and over 70 book chapters, essays, and other non-refereed works.
Missy Dodds, MS
Missy Dodds is a wife, mom, former high school math teacher, and survivor of the 2005 Red Lake School Shooting. Missy is now a school safety and mental health advocate. Her court case, Dodds vs Red Lake School District Workman’s Comp, helped change the law in Minnesota to include PTSD as a viable workman’s comp claim. Missy shares her story of recovery in the award-winning documentary, Red Lake, produced by Billy Luther. Currently, Missy serves as a Safe and Sound Schools National Parent Ambassador and on her local school district’s Emergency Operation and Planning Committee as a parent stakeholder. Missy earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Central Arkansas and her Master of Science in Mathematics Education from Bemidji State University.
Katie Pekel, EdD
Dr. Katie Pekel, is the Principal in Residence for the University of Minnesota. In this role Dr. Pekel serves as the department’s direct connection between the fields of research and practice in PK-12 education. She leads the Minnesota Principals Academy, co-directs the Urban Leadership Academy, developed the University’s District Leadership Academy with Dr. Kim Gibbons and the Culturally Responsive School Leadership Academy with colleague Dr. Muhammad Khalifa. Dr. Pekel also serves as a graduate coordinator of the Educational Policy and Leadership track within the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development. Dr. Pekel has served at all levels of K-12 education first as a high school English teacher, as an elementary principal and in her favorite role as a middle school principal for six years in Austin, MN.
Jeremy Kalin, JD
Jeremy Kalin is an attorney of counsel at Avisen Legal and Principal at Kalin LLC where he specializes in clean energy, clean water, advanced manufacturing and housing solutions. Jeremy served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2007 to 2010, where he applied his real-world knowledge of energy efficiency and green building to chief author the nation’s strongest energy conservation law, the Demand Efficiency Act of 2007. He quickly earned a reputation as a national leader on clean energy policy and served as a Senior Advisor to the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. Jeremy earned his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law and B.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Minnesota.
Mary Dillon is a History and Political Science Student at Grinnell College, concentrating in Peace and Conflict Studies. She is the webmaster for The Off-Ramp Project, and also manages outreach, marketing strategy, and other website design and maintenance.