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 and Department Chair of the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Metro State University. 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 serious 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 seven books, 50 peer-reviewed articles in leading social science journals, and over 70 book chapters, essays, and other non-refereed works.
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.
Curtis Shanklin, MS
Curtis Shanklin is the Deputy Commissioner of the Reintegration & Restorative Services Division at the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC). Mr. Shanklin leads the Field Services (Community Supervision) Unit, Juvenile Justice Reform Unit, Community Reentry Unit, Grants and Subsidies Unit, Risk Assessment / Community Notification (RACN) Unit, as well as Hearings and Release Unit. Prior to becoming Deputy Commissioner, Curtis served as the statewide Co-Coordinator of the Minnesota Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), the most successful juvenile justice reform effort in Minnesota to date, which places an acute focus on finding equitable and public safety-focused outcomes for justice-involved youth. With over 20 years of experience, Mr. Shanklin has worked directly with clients, along with corrections program management, in secure and non-secure correctional facilities and as both an adult and juvenile probation/parole agent, as well as a re-entry services supervisor for Arrowhead Regional Corrections (ARC) in Duluth. Mr. Shanklin received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota Duluth and holds a Master of Science in Criminal Justice, which roots his work in both research and data analysis. Additionally, Mr. Shanklin is adjunct faculty at Metro State University's School of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement and a U.S. Department of Justice accredited Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) auditor.