Cybercrime Expert Joins UNC’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

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Vivian Guetler’s research has taken her to dark places. Specifically, the dark web, where she spent considerable time analyzing communications on several forums commonly used by terrorist groups.

The analyzes served as the basis for his thesis, Exploring Cyberterrorism, Thematic Patterns, and Jihadist Social Networks Dark Web Forums: A Computational Social Science Approach, a project she pursued to provide insight into how terrorists and their supporters use the internet to communicate and recruit. Her research was so appreciated that she received a research grant from West Virginia University (WVU) recognizing and honoring his efforts.

Guetler’s research combines his interests in the social sciences and computer programming and gives him expertise in the fields of cybercrime, cyberterrorism and counterterrorism. Topics she hopes to share and expand on as a new assistant professor in UNC’s Criminology and Criminal Justice program.

“Dr. Vivian Guetler is a dedicated teacher who wants to mentor our students,” said Brian Iannacchione, professor and director of UNC’s Criminology and Criminal Justice Program. of Cyber ​​Security and Cyber ​​Terrorism will offer our students the chance to experience a new area of ​​the criminal justice system that they have yet to explore.It also brings with it a track record of research excellence that the department is delighted to All in all, she’s a fantastic addition to our team, and we couldn’t be happier that she’s decided to become a Bear.

Originally from Mombasa, Kenya, Guetler will bring an international perspective to the classroom, which she is proud of and hopes can help position UNC as a global university. Her journey into higher education began at Alpen Adria Klagenfurt University in Austria, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies. She then moved to Syracuse University where she earned a Masters in Social Science: Pan-African Studies and recently earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from West Virginia University (WVU). She is also currently working on a second master’s degree, this one in Information Technology, also from Syracuse.

“I am honored to join UNC and become a proud member of the Bear family,” Guetler said. “I look forward to working and collaborating with faculty and students to ensure student success, academic excellence, equity, and inclusion for everyone at UNC.”

Although this is Guetler’s first teaching position, she brings experience as a certified instructor and certified teaching assistant from both WVU and Syracuse. She said she was drawn to UNC because of the university’s focus on students, diversity and inclusion, as well as size.

“I like the small classrooms here. It’s not too big or too small,” Guetler said. “It’s much better than trying to teach hundreds of students at the same time. And I love that the focus is on the student and how we make students perform better. »

To help promote this success, Guetler looks forward to providing students with the opportunity to not only learn in its classrooms, but also to innovate.

“I provide the opportunity for students to be as creative as they want in my classroom,” Guetler said. “I try to make my classes interesting and fun, like creating a podcast instead of writing an article. It’s a criminology class, I know, but what do you want to do, what is your career, how can you Will you incorporate your career goals into my class?I like to think outside the box.

Eventually, Guetler would like to explore adding a cybercrime or cybersecurity minor to the department, which she knows will require collaboration with others. It’s a move she says would make UNC students more competitive in the job market. For now, however, she is excited to enter the classroom and start teaching.

“I love seeing student reactions as they reflect and learn,” Guetler said. “And at the end of the semester, I love seeing their projects, what they’ve been working on. I am not their parent, but I feel like their mother. I’m so proud of them.

Guetler teaches Theories of Crime (CRJ 360) both semesters this academic year, adding Cybercrime (CRJ 317) in the spring of 2023. She is one of three new faculty members in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University. ‘UNC this fall. She is joined by Margaret du Bray, Geography, GIS and Sustainability and Caitlin Monroe, History and African Studies.

– written by Deanna Herbert

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