Unique Shaw-Smith

Unique Shaw-Smith

Assistant Professor


  • Sociology
  • Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Social Psychology
  • Life Course Perspective
  • Incarceration
  • Social Exclusion
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Quantitative Research Methods

Contact Information

About Unique Shaw-Smith

Dr. Shaw-Smith’s research interests have primarily centered on understanding the effects of incarceration on families, particularly children. She uses principles from the life course perspective to examine how the timing and sequencing of life events can influence trajectories in ways that work to reproduce inequality and problematic behaviors over time.

More recently, Dr. Shaw-Smith has directed her research interests towards examining inequality and social change through the lens of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.


Courses taught (tentative)

  • SOC 355: Quantitative Research Methods
  • SOC 412: Criminal Justice
  • SOC 406: Juvenile Justice


  • Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award (2011)
  • Winifred O. Stone Graduate Student Development Award (2010)
  • Phenomenal Woman Award (2010)
  • Outstanding Black Female Award (2009)

Selected Publications

  • Swisher, Raymond R. and Unique Shaw-Smith. (Forthcoming) “Father’s Incarceration and Adolescent Well-Being: Life Course Contingencies and Other Moderators.” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.

Selected Presentations

  • “Incarceration in the U.S.” Guest lecturer for Principles of Sociology (SOC 101), BGSU (June, 2013)
  • “Time to Consider: Timing of Parental Incarceration and Mastery.” American Society of Criminologists Annual Conference, Chicago, IL (November, 2012)
  • “Broken Ladders: Parental Incarceration and Subjective Social Class.” Add Health Users Conference, Bethesda, MD (July, 2012)
  • “Time to Consider: Timing of Parental Incarceration and Mastery.” Charles E. Shanklin Graduate Symposium, BGSU (May, 2012)
  • “Get Informed- The Murder and Tragedy of Trayvon Martin.” Black Student Union II Part Series, BGSU (April, 2012)
  • “Ladders of Living: Serial Cohabitation and Subjective Social Class.” Midwest Graduate Research Symposium, University of Toledo (March, 2012)
  • “Out of my Control: Non-traditional Family Structures and Parental Incarceration on the Development of Mastery.” Bowling Green State University and The Ohio State University Graduate Student Conference on Population, OSU (October, 2011)

Professional Memberships

  • American Sociological Association
  • The American Society of Criminology
  • The Pacific Sociologist Association
  • The Western Society of Criminology
  • Western Association of Criminal Justice
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • National Council of Negro Women, Inc.

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