Text Size:
Print This Page
UCF Campus Map

Quick Facts

  • 6 - Number of graduate programs in the college ranked in the top 100 nationwide by U.S. News and World Report in March 2016
  • Fall 2015 - Launch of the Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice
  • Spring 2016 - Launch of the completely online Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program
  • 2015-16 - Academic year in which the college recognized 25 years since its founding in 1990-91
  • > 1,700 - Number of children and adults with speech, language and hearing problems served by the Communication Disorders Clinic
Return to last page

Faculty & Staff Directory

Alisa Smith

Alisa Smith

, J.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department Chair
Legal Studies

Professional Links

Social Networks

  • Biography


Alisa M. Smith is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Legal Studies in the College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida. Before arriving at UCF on July 1, 2016, Dr. Smith earned the academic rank of Full Professor at the University of Tampa (a private, medium-sized private university in Florida) (2005-2016) and served as the associate director of the Honors Program (2014-2016). Previously, she was a professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey (a public, liberal arts college) and Seton Hall University (a private, Catholic university in New Jersey). Dr. Smith earned her doctorate in criminology and criminal justice from The Florida State University in 1998, and her juris doctorate from The Florida State University, College of Law in 1988. In addition to teaching and conducting research, Dr. Smith actively practiced criminal law for more than 25 years.

Dr. Smith has published two books as well as peer-reviewed publications, law review articles, professional reports and book chapters. Her research interests include examining judicial decisions that raise empirical questions and evaluating due process and procedural justice in the misdemeanor courts.  Previously, Dr. Smith's research focused on violence against women and the effectiveness of domestic violence policies and laws, including mandatory reporting and prosecution. Her most recent published report, Rush to Judgment: How South Carolina's Summary Courts Fail to Protect Constitutional Rights, with Dr. Sean Maddan and Colette Tvedt and Diane Price with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, highlights the lack of due process plaguing the magistrate and municipal courts in South Carolina.


  • J.D., Florida State University
  • Ph.D., Florida State University
  • The health care informatics master's program at UCF really helped me connect with the industry, meet people at conferences and sit for the most-desired certification exams."
    — Michael Neimann,  M.S. in health care informatics ('14)
    My internship with the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I gained an excellent understanding of the medical examiner’s office and the criminal justice field in general."
    — Adam Stubley,  B.S. in criminal justice, criminal profiling certificate ('11)
    UCF provides its physical therapy students with an excellent education and prepares them to work in the most challenging of settings."
    — Jamie Dyson,  Rehabilitation Supervisor, Orlando Regional Medical Center
    UCF's program provided me the opportunity to expedite my student experience while attaining practical experience working within local health systems."
    — Daniel Barr,  V.P. at National Children's Hospital; M.S. in health sciences, health services administration track ('04)
    My master's education helped me see the big picture of the nonprofit industry. UCF showed me how to see the different fundraising tools within the Central Florida area."
    — Krysti Griffith,  Executive Director of Growth from Grief; Master of Nonprofit Management ('12)
    The course opened my eyes to grant writing ... I learned a great deal and you [Barbara Howell] are truly an excellent instructor."
    — Deborah Reith,  Master of Public Administration student who secured a $10,000 federal grant through a course project; B.S. in criminal justice ('86)
    The skills I learned during my time at UCF are what made my transition to law school so seamless."
    — Jacqueline Iaquinta,  Touro Law Center student; B.S. in legal studies ('10)
    As an inaugural graduate of the M.R.A. program at UCF, I can attest to the outstanding curriculum developed for research administrators. "
    — April Heyward,  Post Award Services Coordinator, University of South Carolina; Master of Research Administration ('13)
    It was at UCF that I first learned many of the skills that I’ve since honed, including mapping with GIS software - an ability I found invaluable to my search for internships, graduate-level coursework, and employment."
    — Richard "Ben" Hagen,  Research and Communications Associate, New Economy Project, New York City; B.S. in public administration ('10)
    I am excited to be able to give back to the program that invested so much in me. It is truly and honor and a privilege."
    — Carlos Gual,  Instructor of Athletic Training; B.S. in athletic training ('09)
    The faculty advisor [at my medical school] was amazed that I had the opportunity to truly participate in the full spectrum of research as an undergraduate. "
    — Chase Cavayero, medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicince, B.S. in health sciences - pre-clinical ('13),  
    Give a Gift - The College of Healh & Public Affairs