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Sandra Pavelka, Ph.D., serves as founding Director of the Institute for Youth and Justice Studies and as an Associate Professor of Public Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. Dr. Pavelka previously served as the founding Director of the Center for Public and Social Policy at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Dr. Pavelka served as the Senior Research Associate with the Community Justice Institute at Florida Atlantic University. She was also the Project Administrator of the Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) Project funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice. She continues to serve as a consultant on the BARJ Project.
Prior to her appointment at Florida Atlantic University, she served as the Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Youth Policy at Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center. In this position, she administered the Florida and National Juvenile Detention Initiatives funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and served as research director for the Center.
Dr. Pavelka received her Ph.D. in Public Administration (2000) with a specialization in Justice Policy from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida. Her dissertation, Practice to Policy to Management: A Restorative Justice Framework, focused on system reform and policy implementation of restorative justice nationally. She holds a Master of Public Administration (1989) from Florida International University in Miami, Florida and Bachelor of Arts (Political Science – 1985) from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Dr. Pavelka’s interests include: public policy, juvenile justice, community and restorative justice, and program evaluation. Dr. Pavelka serves as Editor and member of the Peer Review Board for the International Journal of Restorative Justice.