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Member Profiles- Fall 2015


Sara Brightman, Assistant Professor  
Department of Criminal Justice
Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC

How did you become interested in the field of women and/or gender and crime?

Both of my parents are feminists, so I think I’ve always been aware of and interested in women’s issues. For my undergraduate degree, I double majored in Women’s Studies and Sociology. When I applied to graduate school, I looked for a program with a gender and feminism emphasis. Turned out that program was also very Criminological, so I got more involved in violence, particularly sexual violence, against women and I went on from there.

How do you define yourself as a scholar/activist/educator?

I would have to say I mostly feel as if I’m an activist in the classroom. I really hope to inspire my students to change the world in some way. When they get angry or upset about the things they are learning in my classroom, I challenge them to go out and do something about it. I also hope that through my scholarship, I also can encourage more change in the world.

What are your current projects or interests?

I am continuing to focus on the control of women’s bodies and sexuality by the State. Historical eugenics movements, more recent prison sterilizations, the abortion debate and the rape of women along the U.S./Mexico border are all areas of interest which I have projects started on.

Who is your favorite person (or animal!) to spend time with, and what are your favorite things to do when you are with them?

I enjoy spending time with my husband and best friends. We all seem to be so busy that when we can get together we have a really great time. Mostly it’s just hanging out and having some appetizers or dinner together with our pets.

How do you wind down after a stressful day?

I really enjoy mindless TV. It is far too embarrassing to reveal what shows specifically. 🙂 I have also recently been learning Zentangle, which I’ve found very relaxing and goes well with the mindless TV shows.

What obstacles do you feel you have overcome to be where you are today?

I’ve often felt like my own worst enemy and still have to work to overcome that sometimes. It may be doubting myself, feeling I don’t deserve something or that I don’t measure up to those around me, I still have to overcome those things as I go through different stages of my career. I’ve very thankful for my family, friends and mentors who have all helped me along the way.

What would you like to be remembered for?

I’d like to be remembered as a great and inspiring teacher. I’d like for my students to remember that I made a difference in their lives and how they see the world.

What is one of your lifelong goals?

I’ve always wanted to travel more, even though I hate the traveling part. I love to wake up and explore new places. Luckily I have great people in my life that will put up with me while we get there!

Is there a website where we can send people for more information about you?

For access to two publications by Dr. Brightman, click HERE and HERE.