Assistant Professor & Researcher on Racial Profiling
Stephan F. Austin University
Dr. Theo Joseph's work in applied social psychology has shown how a researcher can have an immediate impact on his or her community. As part of his doctoral portfolio, Theo chose to tackle the hot question of whether a local police department used racial profiling when making pretextual stops. Armed with his Claremont training, a handful of speed calculators, a wardrobe of safety vests, and a team of graduate student volunteers, Theo ran a study to compare police records to the demographics of who was actually speeding. Needless to say, his research quickly had the community and the local government talking.
Now graduated and teaching at Stephan F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas, Dr. Joseph is continuing this research. His current projects examine the role economics play in pretextual traffic stops. Once the data has been collected, Theo will take the work into a lab, where he and his team will look at the cognitive processes involved in pretextual stops. The completed project will show how a knowledge of applied statistics, social behaviors, and brain functioning can be used to improve our knowledge of how society works—and how it could work better.
Theodore Joseph settled in Brooklyn after leaving Trinidad in 1993. After earning his B.A. and an applied counseling degree (both with honors) in New York, Theo joined the Applied Social Psychology program at CGU with a full-tuition fellowship. While at CGU, Theo was the graduate coordinator of the Minority Mentor Program, a university-wide project that focuses on retaining minority students in graduate education. His research at CGU focused on the assimilation of Haitians into American society in Florida, stigmatization of Indo-Americans after 9/11, and his ambitious project to examine alleged racial profiling by law enforcement authorities. He has now settled in Texas with his wife and children, and has stayed in close contact with professors and old friends from Claremont Graduate University.