Erica Katz is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies at UMass Lowell.

Erica Gagne, MSW, Ph.D.

Assistant Teaching Professor

College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Criminology and Justice Studies
Health and Social Sciences Building - 487
CV (pdf)


  • Expertise in mental illness, mental health issues, and maladaptive coping mechanisms
  • Expertise in diversity and oppression, cultural competence
  • Organizer and Moderator of Panels on Social Justice


  • Ph D: Social Work, (2013), Yeshiva University - New York City, NY
  • MSA: Social Work, (2003), New York University - New York City, NY
  • BA: Psychology, (1997), Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY

Selected Awards and Honors

  • 2019/2020 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence
  • 2020/2021 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence

Selected Publications

  • 2013, Quality Assurance: Assessing the Effectiveness of Court Advocacy Services on Sentence Reduction and Recidivism Rates.
    This research study fulfilled the dissertation requirement for my doctoral program. This research sought to explore the use of social workers to identify mitigating circumstances for indigent criminal defendants, and the impact of introducing these mitigating circumstances in court to achieve sentence reductions or alternatives to incarceration and, in the long term, reduced recidivism rates.

  • 2015, A Society Divided: The METCO Program in 2015 (co-authored with Christopher Bach, student).
    This research project was conducted with a criminal justice senior at Bay State College. For this project a week-long observation of a METCO student in a suburban school took place and along with a thorough review of the literature.

  • 2015, Perceptions of Solitary Confinement (co-authored by James Jones, PhD), Journal of Law and Criminal Justice, 3(2).
    This research study was conducted by interviewing individuals who were previously incarcerated and held in solitary confinement.

Research Currently in Progress

  • "I can’t get no satisfaction: assessing client satisfaction with public defenders versus private attorneys" completed by Erica Gagne and Shaina Ionin