MTSU professor wins 3rd top national award for gan...

MTSU professor wins 3rd top national award for gang violence research

Dr. Carter Smith, lecturer in the Department of Criminal Justice

For the third time in his career, an MTSU professor has won one of his profession’s highest honors.

Dr. Carter F. Smith, a lecturer in the Department of Criminal Justice, received the Frederick Milton Thrasher Award from the “Journal of Gang Research” Aug. 8 at the International Gang Specialist Training Conference in Chicago.

Dr. Carter Smith

Dr. Carter Smith

The Thrasher Award was established in 1992 “to honor and recognize superior scholarship, leadership, accomplishments and service contributions by individuals and by programs in dealing with public safety issues like that posed by gangs,” as stated on the award certificate.

While Smith has won the honor twice before, this is the first Thrasher Award to single out his “superior scholarship.”

Smith is retired from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command, for which he served for more than 22 years, 15 of those at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. At Fort Campbell, he established the Army’s first gang and extremist investigations team.

MTSU WordmarkHe provided and directed the security of several U.S. Army bases, supervised multinational fraud and theft investigations and conducted various criminal and cybercrime investigations in Germany, South Korea, Panama and the U.S.

Smith’s areas of expertise include street gangs, military-trained gang members, gangs in the military, gangs in colleges and universities, organized crime, international and domestic terrorism and employment in the criminal justice professions.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University in 1999, his master’s degree from Southern Illinois University in 2002 and his doctoral degree from Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, Arizona, in 2010.

For more information, contact Smith at or go to

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