Lawrence W. Sherman, a member of Denison University’s class of 1970, has been awarded the Wilbur Cross Medal by Yale University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for his outstanding achievements and contribution to society. Sherman is the first criminologist to win this medal in the 52 years since it was created. Previous winners of the Wilbur Cross Medal include Federal Reserve Bank Chair Janet Yellen, Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, and late Yale University President A. Bartlett Giamatti.
At Denison, Sherman is a mentor with students in the university’s Data Analytics Program, helping them solve real-world challenges, such as is working with law enforcement in Australia, using police reports to find ways to predict the frequency and severity of domestic violence incidents. He also has accepted Denison students to intern with him at the University of Cambridge in England.
A Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and the Wolfson Professor of Criminology at Cambridge University and Director of the Cambridge Institute of Criminology, Sherman also is the founding director of the Jerry Lee Centre for Experimental Criminology and serves as chair of the Cambridge Police Executive Programme. Considered to be the father of “evidence-based policing,” Sherman’s use of randomized controlled experiments to study deterrence and crime prevention has led him to examine such wide-ranging issues as domestic violence, police crackdowns and saturation patrol, gun violence and crime, crack houses, and reintegrative shaming. He has collaborated with more than 30 police and justice agencies around the world.
Sherman is a mentor with students in the university’s Data Analytics Program, helping them solve real-world challenges.
Included among the numerous awards Sherman has received for his research are the Edwin Sutherland Award for outstanding contributions to the field of criminology from American Society of Criminology; the Joan McCord Award for distinguished experimental contributions to criminology and criminal justice from the American Society of Criminology; the Bruce Smith Sr. Award for outstanding contributions to criminal justice from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences; the Distinguished Scholarship Award in Crime, Law and Deviance from the American Sociological Association; the Beccaria Medal in Gold from the Society of Criminology of German-speaking Nations; the Robert Boruch Award from the International Campbell Collaboration; and the Benjamin Franklin Medal and Honorary Life Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. He also was presented the Alumni Citation from Denison.
Sherman is the founding president of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, and he is a fellow of the American Society of Criminology. Having earned his bachelor’s degree from Denison, a master’s from the University of Chicago, a diploma in criminology from Cambridge University and a doctorate from Yale, he holds honorary doctorates from Stockholm University and Denison University. Sherman delivered the Commencement Address at Denison in 2014.