The Illuminations Program
Dr. Heather L. Pfeifer is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Baltimore, the Associate Director of the Roper Victim Assistance Academy of Maryland, and a facilitator for the Illuminations Program.
Her research interests focus on childhood victimization, its relationship to offending, and implementing trauma-informed policy and practices. She has been involved in numerous federal and state-funded research projects involving substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, victim services, and trauma-informed care.
I have had a lifelong fascination with the criminal justice system. When my mother was pregnant with me, her father was murdered. Consequently, I spent the first few weeks of my life in a courtroom while the trial was held. As I grew up, I had a lot of questions about the specifics of the case and how it was handled by the criminal justice system. As a result, I think both my parents and I always thought I would eventually choose a career in law.
She has served as a consultant to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, the Baltimore City Circuit Court–Juvenile Division, the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
She currently facilitates trainings for the Illuminations Program, a nationally recognized program on child sexual abuse and trauma, which focuses on how criminal justice agencies can more effectively respond to and assist victims and their families.
Heather received her B.S. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park.