Laci Fiala, Ph.D.

Director of the Eclectic Scholars Honors Program & Associate Professor of Crime, Law, and Justice and Sociology

Laci Fiala teaches a variety of courses in the core of the Crime, Law & Justice and Sociology majors, such as Introduction to Sociology, Research Methods, Issues in Law & Society and Criminology. She also has expertise with special topics ranging from victimology, school violence, and substance use and crime to social inequality, childhood and family.

Fiala is also a self-professed numbers nerd and quantitative researcher who specializes in survey research methodology and content analysis. Her research emphasizes youth, young adult and family issues. She has published and presented on topics ranging from school violence to young adult financial management to new parent experiences.

Prior to coming to Hiram, Fiala was a professor of sociology at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. There she taught over 20 different courses in sociology and criminal justice as well as specialty courses in the Honors Program and Global Scholars Program on topics such as cross-cultural issues in education, victimization and gender inequalities. She also served as chair of the faculty for three years and was the co-director of the Honors Program.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • B.S., Sociology and Speech Communication, Northwest Missouri State University

Research Interests

  • Motherhood/parenting
  • School violence
  • Youth studies
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Institutional effectiveness and assessment

Selected Publications

  • Szendrey, J., & Fiala, L. (2021 in press). Family communication, resources, and income in adolescence and financial behaviors in young adulthood. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning
  • Szendrey, J., & Fiala, L. (2018). “I think I can get ahead!” Perceived economic mobility, income, and financial behaviors of young adults. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 29(2): 290-303.
  • Mumford, J. M., Fiala, L., & Daulton, M. (2017). An agile K-12 approach: Teacher PD for new learning ecosystems. In C. Martin, & D. Polly (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Teacher Education and Professional Development (pp. 367-384). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Kaminski Mumford, J., Fiala, L. & Daulton, M. (2016). Teaching in 21st Century New Learning Ecosystems: Agile PD. In G. Chamblee & L. Langub (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 2101-2107). Savannah, GA, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from


  • Fiala, L.A. (2019, March). From Breastfeeding and Baby Wearing to Car Seats and Cloth Diapers: Millennial Mothers Seeking Online Support. Accepted and to be Presented at the North Central Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, OH
  • Fiala, L.A. (2018, April). Millennial Mothering Trends: A Review of Literature and Existing Statistics. Presented at the North Central Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Pittsburg, PA
  • Szendrey, J. & Fiala, L.A. (2017, June). Familial Influence on Financial Fitness: The Development and Validation of the Perceived Family Frugality Scale. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Dallas, TX.
  • Fiala, L.A. & Szendrey, J. (2017, April). Development and Application of the Adulthood “Launch Index”. Presented at the North Central Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN
  • Splendore, C. & Fiala, L. (2015, October). Enhancing Student-Advisor Interactions: Creating a Process for Assessing Advising Learning Outcomes. Presented at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Annual Conference. Las Vegas, NV.
  • Fiala, Laci. (2015, April). Social Media in the Introductory Sociology Classroom: Tips and Suggestions, Presented at the North Central Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Cleveland, OH
  • Fiala, Laci. (2015, April). Project-Based Learning: Using Content Analysis to Teach Social Research Methods, Presented at the North Central Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Cleveland, OH

Fun Facts

  • In her free time, Fiala enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband, three kids and three dogs.
  • She is equal parts sporty and crafty with a love of watching softball and college football and playing golf, while also crocheting and doing DIY projects at home. Stop by her office in Mahan House to see some of her crochet masterpieces hanging on the walls!

Additional Links

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