The 2023 NGCRC 26th International Gang Specialist

Training Conference (July 31 - August 2, 2023):

A Look at the Presenters


Last Updated: Sept. 22, 2022


Pricila Avila, B.S.

            Ms. Pricila Avila, B.S. is a graduate student in the Criminal Justice & Criminology program at the University of Central Missouri. She earned her Bachelor of Science - BS in Criminal Justice and Spanish from University of Central Missouri. She is currently working towards a M.S. in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Central Missouri. Pricila is a member of UCM’s Lambda Alpha Epsilon competitive criminal justice team and Alpha Phi Sigma, the Criminal Justice Honor Society.

Chief Scott C. Booth

            Chief Scott C. Booth has been in law enforcement for over twenty-eight years and is currently the Chief of Police in Danville, Virginia. Chief Booth first joined the Richmond Police Department, where he served for 19 years, rising to the rank of major. In August of 2015, he joined the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in Washington, DC, where he served as the Chief of Police. In February 2018, he became the chief in Danville, Virginia, where he has focused on community engagement and reducing violent crime, specifically gang crime in the community. Since his tenure started, Danville has reduced overall violent crime by 64 percent. Chief Booth has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond in Human Resource Management and Leadership Studies and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a graduate of the 268th session of the FBI National Academy and the 48th session of the Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) Senior Management Institute for Police.


Michael Coghlan, JD 

            Michael Coghlan was a certified gang specialist accredited through the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Springfield Police Department. He served as a trainer for gang crime specialist certification. He is a recipient of the Thrasher Award and has provided training throughout the United States for the National Law Enforcement Institute. He coordinated the investigation and prosecution of 24 gang members in a series of conspiracies, solicitation, and offenses including drive-by shootings and gang-related murder.

Wendy K. Cornejo, JD

            Wendy K. Cornejo is currently an Assistant United States Attorney at the United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Tennessee. Mrs. Cornejo is assigned to the Organized/Violent Groups Unit. From 2004 to 2018, she served as an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago, IL where she prosecuted all violent felonies which included murder, sex charges, and armed robberies. Mrs. Cornejo earned her Juris Doctor in 2003 from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, IL. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1999 from Bradley University located in Peoria, IL. Mrs. Cornejo is a member of the Illinois State Bar.


Robert T. David Sr.

            Robert T. David Sr., Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Coordinator. 2020 recipient of th Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for Excellence in Gang Intervention. M.A. in addiction and professional counseling. Creator of Project Imagine the Virginia Municipal League President award winner of most innovative program.

Dr. Gregg W. Etter Sr., Ed.D.

            Dr. Gregg W. Etter Sr., Ed.D., is a Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Missouri. He retired as a Lieutenant with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office after serving from 1977 to 2006. He is rated as a gang expert by the National Gang Crime Research Center. He has written extensively and presented classes on gangs, white supremacist groups and police management topics in the United States and Canada. Dr. Etter earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Wichita State University and his Doctorate degree from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Etter is the author of numerous books, book chapters, edited and refereed articles. His latest book is: Gangs and Organized Crime which he authored with Dr. George W. Knox and Dr. Carter F. Smith.


D. Lee Gilbertson, Ph.D.

            D. Lee Gilbertson is a tenured professor at a state university in Minnesota and has been teaching since August 2000. He has studied gangs, militias, and extremist groups since 1995. He actively consults in the US and the UK with attorneys, law enforcement investigators, and medical examiners in the areas of forensic victimology and postmortem assessment, as well as crime analysis and mapping. Lee has presented at numerous national and international conferences and has participated in all of the NGCRC Gang Colleges. He is a recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award (2002, 2005, 2008) and the Curtis Robinson Leadership Award (2015). Lee is the Executive Editor for the Journal of Gang Research and is a member of the NGCRC Staff. His background includes a Ph.D. in sociology, MS in criminal justice, and 16 years of exemplary military service (infantry and signals intelligence).

Myah I. Grimm

            Myah I. Grimm is an undergradute student pursuing a dual major in Criminology and Criminal Justice and Political Science at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO, with an anticipated graduation date of May 2022. Upon graduation, she intends to further her studies and attend law school. Myah serves as the Vice President of Lindenwood University’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Myah’s research interest include social injustice, women’s rights, and the over representation of certain groups in the justice system.


Dr. Ternae T. Jordan, Sr.

            Dr. Ternae Jordan is a highly respected leader and inspirational speaker. He is one of the world’s leaders in spiritual enlightenment, community engagement, and leadership. He is a pastor, mentor, father, and a worldwide transformational and inspirational speaker. For more than 40 years, Dr. Jordan created and shaped community and national initiatives. He is known for his passion and enthusiastic style of delivery and his ability to connect and translate his skills and knowledge into transformational ideas. His passion for serving God and compassion for reaching people extends far and wide. In 1992, he created the award-winning Stop the Madness program. He has received numerous awards, recognitions, and honors including the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service recognizing him for outstanding public service. Indiana Governor Joseph E. Kernan awarded him the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, the highest honor bestowed on a citizen in the State of Indiana. The word “Sagamore” was a leadership word used by American Indian tribes to describe a great person among the tribe to whom the existing chief would consult for wisdom and advice. Sagamore also means “respected chief” and first appeared in reference to Chingachgook in the classic book The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper.

George W. Knox, Ph.D.

            George Knox earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He has extensive field experience with gangs, including interviewing gang members, gang leaders, and gang victims. He has taught in the field of criminal justice and sociology. He serves as the Executive Director of the National Gang Crime Research Center. He was the author of the first full textbook on gangs (An Introduction to Gangs) and other books and monographs on gang topics. His research interests include how to deal with gang problems in probation/parole, juvenile corrections, adult corrections, and gang threat analysis — examining the gang as a unit of social organization.

P. Neal Oldham, JD

            P. Neal Oldham has been a prosecutor for 18 years. He spent his first five years in rural Tennessee as an Assistant District Attorney. He then moved to the Shelby County DA’s office which prosecutes cases arising out of Memphis, TN, staying for eight and one-half years spending most time in the Gang Unit prosecuting gang homicides. While in the Shelby County DA’s Gang Unit he and other ADA’s along with local and federal law enforcement reconstituted the Shelby County Multi-Agency Gang Unit “MGU”. In 2018 he moved to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee where he is assigned to the Organized/Violence Groups Unit. He earned his Juris Doctor in 2004 from the Cecil Humphrey School of Law in Memphis, TN. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Memphis in 1999. He was the 2008 Tennessee District Attorney General’s Conference President’s Award Winner which recognizes the state prosecutor of the year. He is a member of the Tennessee State Bar.


Douglas L. Semark, Ph.D.

            Douglas L. Semark, a nonprofit leader with four decades of experience, including 17 years as Executive Director of the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP) in Los Angeles. Semi-retired, he now serves as Executive to the Board and Chief Learning Officer. He provides gang and violence prevention professional development for K-12 school counselors; serves in various advisory capacities; works with various agencies in the areas of violence reduction and community rebuilding, including Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles and the UCLA/Rand Prevention Research Center. He is currently the Director of the Gangfree Life Academy®.

Grant Shostak, Ed.D., JD

            Grant Shostak, EdD, JD is an associate professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. Grant’s extensive experience defending persons accused of criminal offenses and as a law clerk to the late Judge Paul J. Simon at the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, provides a unique viewpoint on criminal justice issues. His research interests are varied and reflect his interdisciplinary educational background.

Elvis Slaughter, MS

            Criminologist Elvis Slaughter served as a fire and police commissioner, and is a retired Cook County Sheriff’s Superintendent with more than thirty years’ experience in criminal justice, corrections, and law enforcement. Slaughter holds a Master’s in Criminal Justice and Corrections. He has authored several articles and ten books, which include Safer Jail and Prison Matters, Mentally Ill Inmates and Corrections, and Preschool to Prison. Elvis is a speaker, security consultant, and correctional auditor. He is also a member of the American Jail Association, American Correctional Association, Hammond Police Citizen Advisory Commission, National Sheriff’s Association, Illinois Sheriff’s Association, and former president of he Illinois Academy of Criminology. Elvis taught criminal justice at the college level.


Grant Smith

            Mr. Grant Smith is a member of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) National Crime Information Center (NCIC) external training staff. Mr. Smith is a retired police officer with twenty-two years of law enforcement experience. For twelve of the twenty-two years, he was assigned to a multi-jurisdiction and multi-agency narcotics and violence crime task force as a task force agent and supervisor. Other law enforcement experience includes time in the Patrol Division, Investigations Division, and as a Special Response Team as a team leader. He also served as an investigator on the county’s Child Sexual Abuse Task Force. Additionally, he was a member of the department’s Counter Drug Reaction Team, and the department’s Police Honor Guard. Immediately upon retirement from the police department, Mr. Smith served as a member of a forensic team with the Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell (CEXC) in Baghdad, Iraq. As an FBI training instructor, Mr. Smith conducts training for municipal, county, state and federal agencies. He is also part of the FBI’s New Agent Training Team in Quantico, VA and participates in CJIS internal training. In 2015, Mr. Smith was the recipient of the Frederic Thrasher Award for Superior Service in Law Enforcement Training. Mr. Smith is a United States Navy Veteran.


Mackenzie Williams

            Ms. Mackenzie Williams is a graduate student in the accelerated master’s program in Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Central Missouri. Her undergraduate studies involved a dual major in criminal justice and sociology. Mackenzie is a member of Lambda Alpha Epsilon-Gamma Epsilon Delta (LAE-GED), Alpha Phi Sigma (APS), National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), and is a criminal justice student ambassador. Ms. Williams is employed with the Department of Homeland Security with the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a National Preparedness Directorates Action Office.