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Christopher Magno

  • Associate Professor
    Criminal Justice Program
  • Associate Professor
    Sociology Program
  • Chairperson
    Criminal Justice Program

Criminal Justice is not only about studying crime; most of all, it is the praxis (theory integrated with practice) of justice. Its main goal is to understand crime in the tenets of realizing justice. The reality of crime and social injustice in the Philippines and my responses to them have shaped my teaching philosophy in criminal justice education.

I grew up in the Philippines where the millions of homeless and poor are treated as criminals, the innocent are imprisoned for political reasons, criminals become politicians, corruption in the government is normal, human rights violations are common, and poor inmates die behind bars without trials and for unspecified crimes. Crime and injustice in the Philippines is not only a reality but also a tragedy.  I responded to this tragedy as a community organizer and writer in TAMBULI, a national newspaper for the urban poor.

I worked for three years as community organizer at the Center for Pastoral Concern, a non-governmental organization that brings together out of school youth, students, women, workers and the urban poor in Metro Manila. We helped these sectors pursue their rights and interests. As an organizer, I assisted youth and urban poor communities in building associations and coalitions, developing local leaders, recruiting members, raising funds, and organizing campaigns and mobilizations that advanced their right to decent housing, education, food, jobs, and freedom of expression.  My muti-sectoral organizing experience was guided by Paulo Freire’s transformative social justice learning. It is a process of learning that breaks the culture of silence of the poor and nurtures their deep understanding of themselves and their society, which leads to their empowerment. To attain this empowerment, I helped facilitate and organize learner-centered workshops and seminars on self awareness, leadership, political campaigns, social analysis, gender sensitivity, and other topics. These workshops helped youth and urban poor develop critical awareness and self confidence while discovering their full potential.

My work with the urban poor continued when I became a writer for an urban poor national newspaper. My stories about their lives, my coverage of their struggles for secure and permanent housing, and my reporting on their mobilizations to stop government-sponsored demolition of their houses became a significant catalyst in taking their causes to national audiences.  With a commitment to transformative social justice learning and drawing on my experiences in that area, I set my goals  for teaching as my students explore theories and realities of crime and justice in the academic world. I seek to ensure that students will learn to: 1) communicate their ideas, express their feelings, and actively participate in the learning process; 2) develop a critical awareness of the root causes of crimes and injustice; 3) conceptualize an alternative justice system that is restorative, humanistic, gender sensitive, ecological, nonviolent, inclusive and participatory; and 4) participate in organizations that actively  address problems that affect the campus and the community.

To attain these goals, I create a friendly and affirming learning environment that makes students comfortable in articulating their feelings and ideas; even the most reticent student will gain sufficient self confidence to contribute his/her insight to the discussion. I also utilize small group discussions to create a climate of genuine listening, sharing and affirmation. I set up online forums to ignite  additional discussion outside of the classroom. I devise analytical tools that develop students’ critical learning of facts and theories of crime. A great example of this is the crime web exercise that I developed over several years of teaching criminal justice.

In the crime web exercise, I ask students to choose one crime incident and ask questions about why it occurred. They continuously interrogate the answers they  receive until they lay out webs of causes that contribute to the existence of a particular crime. This exercise leads student into discovery of various factors that contribute to the existence of crime and generates discussion of different theories of crime.

I instill in my students new ways of understanding crime and justice from the viewpoint of “new criminology,” which includes Critical Criminology, Green Criminology, Postcolonial Criminology, Feminist Criminology, Black Criminology, Convict Criminology, and Buddhist Criminology. I hope that through this teaching philosophy and strategy students can gain not only knowledge but also experience, not only skills but also vision, and not only critical thinking but also judicious participation. As I said in the beginning, “criminal justice is not only about studying crime but most of all it is the praxis of justice.

  • College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Year Research Fellowship Award (2009). College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington.   
  • Matias L. Ochoada Fellowship Award (December 2009). College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington. 
  • Criminal Justice Doctoral Fellowship Award (Spring and summer 2005). Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University, Bloomington.  Robert F. Borkenstein Graduate Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement Department of Criminal Justice. Indiana University, Bloomington May 2008.
  • Cooney-Jackman Endowed Professorship (2013-2016).Gannon University. Research: Urban Crime, Urban Issues and Geographic Information System. 
  • 2014  “The Big Award” . . .  “for demonstrating excellence in doing those ‘little’ things that make Gannon a caring place for our motivated students.” Gannon conferred this award after my students and I collected 3000 books for Erie refugee children.
  • 2015 “The Big Award” . . . “for demonstrating excellence in doing those ‘little’ things that make Gannon a caring place for our motivated students.” Awarded to recognize my initiative in organizing the Globalization Speaker Series and Community-based Mapping Exhibit.
    of Engagement for Early Career Faculty.
  • Awarded 1st Place in 2014 CETL’s Annual Teaching Technology Award.
  • Awarded 1st Place in 2013 CETL’s Annual Teaching Technology Award.
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Service-Learning

• Geographic Information System
for Environmental Engineering,
Marketing and Business
• GIS and Spatial Justice
• Crime Mapping
• Introduction to Criminal Justice
• Crime Mapping and Analysis
• Criminal Investigation
• Service Learning
• Ethics in Criminal Justice
• Issues in Criminal Justice
• Alternative Social Control

  • Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University, Bloomington. Dissertation: “Crime as Political Capital in the Philippines.” Minor: Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, 2010.
  • M.A. in Sociology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. Thesis: “President Joseph Estrada and Manila’s Urban Poor Movement,” 2004.
  • Certificate Courses in Geographic Information System
  • Bachelor in Secondary Education, Major in Social Science, Philippine Normal University, Manila, Philippines, 2009.
  • American Society of Criminology
  • Justice Studies Association
  • Academy of Criminal Justice and Sciences
  • Magno, C. (2012). Corruption and Revolution: Transformations of Crime into Political Capital in the Philippine. Critical Issues in Justice and Politics, volume 5, number 2. Southern Utah University Press. Weblink:
  • Lichtenwalter, S. & Magno, C. (2014) Ableism, Poverty and the Under-Celebrated Resistance. In S. Haymes, A.L. Joseph & M. Vidal de Haymes (Editors)  Routledge Handbook of Poverty and the United States (p. 444-455),  New York, NY: Routledge.Web link:
  • Magno, C. and Parnell, P. (2014) The Imperialism of Race: class, rights and patronage in the Philippine city. Race and Class Journal (Vol. 56, p. 69-85). Sage Publication and Institute of Race Relation, United Kingdom. Web link:
  • Magno, C (2014). Policing Poverty and the Criminalization of the Poor. PRAXIS—The Indiana University Alumni for International Human Rights Law Review, 1 (1): 30-37. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Press.Web link:
  •  Magno, C. (2015). “Cartography at the Grassroots: Fostering Research through Community-Based Mapping.” Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly. Volume 35, Issue number 4.  Weblink:
  • Magno, C., Yunkai Liu, and Anirudh Marthur. (2015) "Crime Risk Evaluation in Individual's Local Community." Conference Proceedings of MOBIHOC 2015 ACM 2015.No 11 (2015): 59-63. Print.Weblink:


Selected Presentations:

  • Magno, C. “Empowering Student Participation in Experiential Learning using Mapping Technologies and the Community-Based Participatory Research Model.” National Conference on Undergraduate Research. University of Kentucky, Lexington Kentucky. April 3-5, 2014.
  • Magno, C. “Cartography in the Grassroots: Fostering Research through Community-Based Mapping.” CUR 2014: Creating the Citizens of Tomorrow: Undergraduate Research for All. Washington, Distric of Columbia. June 8-July 1, 2014.
  • Magno, C. “Spatial Justice: Spatial Dynamics of Crime, Group and Social Service.” 2014 ESRI User Conference Paper Sessions. San Diego, California. July 14–18, 2014.
  • Magno, C and S. Lichtenwalter. “Disabling the Able: From the War against the Weak to the War on Terror.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Chicago, Illinois. November 14-17, 2012.
  • Magno, C. “In the Name of City: The Urban Infrastructure of Criminalization and the Manufacturing of Transgression.  Paper presented at the Ninth International Conference on the Philippines (ICOPHIL 9). East Lansing, Michigan USA. October 28-30, 2012.
  • Magno, C. and J. Schept  “Radical Criminology for Everyday Life.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, San Francisco, California. November 17-20, 2010.
  • Magno, C. and H. Pepinsky. “Domains of Crime and Oppression.” Paper Presented at the 13th Annual Conference of the Justice Studies Association, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA. June 9-11, 2011.
  • Magno, C. “Whipping the Colonial Bodies.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Washington, D. C.  November 16-19, 2011.
  • Magno, C. “The Politics of Criminal Performances.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Washington, District of Columbia. November 16-19, 2010.
  • Magno, C. “Savage Art: Distorting Filipino Identities from the United States to Philippine Caricature.” Paper presented in the 2009 Diversity Research Symposium. Ball State University, Muncie Indiana. November 14, 2009
  • Crime Data Analyst Erie Police District
  • Catographer and GIS Analysts Erie Downtown Development Corporation
  • Spring 2011. Organizer, Books for the Prisoners Project. I organized the Criminal Justice Service Learning class to collect and donate books to the Erie County Prison. This project collected 500 books for the Erie County Prison library. The objective of the project is to encourage the culture of reading among inmates and break the barriers and stigma between inmates and the community.
  • Spring 2011. Organizer, Story Book Project. I organized the Criminal Justice Service Learning class to collect books for the children of the Family Center in Erie Pennsylvania. Some students assisted parents in video recording their reading of a story for their children. The Family Center then sent the children’s books and videos to the children of parents who do not have legal custody of their children. The objective of the project is to reconnect children and parents through reading of children’s books.
  • 2014 Books for Refugee Project
Christopher     Magno

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Office: PC 1207

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