Criminology student receives USF’S Presidential Doctoral Fellowship Award

By: Nikki Sawyer

            The College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at USF is proud to recognize incoming criminology doctoral student, Alexander Toth, as the recipient of the Presidential Doctoral Fellowship. This is a prestigious award given to new doctoral students with exceptional academic and professional credentials from their previous institutions and work experience. Students are nominated through departmental graduate program directors only, then evaluated and determined by the USF Graduate Council Fellowship Committee. Students must be accepted into a USF doctoral program with no prior USF education.

            This award provides Toth with a $25,000 fellowship, as well as paid tuition and fees for up to five years, contingent upon his academic progress at USF. He also receives up to $1,000 in travel expenses related to research conferences where he is presenting his research.

            Toth obtained his masters degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati (UC); home to one of the top criminology departments in the world. There he earned a 3.91 GPA and greatly impressed the faculty.

            Currently, Toth is a supervisory U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent. After working in this capacity for many years, he will retire from this career prior to coming to USF. In this position, he oversees counter drug trafficking operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.  He is currently stationed in Brasilia, Brazil.He previously worked in Bolivia overseeing DEA operations until the DEA was expelled in the country. This professional experience has provided him with extensively detailed and intimate knowledge of both the transnational crime in South America and crime/justice in Brazil. Further, this occupational experience has connected Alexander with numerous contacts in law enforcement and the underworld of drug trafficking.

            These professional experiences and contacts are quite relevant for Toth’sfuturesince he intends to study transnational crime in South America and crime/justice in Brazil. This area of interest is truly groundbreaking, as there is little empirical research on transnational crime relating to South America or crime/justice in Brazil. However, transnational crime in South America, specifically Brazil, are burgeoning problems and will be high profile area of interests; particularly with the 2016 Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Criminology Department has no doubt that Toth will become a leading expert on these issues.