Dr. Cheryl P. May has served as director of the Criminal Justice Institute since 2009. She has 29 years experience as a forensic professional having previously served as deputy director, assistant director and program manager at CJI.
May earned a Ph.D. in biological/forensic anthropology at the University of Tennessee, an M.A. in biological anthropology from Western Michigan University and a B.A. in anthropology from West Virginia University. Since her arrival in Arkansas, she has assisted Arkansas law enforcement in the investigation of hundreds of cases, either through laboratory analysis and evaluation of skeletal remains or in the identification and field recovery of suspected human remains.
May took the lead in developing three unique academic programs that allow active members of Arkansas law enforcement to earn certificates and associate degrees in crime scene investigation and law enforcement administration. She coordinated efforts to establish partnerships with 22 Arkansas institutions of higher education and promote these programs to law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
She is president of the Arkansas Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. She is also currently serving as chair of the First Responder Subcommittee of the Legislative Task Force on Autism and has served as a subject matter expert for the Crime Scene Issues Subcommittee of the U.S. Department of Justice National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence.