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In Memoriam David Mueller, Ph. D.

Dr. David Mueller

The Department of Criminal Justice is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dr. David Mueller on August 20th. We, his colleagues and students in the department and friends across the campus of Boise State University, mourn the loss of an excellent colleague and professor and an amazing friend.

Dr. Mueller began his academic studies at San Jose State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration in August of 1991.  He then pursued further educational aspirations at Washington State University, earning a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice in 1994 and a Ph.D. in Political Science with specialization in criminal justice, public administration, and applied policy studies in 2001.  Under the direction of Dr. David C. Nice, his dissertation was entitled “Kids, Cops, and the Politics of School-Based Crime Prevention:  An Assessment of the Spokane Police Department’s Community Safety Education Program.”  During his time at Washington State University, he served as graduate instructor and teaching assistant for the Program in Criminal Justice and as a Teaching and Research Associate for the Washington State Institute for Community Oriented Policing at Washington State University-Spokane.

In 1997, Dr. Mueller started his academic career as an Assistant Professor for the Department of Criminal Justice at California State University, Los Angeles, teaching courses in police organization and administration, juvenile justice, and crime control policy.  In 1998, Dr. Mueller took a position as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Idaho where he taught courses in juvenile justice and delinquency, police and society, introduction to the justice system, and issues in contemporary policing.  From 1999 to 2001, Dr. Mueller served as a Juvenile Counselor with the Northwest Children’s Home in their juvenile sex offender treatment program in Lewiston, ID.  Dr. Mueller arrived at Boise State University in 2001 as an Assistant Professor.  He later earned tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005.  He served as the Department Graduate Coordinator from 2006 to 2009.  Dr. Mueller taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate level in the following areas:  graduate seminar in juvenile justice, juvenile justice, introduction to criminal justice, schools and delinquency (undergraduate and graduate) and senior seminar.

Dr. Mueller was an expert on juvenile justice and school violence.  His recent thirst for knowledge was in school violence as evidenced by his recent publication history and in his direction of graduate student theses and projects.  He was an accomplished scholar who was published in several reputable peer reviewed journals, such as Crime and Delinquency, Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, and Journal of Criminal Justice Education.   Dr. Mueller authored and co-authored numerous books and book chapters on juvenile justice and delinquency and law enforcement.  Dr. Mueller conducted research in the community, authoring and co-authoring technical reports in the area of juvenile justice and delinquency and substance abuse treatment program evaluation.  He was an excellent collaborator with other faculty and students within the department and scholars outside of the department.

Dr. Mueller was a substantial contributor to the discipline of criminal justice.  He was currently serving as the Region V Trustee to the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS).  He participated in a myriad of committees for the ACJS, including chair of the Juvenile Justice Section Awards committee, member of the Bruce Smith Award committee and reviewer of multiple student paper competitions.  At the regional level, Dr. Mueller was instrumental in the success of the Western Association of Criminal Justice (formerly known as Western and Pacific Association of Criminal Justice Educators), serving in all leadership capacities, including President in 2006-2007.  For the university, Dr. Mueller’s service spanned all levels:  University curriculum committee, College curriculum committee, multiple search, promotion and tenure, and graduate student thesis or project committees.

Dr. David Mueller was known as a passionate teacher and a good-natured professional.  He worked tirelessly to assist the department and the Academy in multiple ways without hesitation.  Faculty, staff, and graduate students looked forward to his annual Halloween party.  Many times, he was in attendance at department functions including Dr. Bostaph’s football parties often competing with Dr. Giacomazzi for top guacamole billing.  He was always kind and caring to his colleagues and their families, often making them feel welcome in the department and at social functions.  Beyond his scholarly achievements, Dave could always be counted on to add a splash of fun to department meetings, functions, and conferences.  He will always be remembered for his smile, contagious laughter, and willingness to poke fun at himself.  We will surely miss him.

Dave is survived by his sons, Kyle and Ryan, his sister, Bridgette Curry, and his brother, Hal Mueller.

Our deepest sympathies go out to his sons, Ryan and Kyle, and the rest of his family.

The memorial service for Dr. David Mueller was held on Friday, August 24, 2012 at Cloverdale Funeral Home, 1200 N. Cloverdale Road in Boise.

To share memories with the family please visit Dave’s memorial webpage at

A scholarship has been created in honor of Dr. Mueller