From the series Faculty Awards for Excellence 2021–2022

2021–2022 Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence: Community Engagement

Jeff Cigrang

Jeff Cigrang

Jeff Cigrang, Ph.D., professor and director of clinical training in the School of Professional Psychology, received the 2021–2022 Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence: Community Engagement for his immensely positive impact on Montgomery County and other local communities. He has partnered with multiple clinics, behavioral health services, area schools and the Montgomery County Jail.

Cigrang began his work with the Montgomery County Jail in 2015 when he consulted for a county working group focused on the problem of women with severe drug addiction who were turning to street sex work. He assisted in developing an intervention that would change the cycle of repeated arrests and relapses.

His work resulted in a partnership with former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley on a related project, the Buyer’s Remorse Campaign, which discourages people from engaging in prostitution-related offenses.

In addition, Cigrang’s students and interns co-authored multiple conference papers after interviewing about 125 women in the Montgomery County Jail with a history of drug-related arrests. After learning that over half of the inmates have children, Cigrang worked with jail staff to develop parenting classes for inmates. His students also have multiple class series for inmates.

Teresa Russell, criminal justice outreach director at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, said Cigrang’s work has been instrumental in assisting with the assessment and coordination of treatment for inmates.

“Our jail has not only become the largest detox and mental health facility in our county, but it has taken a nontraditional role in serving as a starting point for initiation intervention to those individuals touching the criminal justice system,” Russell said.

Alongside his work with inmates, Cigrang worked with jail administrators and their contracted medical agency to develop the first forensic practicum site in a jail. School of Professional Psychology doctoral students receive experience in a jail setting and provide jail leadership with much-needed assistance in behavioral health services to the jail population. The practicum is currently in its second year.

Cigrang also led initiatives to provide mental health services to the community following traumatic events such as the 2019 Orgon District shooting. He coordinated efforts with SOPP student volunteers at the Ellis Institute and Reach Out Clinic to offer free walk-in mental health services to anyone impacted by the shooting.

Cigrang’s colleagues describe his work as transformative and significant to the community. His work with the Montgomery County Jail has led to additional connections, including work for Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services Board and other community organizations to provide more support and engagement in the Dayton community.

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