Dr. Andra J. (Katz) Bannister is Director of the Regional Community Policing Institute (RCPI) at Wichita State University where she also serves as the Director and Professor of the School of Criminal Justice. A prolific grant writer, Dr. Bannister has been awarded over $9 million in federal grants over the past 18 years. She is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and papers on community policing, computer crime, and police policy issues. She has conducted research in Europe and Asia, has provided training on computer crime and community policing to the Royal Thai Police, and provided training and technical assistance to a wide range of police agencies, notably in Kansas and Nebraska which are the service areas of the RCPI. Dr. Bannister has been recognized by the criminal justice academic community through her national election as a Counselor to the Police section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) and has also been the National Award Winner of the ACJS Best Paper Award two times. Similarly, she has been recognized by the policing community as Crime Prevention Practitioner of the Year by the Wichita Crime Commission—the top award by a highly respected civic organization. Dr. Bannister is an Academic Fellow with the Washington, DC-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) and has studied terrorism issues in Israel with police, military and intelligence organizations as part of that fellowship. Dr. Bannister has been a leader and innovator in community policing, offering the first Community Policing and Counterterrorism Courses in the country a mere two months after the 9/11 attacks. A former sworn reserve officer with the Wichita Police Department, Dr. Bannister is currently serving on two law enforcement advisory boards providing oversight for Department of Justice training grants: Blue Courage and VALOR.
In addition to her grant-related duties, Dr. Bannister is a full, tenured professor and Director in the School of Criminal Justice at Wichita State University which entails grant-writing, teaching courses, committee work, and administrative duties. She began her career in January of 1996 after graduating from Michigan State University with her doctorate.