Degrees & Programs

Ruch, Donna

PhD Candidate

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests
Juvenile delinquency and prevention
Juridical practice and policy reform
Youth development
Program implementation and evaluation


Donna Ruch is con-currently pursuing a Masters in the Study of Law from the Moritz College of Law while completing her doctoral degree in the College of Social Work. Her research agenda is focused on improving outcomes for youth involved with the juvenile justice system while advancing knowledge for judicial policy and practice reform. Her proposed dissertation topic examines the relationship between legal representation and dispositions for adjudicated youth, and how this may differ by race, contributing to the disproportionate incarceration of minorities in the juvenile justice system. Ruch’s research also recognizes global juvenile justice concerns and in 2014 was selected to represent the Ohio State University at an international symposium hosted by the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research in Bath, England that focused on youth issues. Selected publications in peer-reviewed journals include: “Using Strengths and Rapport to Engage Families of Youth Who Have Sexually Offended,” and “The Impact of Family Service Involvement on Treatment Completion and General Recidivism Among Male Youthful Sexual Offenders.” Ruch has independently taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in social work policy, program evaluation, and juvenile delinquency.