Dr. Kania originally majored in anthropology at Florida State University, where he earned his BA with Honors in 1968. He continued in anthropology at the University of Virginia, earning his MA there in 1974, and wrote his MA thesis on conflict resolution and the law ways of the Hopi of Arizona. Between his BA and MA degrees, he served in the Army in Berlin and in Vietnam. He also was a city police officer, and that experience led him to change his major midway into his doctoral studies, and to re-direct him into a teaching career in criminal justice.
He is extensively published with articles in over 20 journals. He has authored two books, co-edited another, and has edited one journal special issue, and several major government and research reports. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and has held offices in professional and public service organizations.