January 4, 2013
From a friend at another university regarding how to e-mail your college professor. Read and re-read and then PLEASE take the advice provided.
September 15, 2012
Came across an interesting book after watching The Colbert Report. The book is titled “Losing our Minds: Rethinking American Higher Education” and it is a fantastic read regarding the state of higher education in the United States. One of the main arguments is that our higher education system has lost its purpose of providing higher learning to its students. In the day and age where employment has become a focus for parents, students, and higher education we need to step back and reassess what is the real purpose of higher education. After all, it is called higher education NOT job preparation. This should signal that the purpose is provide something higher than students received in secondary education. I don’t think that there is one way to do this, and I think that colleges and universities need to decide how they will provide it. However, I do think that our obligation is to provide learning and not a set of finite tools that will soon be obsolete as technology continues to evolve.
Until Next Time,
September 3, 2012
Starting the second week of classes and it’s already been such great fun. I am really looking forward to the courses, projects, students, and activities. I am particularly interested in getting back into my own research after taking a year off to work heavily on another project.
This semester should be interesting for a number of reasons including a whole new group of students, but also some new assignments that I am exicted about students completing. Here’s hoping it goes well!
If students are interested in working with me on research projects, they should check out the Research tab on the blog.
Happy Fall 2012!
April 13, 2012
Connecticut has recently decided to repeal its death penalty. This makes it the 17th state to do so and a big step for this part of the country. This demonstrates that there are people of both political parties that are willing to embrace the possibility of dealing with crime in a way that does not involve putting people to death. A recent study by Amnesty International noted that the United States was 5th in number of people in executed last year. Though this number has been steadily decreasing, we are still the only industrialized nation that executes its criminals. If a country desires to join the European Union, it CANNOT have the death penalty. A country cannot have the death penalty and join the European Union! Thank you, Connecticut. Here’s to hoping that other states follow soon. By the way, the state of West Virginia does not have the death penalty and it is the only state in that area that does not. West Virginia has not executed any prisoner since the USSC found it constitutional in 1976. In fact, WV has not executed anyone since the 1950s. New York, on the other hand, abolished it only within the last 6 years.
February 29, 2012
I participated in two conferences this month focusing on higher education. The first conference was about pedagogy and gave me so many great ideas about how to keep my teaching fresh as I continue. It was so exciting to be around so many people who cared about being great teachers, about being the best teachers they can be. It’s refreshing to be in a positive environment where ideas can be exchanged freely and concerns are shared because it’s encouraged. There was a community formed over those days that showed me there are some really great people involved in higher education and I wish that those who spend their time describing faculty as lazy and uninvolved could have been there.
The most recent conference was about general education in higher education. There is so much that needs to be done with regard to this topic! This conference showed me there are some really good ideas that are out there regarding general education and we should be sharing them, not shying away from the topic because of fatigue. They had us consider this question: What kind of student do you want to graduate? What a great question this is! I have thought about this question since it was first posed and while I am still considering it, I have some thoughts. I want to graduate students who are interested in making their world better. I want to graduate students who have the ability to understand what is good information and what is bad information. I want to graduate students who think about what they do and what they say and choose to do and say the best possible things. I want to graduate students who had an experience in college that they thought was worthwhile.
Until next time,
February 29, 2012
Excited about the prospect of several research projects in progress. Students have been on board with helping with a grant on homelessness and there have even been students who have volunteered to assist with research where there is no pay! Over the next few weeks I hope to make a great deal of progress on research projects and have updates posted here. Specifically, I am working on a restorative justice project and a research project on people involved in women’s studies programs and their views of sexual deviance.
Last week, I had a new article published regarding diversity in higher education. The article, published in the Journal of Research in Education, focuses on the perspective of Hispanic students on the need to improve diversity at a University where most students and staff are Hispanic. It’s a really interesting article that was motivated by being the only African-American female faculty member on the campus and discussions with students regarding what diversity means.
Until next time,
February 15, 2012
Just entering the fourth week of classes and it seems like time is going soooo fast! Classes are getting into details and depth now and this is the exciting part of the year. The first test are coming up for students and I can tell that some are a little anxious about it. Hopefully, they will take the review, use it as a study aid, go over the course material well, and feel prepared on the day. Though my office is covered with paper and I am often in my office way longer than I need to be, I am still really enjoying all of my classes and students.
I am really excited about the student interest in assisting with paid AND unpaid research. That does NOT happen very often. I am so happy that students are interested in participating in the research process and want to get some experience (and maybe a little cash) from the research. So many students have expressed interest that we may actually have to split them into two. That is a great problem to have.
Until next time,
February 5, 2012
If any students are interested in assisting with the following research projects, please let me know. There are various roles and tasks that need filling and more information will be provided in the near future to those who are interested.
Homeless Grant-focuses on homelessness in Orange County (data entry & paid for work)
Restorative Justice-exploring what criminology and criminal justice programs across the US incorporate restorative justice into their curriculum (internet research and information collection)
Student Attitudes Survey-research on student attitudes regarding an aspect of social science (assisting with data collection)
If you are interested in any or all of the above projects, please contact me here OR use my MSMC e-mail address.
January 29, 2012
We have just concluded the first week of courses and I have to say that I am really excited about the 4 classes I am teaching this semester. From day 1, the students have been excited and engaged and not afraid to jump in to the material. This is exactly what we faculty want from classes and I hope that it continues throughout the semester. I feel that students are engaged and invested and I look forward to being in the classroom with them this spring term.
January 4, 2012
During the Spring 2012 semester, I will be teaching four courses at Mount Saint Mary College. These courses include: Introduction to Criminology, Social Problems, Comparative Criminology, and Conflict and Resolution. Copies of the syllabi for these courses will be available here and on e-class (through MSMC). In addition, there will be readings and other available information available here for these courses as the semester progresses.
During this upcoming semester, there will be opportunities for research participation and assistance. Details about these opportunities will be provided her during the course of the semester. Specifically, I will need students to assist with data collection and I will need students to serve as participants in research studies.
Please continue to check the site for updates on course and research-related topics for the upcoming semester.