Welcome to the latest issue of Criminal Justice News! In this issue we highlight some of the department accomplishments during the 2013-2014 academic year, and provide updates on plans for the 2014-2015 academic year.
The number of undergraduate majors continues to grow. We offered more classes than ever before, and they all filled. Interest in the major continues to grow, spurred no doubt by the creation of a stand-alone department and the wonderful recruiting and advising provided by Sis Keopanapay and Kelli Laxson.
Department faculty had an outstanding year in research. Faculty (and graduate students) published several books and a number of articles, along with their efforts in different projects and institutes, such as the Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice.
There have been some changes in the department. Andrea Butcherite joined the department this summer as the Graduate Program Coordinator. She will work with Dr. Faith Lutze, the incoming Graduate Program Director, to make sure graduate students are well taken care of. Dr. Otto Marenin has finished his term as Graduate Program Director and will be on a much-deserved research sabbatical during the coming year. Dr. David Brody will also be on a research sabbatical during the Spring 2015 semester.
We will be welcoming a number of new graduate students in August. These students come from as far as California and as close as our very own undergraduate program. We have suspended admissions to the online MA program for the Spring 2015 semester, as we have a full complement of online MA students. For the first time, virtually every eligible PhD has been provided funding of some sort—either as a Research Assistant on a grant, as a Teaching Assistant, or as a Grader. Our goal is to be able to provide funding for every PhD student, as well as qualified MA students. We still have a ways to go, but we are making significant progress.
The department intends to increase the type and degree of mentorship that it provides to graduate students. The Professional Development seminar is being offered in the Fall, and is intended for graduate students (MA and PhD) who seek a career in academe. The Professional Development Workshop series, begun last Spring, will continue in the Fall. Topics will include CV development, how to present at conferences, and online teaching strategies. The Graduate Student Association, under the leadership of President Roger Schaefer has a number of events in the works, as well.
The department also plans to increase the opportunities for undergraduate students to interact with faculty, and to get involved in their community. Alpha Phi Sigma, the student honor society, will again take the lead in organizing the department awards ceremony and service activities, along with the Criminal Justice Club.
Last year was very busy and very productive. This year looks to be every bit as busy and even more productive. I look forward to working with everyone to make the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology one of the leading departments at Washington State University.