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Department of Criminal Justice hosts Open House
The Department of Criminal Justice hosted an open house for high school seniors and their families. Attendees were welcomed by Dr. Burke, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Owen, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, and Radford Police Chief Goodman, a graduate of the Radford University’s Department of Criminal Justice. Dr. Burke said, "This was an extremely successful event. The presentations by the students, practitioners, professors, and Admissions, were impressive. I am sure that those attending the Criminal Justice Open House found it both engaging and beneficial. Hopefully, we will see those students in attendance as part of the Radford University Department of Criminal Justice 2016 freshman class."
Attendees also heard from a panel of current students about their experiences within the department and answer questions from students and parents. Career and future goals for panel members included law enforcement, law school, and graduate school so they represented the entire student body of criminal justice majors. Panelists relayed experiences in research, internships, and campus organizations. Dr. Owen said of the event, “I¹m pleased that we were able to share the tremendous opportunities that the Radford University Criminal Justice program can offer to our students. Whether their goals are focused on policing, the courts, corrections, law school, or graduate school, we strive to provide students with the opportunities that can help them to achieve professional success.”
Participants attended sessions on crime scenes, crime mapping, and current issues in criminal justice. Mr. Eric Snow, Special Purpose Faculty member, utilized a mock crime scene on the Multipurpose Activity Court in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Attendees viewed the scene and located evidence while hearing about crime scene techniques, evidence collection, and the forensic studies minor. Forensic equipment used by the department for teaching was on display for participants to explore. Dr. Isaac Van Patten, Professor of Criminal Justice, facilitated a session on crime mapping. Dr. Van Patten, who is currently embedded as a criminologist within the Roanoke Police Department, discussed crime theories and crime mapping applications for criminal justice to provide information on the department’s course offerings and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Crime Analysis. Mr. Ben Wright, Special Purpose Faculty member, led a classroom based discussion on current issues in criminal justice. Students and parents were given the opportunity to dialogue about a current issue within the criminal justice field. Mr. Wright opened the discussion with a brief presentation regarding the issue of mass incarceration in the United States. Students and parents discussed issues such as drug laws, sentencing laws, and other factors that have led to higher incarceration rates in the United States as compared to other countries. The purpose of the discussion was to replicate the type of classroom experience students would have in the Criminal Justice Department at Radford University. Dr. Owen commented, “Our program blends theoretical ideas about crime, law, and justice with their practical applications. As our student panelists and presenters described today, our classes, our professional relationships with criminal justice agencies, and our co-curricular activities help to do so.”
The event concluded with an information session with Admissions staff and optional campus tours, including a visit to the new College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building. Dr. Owen conveyed his enthusiasm about the new building with attendees, “It¹s going to be a great facility, and one that models a variety of professional work spaces.”
Additional photographs of this event are available on the Department’s Facebook page - Department of Criminal Justice – RU. The Department of Criminal Justice will host a similar event for high school juniors in March 2016. Additional details will be available in the coming months.