“Those who thrive at DeVry have a strong desire to learn, are self-motivated and have good time management skills.”
WHERE I COME FROM
Coming out of high school, I had no direction; I just didn’t know what to do with myself. My best friend enrolled in a nursing program at a community college and I went along with her. I took a criminal law course as an elective. The instructor, was incredible—vibrant, alive, engaging. He was a lawyer working in the field and brought in many real-world experiences, and he inspired me to switch to the criminal justice program. I had many interesting work experiences—as a private investigator, a loss prevention manager, and deputy sheriff—before I began teaching.
SHERIFF, TRAINING OFFICER, PROFESSOR
I worked in a Rhode Island Sheriff’s Department for eight years and never expected to leave. Soon after finishing my Master’s in Criminal Justice, the Sheriff’s Department started a training program for new field officers and hand-picked me to become a training officer. I found out I really liked imparting my knowledge to others to help them succeed in the field. I applied at DeVry and was offered a full-time, tenure-track position.
FLEX TIME, FLEX PLACE
One thing most DeVry students have in common is the need for a flexible schedule. I can relate to that. By the time I transferred from the community college to a four-year college, I was married and working full-time. It took me a long time to finish my Bachelor’s. The kids came along, life shifted into high gear, and I still wanted to continue my education. I had to live that balance from my Associate’s degree on up through my Ph.D. in Criminal Justice.
BEYOND THE BADGE
Though no longer a law enforcement officer, I stay on top of the field through former colleagues, family and local volunteer opportunities. My daughter is a police officer and I am part of a volunteer program that takes place in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. This program helps me to see both sides of justice, providing more insight from the offenders’ standpoint, whom our policies directly impact. I’ve also participated in annual meetings that DeVry holds with its national advisory board for the Justice Administration Program. Board members are not DeVry employees; they are justice professionals representing organizations that offer internships and they share what they look for in candidates. All this input was helpful when I redeveloped our entry-level course, JADM100.
BEGINNING AND END POINTS
I teach mostly entry-level and senior capstone courses. I like to see the difference between where students are when they come in and when they graduate. I post many videos and hold live sessions, which are very interactive and involve lots of role playing. I’m a facilitator, coach, and motivator. I create opportunities for students to practice. My teaching goal is to help students understand what the law is and how to apply it.
DeVry stresses independent thinking. We don’t teach you what to think; we teach you how to think.