FIGS Award: Professor Luis Soto
Each year at the Career Exploration and Success’s FIGS Celebration, they recognize 1-2 faculty members who have worked with their cohort of Peer Instructors for their outstanding support of their Peer Instructors. This year, Professor Luis Soto was nominated and awarded the “FIGS Faculty Mentor of the Year.”
CJ Toy Drive
The Criminal Justice Organization extends our sincere appreciation to all who generously donated toys and volunteered their time for our recent community engagement event supporting children facing adversity. Over 200 toys were collected and thoughtfully wrapped by more than 30 dedicated volunteers. We wish to thank Suydam St. Reformed Church, our community partner for this worthwhile cause.
Mark Desire's Assistance in Identifying the Victims of the Gilgo Beach Serial Killer
Assistant Teaching Professor for the Program in Criminal Justice, Mark Desire, helped to identify the victims of the Gilgo Beach serial killer through state-of-the-art technology that was used to identify 9/11 victims. You can read the full article here.
Mark Desire also starred in ABC's award-winning podcast called "Start Here" on the episode regarding 9/11. This podcast won the 2023 Edward R Murrow Award for “Excellence in Sound!” A link to the episode can be found here.
The Passing of Dr. Robert Szejner
Long-time CJ Assistant Teaching Professor, Robert (Bob) Szejner passed away on Saturday, June 17th after a courageous battle with cancer. Several faculty and staff, including me, spoke to him during the last several weeks and, despite his health issues, Professor Szejner was his usual upbeat, warm, and optimistic self, always thinking positively and thinking of others. So, we were very shocked and devastated to learn that he passed away so soon after.
Professor Szejner had been a vital member of the criminal justice program since 2006. During that time, thousands of students took his classes including Intro to CJ, Police, and Serial Crimes. He was also very proud of the fact that he acted “as the course facilitator for over 60 independent research courses, and 5 Honors Thesis courses.” Perhaps one of the most distinctive and important roles that Professor Szejner played and hopefully one from which some of you have benefitted was faculty advisor. Over the years, Professor Szejner advised countless students who were interested in criminal justice careers, especially in law enforcement. Having worked for nearly 30 years as a police officer in Trenton (1974 to 2003, retiring as Lieutenant), Professor Szejner was well-positioned to give tips and assistance with launching and advancing policing careers. Although I was never privy to his conversations with students, I can imagine based on my personal experience that they frequently included a funny anecdote or story from his career, a kernel of wisdom, a reassuring and disarming smile, and a sense that you were the only person that mattered to him at that moment.
Professor Szejner was a devoted teacher and mentor, a team player, and a genuinely kind and decent man. Although he is gone and leaves a hole in our Program that cannot be filled, his impact on our faculty, staff, and students will endure. And if we pass along some of Professor Szejner’s sage advice or emulate his kindness, his impact can endure forever. Here is a link to his obituary.
Director, Program in Criminal Justice
Program in Criminal Justice Distinguished Lecture
Please join the Program in Criminal Justice for a talk given by Monica Bell on October 13th, 2022 in Tillett Hall, Room 226 at 4:00pm.
Monica Bell is an Associate Professor of Law and Sociology at Yale Law School. Her areas of research include law and sociology, policing and the criminal legal system, and race and the law. Her scholarship aims to center the voices and perspectives of people who experience legal exclusion and oppression.
Keynote Speaker for the 32nd International Symposium on Human Identification
The Program in Criminal Justice's Instructor, Mark Desire has been selected as the keynote speaker for the 32nd International Symposium on Human Identification. The event, which is the largest forensic symposium worldwide will be held on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 in Orlando, Florida. Please click on this link for more information: https://www.ishinews.com/
Noura Erakat: Recipient of the Law for the People Award
The Program in Criminal Justice's Assistant Professor, Noura Erakat has been selected as the recipient of the Law for the People Award by the National Lawyers Guild.
The Program in Criminal Justice is delighted to announce that Elizabeth Vignuolo (Criminal Justice, 2021) has been awarded a Henry Rutgers Scholar award for her senior honors thesis, "Overly Punitive and Under the Reform Radar: The Felony Murder Rule and its Unlikely Origins," under the supervision of Professor Lisa L. Miller (Political Science and Program in Criminal Justice). This is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations Lizzie!
The Trial of Derek Chauvin for the Killing of George Floyd
The Program in Criminal Justice hosted a discussion panel on Monday, April 26th regarding the trial of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd.
Students Learn Harsh Reality of Justice System from Podcast
The Program in Criminal Justice's Director, Dr. Alec Walen, has been giving a course on a close up of crime and punishment while utilizing podcasts as a primary source.Please click on this link in order to view the full article: CJ course
Scarlet Speaker Talk
The Program in Criminal Justice's Director, Dr. Alec Walen was a Scarlet Speaker for the School of Arts and Sciences.Please click on this link in order to view the lecture: Scarlet Speaker Talk
Dr. Noura Erakat Op-Ed
Please view this interesting op-ed piece that the Washington Post Published for our faculty member, Noura Erakat.
The Passing of Dr. Patrick Carr
Dear CJ students,
I write this with a heavy heart. On April 16, a beloved and superb teacher, scholar, and friend, the former Director of the Program in Criminal Justice, Pat Carr, died from the cancer he had been battling for almost a decade.
Prof. Carr joined Rutgers, in Sociology and Criminal Justice, in 2005. He was well known for his outstanding work on young people and policing, youth violence and social control, and the transition to adulthood, including the books Clean Streets, Hollowing Out the Middle, Coming of Age in America, and Theories of Crime. But he always said that he was happiest in the classroom. His students meant the world to him. Even as he was back in treatment last spring, he didn’t miss a single class meeting, a testament to his dedication to his students.
I recall that I wanted to see him teach last year, so I sat in on a session of his Juvenile Justice class. He did a marvelous job of providing information and asking questions, giving students lots of time to talk, and yet keeping the class focused, and all with his normal sharp wit. I then found out that he hadn’t even planned to teach that day; he was supposed to have a guest lecturer, but the guest canceled at the last minute and Prof. Carr just stepped up without missing a beat. Only the best teachers can do that.
He was, to quote Julie Philips, the chair of the Department of Sociology, “a valued and beloved colleague – he gave honest and savvy advice, often with a dose of his wicked humor, and was extremely thoughtful, creative and resourceful in addressing problems. He was one of a kind.”
In the future, we as a Program will be devising other ways to honor him as well. We’ll keep you posted as those plans become concrete.
Meanwhile, if you'd like, you can make a donation to the Calliope Joy Foundation, established by Pat and his wife Maria Kefalas after their daughter was diagnosed with leukodystrophy. If you would like to send a note of condolence to Pat’s family, you can send to Maria Kefalas and his children (Camille (20), PJ (17) and Cal (10)), 420 Conshohocken State Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.
Director, Program in Criminal Justice
Dr. Anne M. Piehl, Winner of 2015 Presidential Public Service Award
Dr. Anne Morrison Piehl is the 2015 recipient of the Rutgers College Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award. The Rutgers College Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award honors members of the faculty, student body, or staff for volunteer service to government, professional and scholarly organizations, or the public.
Rutgers Launches New Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security
"Mass casualty events – terrorism, natural disasters and biological superbugs – are the challenges of the 21st century and confronting them calls for multidisciplinary public-private partnerships.
'For the next generation of homeland security professionals, multidisciplined public-private collaboration must be a part of your DNA,' said Tom Ridge, the country’s first homeland security secretary and keynote speaker at a Rutgers conference that brought together experts in emergency preparedness, disaster response and homeland security.
Rutgers, Verizon Team Up to Provide Lifeline for Domestic Abuse Survivors – and Boon for Environment
"When is a cell phone more than a cell phone? When it enables a survivor of domestic or dating abuse to reclaim her life.
Close to 2,000 refurbished cell phones are in the hands of formerly vulnerable women and men thanks to a partnership launched in 2008 between Rutgers and Verizon Wireless.
The used phones, dropped off in bins placed strategically on the university’s major campuses in New Brunswick, Camden and Newark, have been wiped free of existing numbers and loaded with 3,000 minutes of nationwide calling or texting.
Commencement 2014: 32 C.J. Graduates Receive Prestigious Albert Roberts Scholar Award
At this year’s commencement ceremony, 32 Criminal Justice graduates received the prestigious Albert Roberts Scholar Award. Each year this award is given to graduates who have demonstrated uncommon achievement in the Criminal Justice major. Students who receive this award must complete a minimum GPA of 3.8 in the major. This award remembers longtime faculty member Al Roberts, a scholar of victimology and social work, who had exemplary commitment to undergraduate education.
Children Are Collateral Victims When Mom Serves Time, Rutgers Academic Finds
"John was 15 when Rutgers academic Jane Siegel encountered him for the first time. His mother was in prison – a chronic thief and drug addict, she had been arrested 31 times and convicted 15 times.
Ten years later, John’s own rap sheet included eight arrests and two convictions. He’d held a series of dead-end jobs and saw little hope of anything better. He was chronically depressed.
Rutgers University Teams with A.C.L.U. to End Solitary Confinement for Incarcerated Juveniles
“Solitary confinement for incarcerated juveniles has been condemned by psychologists, federal agencies and the United Nations for hindering rehabilitation efforts and damaging children’s mental health.
Yet according to a Rutgers juvenile justice advocate, many of the 300 juveniles who are incarcerated daily in secure facilities in New Jersey have been punished with solitary confinement for several consecutive days.