MANSFIELD, PA (02/27/2023) Mansfield criminal justice majors have recently been provided the opportunity to meet, learn from, and network with two criminal justice professionals during their classes.
Dr. Justin Crowl, criminal justice faculty member, said there has been a concerted effort to actively seek alumni and those working in the criminal justice field to help prepare students for their chosen career. Crowl’s spring senior seminar class is designed to help students integrate knowledge and assist them in developing analytical thinking skills. Having professionals within the criminal justice field speak to his students further enhances their knowledge and education.
“Students learn best when they’re empowered, supported, and actively involved,” Crowl said. “Our students learn by doing. These types of experiences enhance their professional and personal development and prepares them for a successful career and life after graduation.”
Jared Berken, ATF Special Agent and 2015 Mansfield alumnus, returned to campus in early February to speak with students in Crowl’s criminal justice ethics and senior seminar classes. Berken also spoke to students in Dr. Emily Wheeler’s policing class, about his job, federal law enforcement, and employment opportunities with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Since graduating from Mansfield, Berken has served as a patrol officer for the Aberdeen, Washington, police department; resident patrol deputy with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office; and is now assigned to the ATF’s Violent Crimes/Firearms Trafficking Group in Pittsburgh. He also serves in the Army Reserve as a civil affairs officer at the rank of captain in an Airborne Civil Affairs Battalion.
Marlin Smith, Williamsport Bureau of Police (WBP), also visited Mansfield in February. While there, he spoke to students in Crowl’s classes about WBP – who they are and what they do, their active recruitment drive, law enforcement, and career preparedness. Smith is a lieutenant, day watch commander, and field training supervisor for the bureau. He graduated with a degree in criminal justice from Bloomsburg and earned his ACT 120 certification from the Mansfield University Police Training Academy.
“I enjoy having guests from our field come and talk to us because it helps me learn about what kind of jobs there are to choose from. It also helps me figure out what kind of criminal justice profession I want to get into after I graduate,” said Rita Champaign, criminal justice major from Wellsboro.
“When professors bring in outside professionals to speak to the class, it gives the students ideas about what they can do with the degree they are pursuing,” said Felicia Saar, criminal justice and forensic psychology major from Olyphant. “The speakers always go above and beyond to explain their roles as an employee, tell the students how they got to where they are, discuss salary, and so much more information that can be useful to students. I am beyond lucky to have professors and outside professionals that care about expanding knowledge about career opportunities to the future professionals in the field.”
For more information about criminal justice at Mansfield, contact Crowl, department lead at Mansfield. at firstname.lastname@example.org or Wheeler at email@example.com.