Criminology and Criminal Justice Department

criminal justice students in front of a courthouse

 

The goal of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice is to provide students with a strong interdisciplinary foundation. Graduates are prepared to respond appropriately and ethically in challenging “real world” situations as they move on to careers in criminal justiceemergency and disaster management or for further education.

Our  Criminal Justice Program is one of WCU's largest, with residential or online options. The online Emergency and Disaster Management Program also has a residential minor. Each program of study brings together theory and hands-on practice through the curriculum, internships, independent studies, and student-faculty interaction, a hallmark of our department.

In conjunction with the goals of the University, the College, and the Department, our programs are based on the philosophy of a liberal arts education, grounded in social science methodologies.

Our curriculum emphasizes the interdependence of theory and practice in addressing "real world problems." Our emphasis on application guided by scholarship provides a strong, interdisciplinary foundation for future criminal justice and emergency and disaster management professionals.

The focus for undergraduate students is to achieve mastery of fundamental academic competencies and a basic level of expertise in the fields of criminal justice and emergency and disaster management.

The faculty are committed to provide high-quality education in criminal justice, emergency and disaster management, and criminology to our majors, other students across the University, and to the professional community.

Faculty and Staff

Our faculty have a wide range of expertise, experience, and interests. Recognized nationally for their research, these faculty members’ practical knowledge has been developed on the front lines of the criminal justice system in courtrooms, prisons, juvenile centers, and on the streets.

Name Contact
Dr. Stephen Brown, Department Head Belk 410
828.227.2174
browns@wcu.edu
Dr. Karen Mason, Assistant Department Head; Director of the Administration of Justice Program Belk 405D
828.227.2814
kmason@wcu.edu
Dr. Lisa Briggs; Director, Emergency & Disaster Management Program Belk 405A
828.227.2180
lbriggs@wcu.edu
Ms. Connie Bryson, Administrative Assistant Belk 410
828.227.2172
csbryson@wcu.edu

Dr. Julie Brancale Belk 410K
828.227.2172
jnbrancale@wcu.edu
Dr. Cyndy Caravelis Belk 410N
828.227.2165
caravelis@wcu.edu
Dr. Julia Crowley Belk 410B
828.227.2172
jccrowley@wcu.edu
Dr. John “Andy” Hansen Belk 410G
828.227.2145
jahansen@wcu.edu

Dr. Thomas Johnson Belk 405C
828.227.2563
tjohnson@wcu.edu
Dr. Al Kopak Belk 410E
828.227.2328
amkopak@wcu.edu
Professor J. Tom Morgan Belk 410D
828.227.2749
jtmorgan@wcu.edu
Dr. Ophir Sefiha Belk 410J
828.227.2176
opsefiha@wcu.edu
Dr. Bethany Van Brown Belk 410A
828.227.2172
blvanbrown@wcu.edu
Dr. Jamie Vaske Belk 410F
828.227.3615
jvaske@wcu.edu
Professor Aaron Vassey, Distance Learning Coordinator Belk 410
828.227.2172
pavassey@wcu.edu

Dr. Tasha Youtsin Belk 410C
828.227.2858
tjyoustin@wcu.edu
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