Criminal Justice Program Grows in Response to Societal Needs
As Chowan University’s own Public Safety officers now don personal body cameras in light of recent events across the country, the University itself seeks to make even more changes in our region’s approach to criminal justice with new faculty additions and promotions within its growing Criminal Justice program. The new faculty see diversity as a key tool in today’s criminal justice education.
Associate Professor Lewis Nicholson has been appointed to serve as the new Chair of the Criminal Justice department at Chowan. Nicholson, whose wife Cynthia is the Chair of the English department and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, has finished all but his dissertation in American Studies from the College of William and Mary. He received his Masters degree in Administration of Justice from Webster University and his Bachelors degree in Public Administration, with a concentration in Law Enforcement, from the University of Arizona.
Active on campus in and outside the classroom, the Nicholsons have established a recent scholarship endowment to help need-based students at Chowan University reach for their dreams, with priorities towards a first generation college student.
“I enjoy teaching at Chowan University because the school’s mission is to provide the ‘average’ student an opportunity to earn a college degree in a Christ-centered setting. Chowan gives me the freedom to interject life skill subjects, such as morality, integrity and ethics, into my teaching,” stated Nicholson. “I also appreciate the fact that Chowan is meeting the needs of an underserved and often overlooked population. This environment provides me an opportunity to teach culturally diverse students. With that in mind, I try to be an example and a role model while encouraging all students to be prosperous and successful, regardless of their individual backgrounds or socioeconomic underpinnings.”
Through the Criminal Justices degrees at Chowan, like Corrections or Law Enforcement, the Department of Criminal Justice provides excellent educational opportunities for learning in a nurturing environment, combining teaching with service. Criminal Justice majors at Chowan University will gain vital skills and knowledge in the areas of criminal delinquent processes, criminology, law enforcement, law adjudication, and corrections, while evaluating the moral and ethical issues of public servants – a significant topic in today’s society in light of a growing skepticism against law enforcement.
To help grow this popular major at Chowan, the administration has decided to build upon the faculty roster and promote those who succeed. Former adjunct professor and Chowan graduate from the Class of 2012, Pamela Woodard has been employed full-time as Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice.
“Students at Chowan are fortunate to have the experience of being taught in an environment with diverse cultures which enhances their overall experience,” explained Woodard, who has worked for criminal defense attorneys for over 20 years.
Woodard, of Pendleton, NC, graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors as an Alpha Chi Scholar with a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences from Chowan’s Adult Degree Completion Program. Woodard then graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2013 with her Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from Walden University, and is currently pursuing her doctorate.
Also new to the Criminal Justice faculty is alum Geron Hyke, who has been employed as an Instructor in Criminal Justice. Hyke, from Murfreesboro, NC, graduated from Chowan in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and went on to receive his Masters of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Kaplan University. Hyke, also a graduate of Correction Officer and Parole Officer programs through the NC Department of Public Safety, credits the Chowan family with giving him a second chance in life.
“I started here at Chowan in 1999, a wide eyed freshman with no goals in mind. After 3 years, I was asked to leave because I did not meet academic standards. When I came back 6 years later, I had a different outlook on life that led me to where I am today,” Hyke tells. “I now have the chance to give back to the one place I can call home. Every student that comes through the doors of Chowan University needs to know one thing – as long as you are willing to do the work, Chowan University will always be there for you. I know because they have had my best interest in mind ever since I walked through the doors in August 1999.”
Chowan University has Faith in your future. That means doing whatever is best for you individually in order to meet your goals and fulfill your full potential. By meeting the needs of the individuals, we can start to meet the needs of our society, which brings us to improve upon our Criminal Justice program in order to address national concerns over the moral standing of law enforcement.
Congratulations to the growing Criminal Justice major at Chowan University! In further developing this popular program, Chowan University is able to produce even more ethical, law abiding leaders of tomorrow.