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Celebrating 50 Years of Criminal Justice Education at Boise State: December 2016

Public Interest: Boise State School of Public Service
Photo of Dean Corey Cook

December, 2016

Very few academic disciplines can impact our lives as powerfully and directly as Criminal Justice. We recently celebrated 50 years of criminal justice education at Boise State, recognizing a program that began serving a handful of “Criminology” students during the Johnson Administration. Times have changed, and today Criminal Justice is the largest program within the School of Public Service.

In this issue of Public Interest, we’ll show you a few of the ways we are educating students to better serve the community, introduce you to a few of our newest professors, show you how our students excel, and examine some of the challenges of a constantly-changing public policy environment.

So happy 50th Anniversary to our Criminal Justice program. And here’s to 50 more years educating the students who serve the public so well.

Corey Cook
Dean, School of Public Service
Boise State University

decorative abstract holiday image

Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society Spreads Holiday Cheer to Kids in Need

Image of students
(Left to right) Shelby McIntire, Amanda Humphries and Sydney Leyton of Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society purchasing gifts for kids in need.

The Boise State chapter Alpha Phi Sigma recently raised donations to purchase gifts for 25 children in the Treasure Valley. They then purchased and organized the gifts at a local Target (see photos on Facebook). In this annual project, APS works with Family Advocates to help children and families through the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children program.

Several professors from the School of Public Service’s Criminal Justice program joined the students in the project. Students were excited to be a part of bringing smiles to kids who might otherwise not receive anything this year. Alpha Phi Sigma Treasurer Amanda Humphries added, “the greatest thing about this is that it goes back to kids locally so we’re impacting the community right here in Idaho.”

Alpha Phi Sigma is the only National Criminal Justice Honor Society for Criminal Justice majors. The society recognizes academic excellence of undergraduate, graduate, and juris doctorate students of criminal justice. Boise State’s Alpha Kappa Chapter is one of the most active chapters of the 300+ in the nation.

Read More About Alpha Phi Sigma >


Lambda Alpha Epsilon Takes Home Awards in Regional Competition

LEA Conference attendees

Lambda Alpha Epsilon (LAE) – a student organization for those interested in a career in the criminal justice system – recently participated in several competitions a regional conference in Ontario, California. Boise State students, advised by Assistant Professor Dr. Cody Jorgensen, took home 10 awards including:

  • 1st place Professional Division Criminal Law: Matthew Thompson
  • 1st place Professional Division Crime Scene Investigation: Timothy Alvarez & Matthew Thompson
  • 1st place Upper Division Crime Scene Investigation: Ashlynn Higbee, Tori Thibault and Caterina Moritz-Gutierrez

The LAE team will next attend a national conference in Austin, Texas, in March 2017.


Idaho on Parole: Grappling with Freedom in the Justice Reinvestment Era


Almost half of the 50 states have passed criminal justice reform over the past decade. The goal has been to save money and encourage rehabilitation by limiting lengthy sentences for nonviolent offenders. Eighteen months ago, Idaho implemented the Justice Reinvestment Act, which has so far saved the state $14 million while reducing the prison population by 3 percent. In Idaho On Parole, Nicole Bare Kinney writes about challenges parolees face as they try to make a life for themselves outside of prison.

Read Idaho On Parole in The Blue Review >


Criminal Justice Program Welcomes Three New Professors

Three Boise State professors
(Left to right: Jacqueline Lee, Shaun Michael Gann, Jessica Wells)

Boise State’s Criminal Justice program is building on its tradition of excellence by welcoming three new professors for Fall 2017.

Shaun Micheal Gann comes to Boise State by way of Columbus State University in Georgia. A former parole officer, Gann also taught at the University of Cincinnati.

In addition to earning a PhD from the University of Maryland, Jacqueline Lee earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Jessica Wells comes to Boise State from Sam Houston State in Texas.


Criminal Justice Program Celebrates 50 Years

Image of Ted Hopfenbeck and Marianne Hudson

Boise State’s Criminal Justice program celebrated its 50th Anniversary with an event at Boise State’s Student Union. Attendees were treated to a presentation detailing highlights from each of the five decades of Criminal Justice at Boise State. Two hundred attendees received a commemorative coin from the event and a good time was had by all.

See More Images from The CJ 50th Anniversary on Their Facebook Page >