The Lee P. Brown Criminal Justice Institute of Wiley College has formed an advisory board consisting of local leaders and professionals in the field of criminal justice to support the institute's goals of producing career-ready graduates. "The mission this board sets out to accomplish is getting criminal justice students job-ready and prepared to walk into an entry-level position and meet requirements of the job," said Dr. Tracy Andrus, Director of the Institute, after the board's first regular monthly meeting in late November. " Our goals include preparing our students mentally, and training them on attitude, professionalism and how to interact with people."
Other main goals of the board include advocating for the College through members' circle of influence, assisting in identifying internships for criminal justice majors, and ensuring that the criminal justice curriculum is robust and meeting the needs of students.
Members of the advisory board come from a wide range of criminal justice professions. They are Jesus Campa, Chief of Police in Marshall; Tom McCool, Sheriff of Harrison County; Stephanie Heffner, Director of Public Safety with East Texas Council On Governments; Eric Hatley of the Willoughby Juvenile Justice Center; Deidra Phillips of Child Protection Services; Ruby Marks of the Marshall District Parole Office; Donnie Turner of the U. S. Marshals Service; Jon Charvis, Chief of Security at Wiley and Dr.Andrus. Recent Wiley College criminal justice graduate Karen Lester and current Wiley criminal justice majors Brianna Sherman and Breeann Jones, also serve on the board.
"Having members from different backgrounds helps students understand that there are a broad range of opportunities in the criminal justice field, " said Stephanie Heffner. " I have served on numerous boards, and anything that has to do with criminal justice, I want to contribute to it."
Breeann Jones, a senior at Wiley, says serving on the board has afforded her the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge as she defines her career path. "The direction I am going to go in criminal justice is preparing for and pursuing a career as a juvenile judge. I enjoy being on the board. It has been a real eye-opener on what to expect on the job."
The board's November meeting was its first since its inaugural gathering in mid-October. It will meet the last Wednesday of each month throughout the 2016-2017 school year.
For more information about the Lee P. Brown Criminal Justice Institute or the Criminal Justice advisory board, please contact the Willey College Criminal Justice Department at (903 )923-2420 (office) or send e-mail to [email protected].
In top photo, members of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board are pictured at their recent inaugural meeting.
In second photo, Dr. Tracy Andrus, Director of the Lee P. Brown Criminal Justice Institute, addresses advisory board members during their November meeting.