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Criminal justice program wins national award

Jan 15, 2021

The Criminal Justice Society (CJS) program has won the National Criminal Justice Month Education Award for their work last spring with the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute (CCIRI). 

This marks the first time OLLU has won the award, which is given by The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) during National Criminal Justice Month each March.

Stephen Owen, a member of the ACJS awards committee, informed J. Harrison Watts, PhD, professor of criminology and criminal justice: “Congratulations to you, your colleagues and your students for assembling an impressive and meaningful program under what I know were challenging circumstances with Covid-related issues. The integration of the live stream of podcasts, the follow up discussions, and the collaboration with CCIRI made this a dynamic offering.”

Jiletta Kubena, PhD, Criminology and Criminal Justice Program Director, was elated. "I am beyond excited for our OLLU Criminology and Criminal Justice students to be recognized for their work with the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute and for their tenacity in holding presentations and discussions on cold cases during the first month of the pandemic,” she said. “Working on cold cases to find the perpetrator and bring closure to victims and their families is one of the key aspects of the program's commitment to social justice." 

Seven CJS officers, advised by adjunct professor Kim Brisco, shared the award with 15 to 20 members. 

The CJS officers at the time were: President Brandon Celedon, a December graduate; Vice President Brianna Munoz-Rabb, a May graduate; former Secretary and current President Rosa I Hernandez Lora; Treasurer Ramon Rios, a May graduate; Data Management Communications Recorder Humberto Becerra, a May graduate; Community Intelligence Officer Madison Polasek, current president of the Student Government Association; and Network Administrator Veronica Herrera, a December graduate.