The Lock Haven University Criminal Justice Department has regularly offered the elective course, Women and Crime, typically each spring since 2013. The course, designed by Dr. Katie Ely, focuses on issues related to women and victims, offenders and practitioners in the criminal justice field.
When creating the course, one of the goals was to bring in female guest speakers as much as possible. “Women are vastly underrepresented in most criminal justice agencies, so highlighting their experiences became a goal of mine,” Ely said.
The longer the course was offered, the easier it was to get females from the field to talk to the class about their experiences.
This year, despite the challenges of teaching via Zoom, Ely coordinated 10 guest speakers in her course. Out of these 10, seven of them were LHU alumni. Two of those individuals also were students in Women and Crime during their academic career.
The alumni that shared their experiences with the classes were Beth Birch ’14, Alycia DeMilio ’14, Kristin Lindsey ’12, Courtney Evans ’18, Courtney Smith ’15, Gina Houser ’14 and Amanda Geisewite ’19. Students in the courses expressed their excitement throughout the semester as speakers were scheduled.
“I believe bringing in guest speakers, especially women, has a profound impact on our current students and how they view their role in the ever-changing field of criminal justice,” Ely said, adding that at the end of the spring semester, a number of female students expressed interest in coming back as a guest speaker for the class following graduation.
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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.
LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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