- Donzale Ashley
- Jonathan Hart
- Brendan Maynard
- Alexandra Restelli
- Auston Smith
- Melissa Smith
- Joseph Szymanski
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
This semester, the Department hosted a variety of experts from the criminal justice field, including the individuals listed below. To learn more about each speaker and his or her presentation, click on the corresponding link provided below.
- Ashland County Common Pleas Court Judge Ronald Forsthoefel on punishment, including imprisonment, alternative sentences to prison, fines, and forfeiture
- Turning Point Domestic Violence Shelter Program Aide Janelle Renwick on violence against women
- Reverend Berthe Nzeba on war-related violence
- Ashland Police Detective Kim Mager on investigations and interrogations
- Richland County Coroner Investigator Robert Ball on detecting and determining the nature of crimes
- Chief of Police Brian Saterfield on the investigation process
- Ashland Police Detective Brian Evans on drug and alcohol crimes
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
One morning in September, an unresponsive student, Hannah Russell, was discovered by an Ashland University staff member in a lounge near the Criminal Justice offices. Students in the introductory Criminal Investigation class have been tasked with investigating Hannah's death to determine the details of the case and who committed the crime so charges can be brought against the perpetrator.
As part of their investigation, students interviewed two potential suspects, Wilma and Susan, who had been in an argument with Hannah the day she died.
|Investigators Michael Cain (left) and Daniel Medvetz (right)|
interview potential suspect Wilma.
|Investigators Michael Cain (left) and Daniel Medvetz (right) interview potential suspect Susan.|
During the interviews, the students sought to determine the details of the crime and the involvement of the two suspects using various techniques learned in class, including the difference between interviewing and interrogating, how to help a reluctant witness to talk, how to detect deception, when to mirandize a suspect, and how to properly formulate questions.
"The skills the students learned not only apply practically to criminal justice, but they also apply for researchers who are surveying people by asking them questions," says Professor Hedrick, the Criminal Justice professor who teaches the course. "In fact, there is a lot of crossover application between criminal investigations and academic research methods."
Though the interviews are part of a class, the challenges of interviewing a suspect and the techniques used to overcome those challenges, such as those shown in the video below, are very similar to what investigators might encounter in a real investigation.
Check out the video below to see Michael and Daniel's interview of Susan.
Monday, November 23, 2015
|Detective Brian Evans|
On Thursday, November 12, Detective Brian Evans presented to the Criminal Law (CJ 362) class on drug and alcohol crimes. Detective Evans, who won the Ashland County Prosecutor's Distinguished Service Provider of the Year award in 2015, works in the Investigative Bureau in the Narcotic Enforcement Section of the Ashland Police Department.
We spoke with senior forensic biology major Kylie Bartram about Detective Evans' visit. She had this to say:
"I found Detective Evans' presentation very interesting - he was very knowledgeable about many different kinds of drugs.
I was shocked to learn how much money people who are addicted to heroin spend on it everyday, and I [was surprised by] how many different types of people use hard drugs. It's not always the typical drug addict [you might think of]. He showed us some pictures that were taken from the home of an attorney, I believe, that were of all of the different needles and drug paraphernalia found in his home.
It was also shocking to learn how it's not difficult to obtain all of the ingredients [needed] to cook certain drugs.
Overall, I think one of the most interesting things about his presentation was the Narcan (a "prescription medicine that reverses an opioid overdose," according to stopoverdose.org) , and how it instantly puts people who have overdosed on opiates into withdrawal."
Thank you, Kylie, for sharing your thoughts about Detective Evans' presentation. We'd also like to thank Detective Evans for sharing his time and expertise with our students!
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
AU Criminal Justice Professors Hedrick and Spelman attended the Fair, which hosted over 19 agencies. Among those were Criminal Justice federal agencies, police departments, and correctional centers for adults. Criminal Justice students from Ashland University also attended the event.
The Fair brings students and officials from the various agencies together to discuss the professional, internship and/or summer employment positions each agency offers, allowing students to network with professionals in the field while learning about opportunities to gain work experience or fulltime employment.
|Criminal Justice Student, Tarin Cook (middle), visits the |
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) booth
|Bowling Green, OH, Police Officers|
speak with students at the Fair
Friday, November 6, 2015
This is a continuation of yesterday's post which covers guest speaker Robert Ball, Investigator Coroner for Richland County.
Recently, Brian Saterfield, Chief of Police in Galion, Ohio, and former detective with the Marion Police Department, spoke to students in Criminal Investigations (CJ 200) and to students in Role of Police in Modern Society (CJ 270).
Melissa Smith, a senior criminal justice and psychology major, outlines the topics Chief Saterfield discussed with students.
Chief Saterfield addresses students in the
Criminal Investigations class
"In the Criminal Investigations class, we had been learning about different techniques investigators had to use throughout the investigation process. This included documentation, photographing, and even the interview and interrogation process. We then had the opportunity to hear from someone how it actually plays out in the field, thus gaining a better understanding of the importance of the details. Chief Saterfield talked to the class about different cases he has experienced and explained how documentation is very important in order to make sure there are no holes in the case. He also explained that the interview process is important in order to find out the truth.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Richland County Coroner Investigator Speaks to Students on Detecting and Determining the Nature of Crimes
For students in all class levels, professors in Ashland University's Criminal Justice Program invite community speakers in to the classroom to expose students to the best and most up-to-date information and practices possible. This also allows students to make connections with professionals and organizations in the area, which can provide valuable networking experience.
Recently, students in Professor Hedrick's classes heard from two guest speakers. In the Advanced Criminology & Profiling (CJ 415) class, students learned from Richland County Coroner Investigator, Robert Ball.
Brian Saterfield, Chief of Police in Galion, Ohio, and former detective with the Marion, Ohio, Police Department spoke to students in Criminal Investigations (CJ 200) and in Role of Police in Modern Society (CJ 270).
Melissa Smith, a senior criminal justice and psychology major enrolled in these courses, describes the presentations and how the information and techniques outlined by each of the speakers ties in to what she is learning in the class.
|Robert Ball, Investigator Coroner for |
Mr. Ball discussed how to determine if a scene has been staged, which will then help determine if it’s a suicide or a homicide. He explained that the key is in the details, and to always be skeptical of what you are seeing. You can’t make any assumptions; everything needs to be proven! This is just like in the academic research process when applying the scientific method.
The Criminal Justice students enjoyed hearing from him and seeing the pictures to get a better idea of what a real crime scene looks like and how to investigate it."
Click here for a recap of Chief Saterfield's presentation on the investigative process!
Friday, October 30, 2015
|Students examine the crime scene and take notes.|
Left to Right: George Crone, Mohamed Alhashmi, and Auston Smith
Academically, students applied the concepts of inductive and deductive reasoning. And, like in any investigation (academic or otherwise) an investigator must be able to reason properly and spot common fallacies in reasoning so that they do not make mistakes that lead them to the wrong conclusions. While the investigation is not yet complete, students will later interview witnesses and interrogate suspects, processes during which they must continue to apply the principles of logic with lengthening fact patterns.
|Mohamed and George take photos and measurements |
while Auston takes notes to use in preparing their reports.
Practically, students learned that it is necessary to thoroughly document crime scenes in order to aid in the investigation of the crime. This documentation can also serve as the basis for formal reports that can be used in court if a case goes to trial.
|George and Auston take measurements to prepare for |
the sketches they will create later on.
To document the crime scene, students noted what they observed about the scene and took photos and measurements. Students then created a to-scale sketch of the crime scene using those notes, photos and measurements. The students were also able to utilize best practices, such as exercising caution when moving within the crime scene to prevent contamination of evidence and taking photos first to act as a reference in case evidence is unintentionally disturbed.
|The group discusses their findings after they process the scene.|
This project afforded students a glimpse of what it takes to investigate a crime. "The crime scene project...gave me an overall picture of the procedures of processing a crime scene," said Mohamed, a criminal justice major who plans to go to graduate school to study digital forensics. "...when I first arrived, I wasn't sure where to start, but I remembered what we had learned in class and started to apply it. [It] was a really nice activity."
Melissa Smith, a senior psychology and criminal justice double major who also had the opportunity to process the crime scene, was most surprised by the level of detail. "It was cool to see what it's like, but it was harder...more challenging than I thought it would be," said Melissa.
Check back later this semester for updates on the case as students continue their investigation of the crime by interviewing witnesses and interrogating suspects.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
|Detective Kim Mager|
Last week, Ashland Police Detective Kim Mager spoke to the CJ 362: Criminal Law class about investigations and interrogations. Detective Mager has been with the Ashland Police Department for 18 years and is an Ashland University alumna.
Junior criminal justice major Morgan Scarberry, who plans to become a State Trooper after graduation, had this to say about Detective Mager's presentation:
"I certainly think our entire class, regardless of our career plans in the CJ system, can not only benefit from Detective Mager’s experience, but the passion and determination she demonstrates in her career. I personally found Det. Mager’s ability to read people the most interesting. She emphasized the need in interrogation to evaluate each offender and adapt accordingly in order to achieve a confession.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Detective Mager was recognized for her leadership of the local "Shop with a Cop" Program, which she has led for the past 13 years. The Program allows children in need to shop with a police officer for gifts during the Christmas season.
For the Distinguished Law Enforcement Community Service Award, each nominee is evaluated on leadership, civic involvement, personal contributions to the community, and positive impact for the community over his or her lifetime. The award seeks to recognize the recipient for making extraordinary contributions to his or her community.
According to a News Release from the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the Program was born in 2001 when Detective Mager was a patrol officer. A young boy had been removed from his home and had not received anything for Christmas. "Officers pooled their money and bought gifts for the child," reads the release. The following year, Detective Mager worked with Job and Family Services and local schools to identify children in need.
The Program has grown a great deal since 2001. Nearly 180 children "shopped with a cop" last year, the largest number of participants to date - an extraordinary contribution, indeed!
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Visit the Ashland Center for Nonviolence blog to learn more about restorative justice and Dr. Hedrick's take on its place in the criminal justice system.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
To get an idea of the range of organizations that are usually in attendance, OCCJE provides a list of agencies that attended the 2014 Career Fair, which can be viewed on their website.
This year's Career Fair will be held Friday, November 6, 2015, from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm at Tiffin University.
Criminal Justice Professors Hedrick and Spelman will be in attendance at the Fair, and students interested in attending should contact Dr. Spelman at jspelman at ashland.edu.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Recently the Ashland University Criminal Justice Program hosted two guest speakers in Professor Marc Hedrick’s Victimology class. The guest speakers spoke on a similar topic, violence against women. However, the speakers were speaking from two very different points of view, having witnessed firsthand the varying forms of violence that women endure.
|Reverend Berthe Nzeba (right)|
Monday, September 28, 2015
On September 24, 2015, Ashland County Common Pleas Court Judge Ronald P. Forsthoefel visited students in CJ 362, Criminal Law. During the week of the Judge's visit, the students had been studying the topic of punishment, including: imprisonment, alternative sentences to prison, fines and forfeiture. The class was also examining the topic of career criminals and the repeat offender.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Career Services will be
hosting a Fall Career Fair on Thursday, October 8th from 1:00 pm –
4:00 pm in Upper Convocation. Professional dress is
required for this event (for guidance on what to wear, consult the Career
Service's Business Attire Pamphlet, specifically the "Business
Professional" section). Be sure to bring several copies of your resume.
Student Registration, which is highly recommended, will be available on the
Career Services website. All registered students will receive nametags to wear
at the event.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Friday, August 21, 2015
Professor Hedrick has experience in the justice system, both as an attorney and as a police officer. As an attorney, he practiced civil and criminal law for eight years in Mansfield, Ohio. Before that, he served as a police officer for the city of Marion, Ohio, and in the U.S. Air Force as a Security Police Officer, giving him experience in both the military and civilian sectors of law enforcement.
Professor Hedrick also taught criminal justice full-time for 9 years prior to joining the University. At College of the Albemarle, he was an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Criminal Justice, and at Taylor University he was an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Pre Law. He has also taught online courses at institutions such as Liberty University and Regent School of Law.
Welcome, Professor Hedrick!
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
During his visit, Judge Vercillo discussed the progression of his legal career from defense attorney to Judge. The Judge also explained the procedures in juvenile court, including sentencing (disposition), which the class had been studying, so it was a great experience for them to hear directly from someone involved in those procedures. It gave everyone a better idea of what actually occurs in courtrooms.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Professor Rogers, former Ashland County Prosecutor and current CJ Instructor at AU, spoke on the role of trained dogs in law enforcement.
"In their criminal procedure class, students learned that trained dogs are used by law enforcement in several capacities. For example, students learned that a dog sniff conducted during a lawful traffic stop does not violate the 4th Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure and that an alert by a dog on a car, in and of itself, provides law enforcement with probable cause sufficient to justify the warrantless search of that vehicle.
While on the field trip, students witnessed a dog alert in the very manner that would provide probable cause for such a search. Students in CJ 366 also learned about the legality of the use of a trained dog to sniff luggage and containers to detect contraband at airports.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Criteria for earning this award include scholarly achievement, acting as an academic role model for other students within the department, and possession of an inquiring and/or creative mind.
On Sunday, three Criminal Justice students were recognized for their outstanding achievement:
Megan Maguire, Sophomore Criminal Justice Major
Melissa Smith, Junior Criminal Justice and Psychology Major
Gelsaira Ortiz, Senior Criminal Justice Major
|Outstanding Junior, Outstanding Outstanding Senior,|
Melissa Smith Sophomore, Gelsaira Ortiz
Thursday, March 26, 2015
To be eligible for membership, students must have completed three full time semesters, with at least four of those courses being in the criminal justice field, and have declared a major or minor in criminal justice. Students must also attain a minimum GPA of 3.2 out of 4.0 in their cumulative and criminal justice classes as well as rank in the top 35% of their class.
In short, "an invitation to membership in Alpha Phi Sigma is the highest national scholastic recognition [the] criminal justice faculty can offer," said Dr. Moseman, Interim Chair of the Criminal Justice Department.
From left to right
Front: Melissa Smith, Sara Amato, Megan Maguire, Ashleigh Keith, Kelsey Garrabrant, Kylie Bartram
Back: Maxwell Ostrowski, Daniel Medvetz, Jon Hart, Alexander Byers
From left to right
Melissa Smith, Gelsaira Ortiz, Jon Hart, Ashleigh Keith, Lacie Buckey, Alexander Byers, Kelsey Garrabrant
Not present: Kelsey Dropsey
What It Is to Be a Prosecuting Attorney