Shepherding Students into Criminal Justice Careers
Dr. Stacy Caroline Moak, professor and doctoral coordinator in the Department of Criminal Justice, likens her role to that of a shepherd, one who guides students carefully through their academic progress and into their post-graduate careers.
To this end, Dr. Moak provides a secure classroom environment to encourage students to communicate freely to learn to embrace differences, not just tolerate them.
Moak is primarily concerned that her students learn to analyze facts dispassionately, and she challenges them to explore why they hold certain beliefs through intensive writing assignments and classroom discussions. Her students consistently state they are prepared to apply the information and concepts they learned to real world dilemmas.
Former student and current Assistant Professor Tusty ten Bensel agreed that Moak helps students discover their full potential.
“Dr. Moak encouraged us to logically argue and present our solutions,” Bensel said. “But her dedication went beyond the classroom. One of the primary lessons Dr. Moak taught me was that all obstacles can be overcome through hard work and perseverance.”
Moak has also encouraged students to become involved in professional organizations, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), where she solicited speakers for advanced students and expanded the number of student sessions offered.
“Dr. Moak goes far beyond the call of duty in making sure students are involved in the profession,” said ACJS President Craig Hemmens. “One of the strongest student advocates the academy has had for some time, she has made a lasting impression on the current practices of ACJS related to students,” he concluded.
Moak earned her Ph.D. in urban studies from the University of New Orleans, J.D. from the Loyola School of Law in New Orleans, and B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi.