Mark Desire's Assistance in Identifying the Victims of the Gilgo Beach Serial Killer
Assistant Teaching Professor for the Program in Criminal Justice, Mark Desire, helped to identify the victims of the Gilgo Beach serial killer through state-of-the-art technology that was used to identify 9/11 victims. You can read the full article here.
Mark Desire also starred in ABC's award-winning podcast called "Start Here" on the episode regarding 9/11. This podcast won the 2023 Edward R Murrow Award for “Excellence in Sound!” A link to the episode can be found here.
The Passing of Dr. Robert Szejner
Long-time CJ Assistant Teaching Professor, Robert (Bob) Szejner passed away on Saturday, June 17th after a courageous battle with cancer. Several faculty and staff, including me, spoke to him during the last several weeks and, despite his health issues, Professor Szejner was his usual upbeat, warm, and optimistic self, always thinking positively and thinking of others. So, we were very shocked and devastated to learn that he passed away so soon after.
Professor Szejner had been a vital member of the criminal justice program since 2006. During that time, thousands of students took his classes including Intro to CJ, Police, and Serial Crimes. He was also very proud of the fact that he acted “as the course facilitator for over 60 independent research courses, and 5 Honors Thesis courses.” Perhaps one of the most distinctive and important roles that Professor Szejner played and hopefully one from which some of you have benefitted was faculty advisor. Over the years, Professor Szejner advised countless students who were interested in criminal justice careers, especially in law enforcement. Having worked for nearly 30 years as a police officer in Trenton (1974 to 2003, retiring as Lieutenant), Professor Szejner was well-positioned to give tips and assistance with launching and advancing policing careers. Although I was never privy to his conversations with students, I can imagine based on my personal experience that they frequently included a funny anecdote or story from his career, a kernel of wisdom, a reassuring and disarming smile, and a sense that you were the only person that mattered to him at that moment.
Professor Szejner was a devoted teacher and mentor, a team player, and a genuinely kind and decent man. Although he is gone and leaves a hole in our Program that cannot be filled, his impact on our faculty, staff, and students will endure. And if we pass along some of Professor Szejner’s sage advice or emulate his kindness, his impact can endure forever. Here is a link to his obituary.
Director, Program in Criminal Justice
Keynote Speaker for the 32nd International Symposium on Human Identification
The Program in Criminal Justice's Instructor, Mark Desire has been selected as the keynote speaker for the 32nd International Symposium on Human Identification. The event, which is the largest forensic symposium worldwide will be held on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 in Orlando, Florida. Please click on this link for more information: https://www.ishinews.com/
Noura Erakat: Recipient of the Law for the People Award
The Program in Criminal Justice's Assistant Professor, Noura Erakat has been selected as the recipient of the Law for the People Award by the National Lawyers Guild.
The Trial of Derek Chauvin for the Killing of George Floyd
The Program in Criminal Justice hosted a discussion panel on Monday, April 26th regarding the trial of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd.
Students Learn Harsh Reality of Justice System from Podcast
The Program in Criminal Justice's Director, Dr. Alec Walen, has been giving a course on a close up of crime and punishment while utilizing podcasts as a primary source.Please click on this link in order to view the full article: CJ course
Scarlet Speaker Talk
The Program in Criminal Justice's Director, Dr. Alec Walen was a Scarlet Speaker for the School of Arts and Sciences.Please click on this link in order to view the lecture: Scarlet Speaker Talk
Dr. Noura Erakat Op-Ed
Please view this interesting op-ed piece that the Washington Post Published for our faculty member, Noura Erakat.
The Passing of Dr. Patrick Carr
Dear CJ students,
I write this with a heavy heart. On April 16, a beloved and superb teacher, scholar, and friend, the former Director of the Program in Criminal Justice, Pat Carr, died from the cancer he had been battling for almost a decade.
Prof. Carr joined Rutgers, in Sociology and Criminal Justice, in 2005. He was well known for his outstanding work on young people and policing, youth violence and social control, and the transition to adulthood, including the books Clean Streets, Hollowing Out the Middle, Coming of Age in America, and Theories of Crime. But he always said that he was happiest in the classroom. His students meant the world to him. Even as he was back in treatment last spring, he didn’t miss a single class meeting, a testament to his dedication to his students.
I recall that I wanted to see him teach last year, so I sat in on a session of his Juvenile Justice class. He did a marvelous job of providing information and asking questions, giving students lots of time to talk, and yet keeping the class focused, and all with his normal sharp wit. I then found out that he hadn’t even planned to teach that day; he was supposed to have a guest lecturer, but the guest canceled at the last minute and Prof. Carr just stepped up without missing a beat. Only the best teachers can do that.
He was, to quote Julie Philips, the chair of the Department of Sociology, “a valued and beloved colleague – he gave honest and savvy advice, often with a dose of his wicked humor, and was extremely thoughtful, creative and resourceful in addressing problems. He was one of a kind.”
In the future, we as a Program will be devising other ways to honor him as well. We’ll keep you posted as those plans become concrete.
Meanwhile, if you'd like, you can make a donation to the Calliope Joy Foundation, established by Pat and his wife Maria Kefalas after their daughter was diagnosed with leukodystrophy. If you would like to send a note of condolence to Pat’s family, you can send to Maria Kefalas and his children (Camille (20), PJ (17) and Cal (10)), 420 Conshohocken State Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.
Director, Program in Criminal Justice
Dr. Amanda Agan's paper nominated as one of the top 12 published in 2018
Dr. Amanda Agan's paper on economic effects of “Ban the Box” legislation was nominated as one of the top 12 papers published in 2018.
Her work was nominated by Claudia Goldin of Harvard. Claudia is widely considered a top candidate for the Nobel Prize in economics.
Dr. Lauren Krivo, elected Fellow of the American Society of Criminology
Dr. Lauren Krivo of the Program in Criminal Justice has been elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology. Alongside Dr. Krivo is a graduate student of Sociology at Rutgers University, Brooklynn Hitchens, who was presented with the Ruth D. Peterson Fellowship for Racial and Ethnic Diversity by the American Society of Criminology.
Keeping Its Promise to Families, New York Identifies Another 9/11 Victim
Mark Desire estimates that his team had tried to identify the bone half a dozen times over the past 17 years — ever since it was recovered amid the rubble of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Each time, they came up short.
As part of New York City’s effort to identify the remains of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack, Mr. Desire, the assistant director of forensic biology for the city’s Medical Examiner’s office, and his colleagues had been unable to extract enough DNA from the sample to make a positive identification.
Advances in DNA research could change crime-fighting forever
Mark Desire, Professor with the Program in Criminal Justice, used DNA analysis to nab James Webb for a 1994 rape. The article can be found here: Mark Desire Article
Dr. Anne M. Piehl, Winner of 2015 Presidential Public Service Award
Dr. Anne Morrison Piehl is the 2015 recipient of the Rutgers College Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award. The Rutgers College Class of 1962 Presidential Public Service Award honors members of the faculty, student body, or staff for volunteer service to government, professional and scholarly organizations, or the public.
Has Our Government Lost Its Moral Compass?
Milena A. Wilson, Esq., Lecturer with the Program in Criminal Justice, published an article with New Jersey Law Journal on May 8, 2017. The article can be found here: Milena Wilson Article
Law Enforcement Collaborative Program with New Brunswick Police Department and New Brunswick High School
Lieutenant Raymond Trigg, Lecturer with the Program in Criminal Justice, is part of the Law Enforcement Collaborative Program with N.B.P.D. and N.B.H.S. The Collaborative has been incorporated as part of the high school's curriculum in order to strengthen ties with the youth community and local law enforcement, as well as encourage an open dialogue regarding issues affecting the New Brunswick community. You can find the video published below:
Will Bail Reform in N.J. Have Positive Impact on Immigrant Community?
Milena A. Wilson, Esq., Lecturer with the Program in Criminal Justice, published an article with New Jersey Law Journal on December 5, 2016 that transpired from discussions with her students in her course, Criminal Justice Seminar: Crimmigration. The article can be found here: Milena Wilson Article
Justice in Action with Angela Davis and Lennox Hinds
Justice In Action: an Evening with Angela Davis and Lennox Hinds was held on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016. Angela Davis delivered a lectured titled "Radicial Visions of Justice", and Lennox Hinds delivered a lecture titled "Reflections of a People's Lawyer".
Black Activists Don't Ignore Crime
Lisa Miller, Professor with Criminal Justice and Political Science, published an Op-Ed article with The New York Times on August 5, 2016. The article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/opinion/black-activists-dont-ignore-crime.html?_r=2