Winter 2014
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Welcome to the Winter 2014 edition of our department newsletter!  It’s been a busy and productive semester, despite the cold and snow.  In addition to the interesting stories from students and faculty in this edition, you’ll notice that we have incorporated some short student videos.  We are extremely proud of our students and hope you’ll take a moment to hear from a couple of them about their internship experiences.  

If you haven't already, take a moment to "like" our new Facebook page, where events, career opportunities, and stories from our students are regularly posted.  Relationships with our past and current students are invaluable to us, so if you know a fellow CJ alum who isn't in touch with us, please use the "Forward to Friend" tab below to send these stories along.  Finally, if you find yourself inspired by the stories below, we'd love to hear from you.

 Brad Smith, Interim Chair

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Introducing: Dr. Laura Starzynski
The Department of Criminal Justice is pleased to welcome Dr. Laura Starzynski as our new full-time lecturer.  Starzynski obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Southwestern University in Texas and her master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Illinois Chicago in Criminal Justice.  She wrote her thesis on women’s disclosure experience of sexual assault to mental health professionals and how the reaction of the professionals either helped or hindered women’s healing process. Starzynski comes to us with a variety of teaching experience, having served as lab assistant at Southwestern, a student instructor at UCI, and an adjunct at Virginia Tech, Eastern Michigan University, and Wayne State prior to accepting a faculty position with us.

Starzynski is teaching four courses for us this semester.  She says that so far she really enjoys the students here at Wayne, as she has found many of them to genuinely appreciate the learning experience.  She finds satisfaction in helping students move beyond whatever the media has fed them about criminal justice issues to thinking critically about criminal justice issues and how these issues might affect their own lives.  Although teaching Research Methods courses is her specialty, Dr. Starzynski admits she has been pleasantly surprised to find graduate Corrections as her new favorite course to teach.  She has found many of her students have work history in the field of corrections and she has taken great interest in learning from their first-hand experience.
Do you work for a criminal justice agency that is looking to recruit?  Our annual Criminal Justice Career Fair is taking place April 8, 2014. To procure an invitation for your agency to recruit at this event, contact Marianka Holloway at!
Dr. Steven Stack in South Korea
At the invitation of the Ministry of Justice, Dr. Steven Stack traveled to Seoul, South Korea in December to speak at the Symposium on Media and Human Rights on the subject of suicide coverage in the media. Since extensive news coverage of suicide appears to contribute to spikes in subsequent suicides, the World Health Organization has developed media guidelines for reporting on suicide.  These guidelines were partly influenced by Dr. Stack’s research on the subject.  South Korea has the highest rate of female suicides in the world and the second highest rate of total suicides, with rates increasing over the past decade.  Additionally, South Korea’s sensational reporting of suicides does not typically abide by the WHO Guidelines, and consequently has suffered from dramatic surges in copycat suicides after highly publicized suicides of celebrities.  Dr. Stack hopes that his talk at the Symposium will convince the Ministry of Justice to begin enforcing the WHO Media Guidelines, thereby reducing South Korea’s alarming suicide rates.  While in Seoul, Stack also delivered talks at Chung-Ang University, School of Public Health regarding the violent portrayal of suicide in popular films and the impact of the Great Recession on suicide rates.  
[Dr. Stack at the Symposium in Seoul]
Click here to watch Andrew share about his internship with the DEA
Click here to watch Alesia share about her internship conducting forensic interviews
Inside-Out Prison Exchange 
Last semester CJ graduate student Lindsay Hamby participated in the first Inside-Out Prison Exchange class hosted by Wayne State at Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, MI.  Founded in 1997, Inside-Out is a national program that collaborates with institutions of high learning and correctional facilities to bring college students and inmates together to explore topics regarding crime, justice, inequality, and multi-cultural awareness.  Lindsay was profoundly impacted by her experience learning alongside incarcerated men.  She writes:

"Some of the wisest, most respectful and well-spoken men I have ever met were serving life sentences in my class this semester.  These men had incredible insight into their previously deviant behavior, society’s response, and the justice process.  My participation in the Inside-Out course last semester convinced me that providing professionals with opportunities to exchange perspectives with inmates on an equal playing field may be one of the best ways to develop the empathy needed for our system to progress in a way that is honest, fair, and effective.  If it were up to me, I would require every student of Criminal Justice to take a course like this one!  Some things can be taught in books, but some things can only be taught by the look in someone’s eye when they tell you their story."  
[Wayne State plans to offer the course again in Fall 2014.  Students interested in taking the course as an elective should contact Inside-Out liaison Joyce Krause at]
[WSU students who participated in Inside-Out]
Current Research 
The National Institute of Justice awarded Drs. Yuning Wu and Charles Klahm a W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship for Research on Race, Gender, Culture and Crime.  Wu and Klahm are tackling a two-year project exploring victimization, experience with police, and fear of crime among Arab Americans in Metropolitan Detroit.  Wu and Klahm will soon begin hiring WSU students as research assistants and interviewers and will start collecting data in the Dearborn and Dearborn Heights areas.  They have already procured the support of several campus and community-based groups for the project. 

They wrote, "Despite continued visibility and the focus of widespread political and public discourse, Arab Americans' experiences with crime and justice remain understudied in the post 9/11 period.  This project aims to address the concern by comprehensively examining the prevalence and risk factors of criminal victimization affecting Arab Americans, the extent and reasons of Arab Americans' willingness (or lack of) to report crime, and the levels and correlates of fear of crime among Arab Americans.  This study will be conducted in the Detroit metropolitan area, which has one of the largest, oldest, and most concentrated Arab expatriate populations in the world. With high crimes rates in Detroit, the area represents an natural laboratory for studying crime and fear of crime." 
In Memory
The Department offers its condolences to the family of Dr. Joseph Albini, a leading expert on American and international organized crime.  Dr. Albini taught our Criminal Justice students at Wayne State for 27 years.  To read about his life work, click here.  The family of Dr. Albini has kindly requested that any donations made in his memory be given for student scholarships at Wayne.