Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2012

Faculty Award winner

Ross Wolf

 College of Health and Public Affairs

 Criminal Justice

I realize not all students learn by the same pedagogy and therefore have adapted my classes to encourage learners of all types to be involved. I believe learning is governed by each student’s background knowledge and experiences, but I can present my personal experiences and research into classroom discussions, lectures, and activities to raise new questions and challenge presumptions. These preconceptions are often the result of television, movies, and news reporting that have contorted the views of much of American society about the criminal justice system in our nation. Students of criminal justice are no exception, and they enter the program with interesting views and opinions of the way things work in law enforcement, courts, and corrections.

I encourage debate, thoughtful interaction, and student input into our discussions as active learning. Although students may at first feel comfortable in a class sitting back and trying to “soak everything in,” I utilize group exercises that improve student understanding and retention of the course material.

My philosophy of teaching in this area of curriculum is to ask students to learn the fundamentals (theories of crime, concepts of crime control, systems of criminal justice, application of law) and apply these in real-life situations through job shadowing, ride-along programs, internships, observations, case studies, and classroom discussions of actual events and cases.