Department of Criminal Justice

  • Students are shutting down the worst of the web in this UAB lab

    A social worker turned social media detective is the latest success story from UAB’s cyber security programs, in which students can get paid to outwit romance scammers, terrorists, bank thieves and more. 

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  • Solve crimes — and find jobs — with satellites and spreadsheets

    Criminal Justice Chair Jeffery Walker, Ph.D., explains how in-demand crime analysts do their jobs and applies chaos theory to uncover the reasons neighborhoods fall apart.  

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  • I am Arts & Sciences: Forte'

    Criminal justice alumna Forte’ received the UAB National Alumni Society's Volunteer of the Year Award in 2019 for dedicating her time and effort to improving the university.

    Name: Forte’
    Degree earned: B.S. in Criminal Justice
    Graduation year: 2002
    Current profession: Chief Joy Officer, Birmingham Education Foundation


    In 2019, College of Arts and Sciences alumna Forte’ received the UAB National Alumni Society's Volunteer of the Year Award for dedicating her time and effort to improving the university. Currently, she works at the Birmingham Education Foundation as the “Chief Joy Officer” and assistant to the executive director. In her spare time, she leads the UAB National Alumni Society Black Alumni Chapter as its president, engaging alumni through service events, socials, and more. Forte’ is also a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1996 to 2006.

    Congratulations on being the UAB Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal this year! What was it like?

    The experience was phenomenal for #UAB50. Green and gold filled the streets everywhere. As the 2019 National Alumni Society Volunteer of the year, the honor will always be remembered. Even cooler? My team [at the Birmingham Education Foundation] participated in the parade.

    Why did you decide to attend UAB and pursue a degree in Criminal Justice?

    Growing up in the Black Belt region of Alabama, I had my own unique style. The style left me misunderstood by school leaders. In 8th grade, I committed to studying criminal justice and being the change I wanted to see. Education and crime have a complex correlating relationship. My goal is always to extend a helping hand and share hope with students. After living in Birmingham for a short time in high school, I knew I’d return home one day to attend good ole’ UAB.

    How have your experiences at UAB helped you in your career?

    Thanks to UAB and a job listing in the Kaleidoscope, I landed my first job in education 22 years ago. While at UAB, I stayed on campus the entire time and witnessed diversity at the core; I worked on a paid federal research project in the local jails. UAB is large; I learned to build networks and cultivate support systems. UAB is the gift that keeps on giving: I’m part of the Leadership UAB Class of 2016 and in 2018, I was selected as a Birmingham Business Journal Veteran of Influence.

    What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their experience at UAB?

    1. Please don’t graduate with a degree and no experience. The labor market is challenging and competitive.
    2. I directly sought opportunities to distinguish me as the best candidate in the workforce, leveraged the UAB Career Center and attended versatile workshops across campus.
    3. Creating meaningful relationships is key; my first full-time GEARUP teaching job was catalyzed by my UAB Math Professor. Go Blazers!

    Read more "I am Arts & Sciences" alumni profiles:
    Dr. Stephen G. Odaibo of RETINA-AI
    Sarah Randolph of Birmingham Audubon
    Dr. Johnny E. "Rusty" Bates

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  • Study: How crime fears, cultural anxiety, and gender shape gun ownership

    UAB’s Tara Warner explores why some individuals are more likely to own guns than others.

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  • Live-streamed labs offer a glimpse into creative research

    Peek into graduate research laboratories through a Facebook live presentation of Discoveries Behind the Scenes every other Wednesday this fall.

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  • Study: Violent victimization among youths is linked to risky sexual behavior

    For young people, being the victim of violence can lead to risky sexual behavior.

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  • Todak inducted into the National Institute of Justice LEADS program

    UAB law enforcement researcher and professor is awarded for her early academic research milestones.

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  • State of addiction: How UAB is making an impact on the opioid crisis

    The knowledge and will to fight the opioid epidemic from all angles is why UAB is best positioned to combat the far-reaching opioid crisis.

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  • Celebrate Women's History Month with the women who shape UAB

    From traveling to Antarctica to publishing children’s books, from taking biology educational tools to India to planting pollinator gardens on campus, women have been integral to shaping UAB’s reputation its 50-year history. As part of its annual coverage of Women’s History Month, the UAB Reporter has gathered examples of its more recent coverage of women at UAB.

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  • 8 grants awarded to promote innovative teaching

    The proposals, which support new approaches to instruction and learning in a team environment, reflect the "incredible diversity of creative scholarship" at UAB.

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  • More additions available for UAB 2019 summer camps

    Opportunites for students to attend summer camps across campus continues to grow.

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  • Faculty save students $1.1 million on course materials

    By creating online assets in Canvas, using rental textbooks or older editions and seeking out free online resources, 17 UAB faculty, powered by AIM grants, have saved students more than $1.1 million on instructional materials.

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  • Common threads: The value of interdisciplinary partnerships

    Our university enables faculty to make connections across various disciplines, schools, and centers, and being a part of the College of Arts and Sciences provides my colleagues and me with a broad platform to support this kind of effective interdisciplinary work.

    Our university enables faculty to make connections across various disciplines, schools, and centers, and being a part of the College of Arts and Sciences provides my colleagues and me with a broad platform to support this kind of effective interdisciplinary work. Even in the short time I've been at UAB, I have developed three interdisciplinary courses that have service learning goals and ongoing research endeavors.

    By working with willing faculty members from the Departments of History and Art and Art History, we developed a "Birmingham Neighborhood Studies" course that involves student examination of four specific Birmingham Neighborhoods from a historical perspective, a contemporary perspective, and an artistic perspective. In that course, students complete a project-based final portfolio. Their projects range from architectural histories of places to walking tours of women buried in Oak Hill cemetery.

    This year, in a joint effort between the Departments of Social Work and Criminal Justice, we have enhanced an existing "Community-Based Corrections" course—making it interdisciplinary and including both team-based learning and service learning elements. Students in the course participate in re-entry simulations in which they experience what it is like to be a person returning to the community after a period of incarceration. The U.S. Attorney’s office developed this curriculum and the Department of Social Work has taken a lead role in bringing the simulations to our campus. Last year, we received a Quality Enhancement Plan grant to continue the simulations and to conduct research around their effectiveness. Students also work with women incarcerated at Tutwiler Prison and Birmingham Work Release to produce holiday greeting videos for their families, as well as with Jefferson County Veterans Court to recruit veteran volunteers to support court efforts.

    Last year, I developed a study abroad course that examines women’s rights and health in Kenya. This year, the social work course will be team-taught with Dr. Tina Kempin-Reuter, director of the UAB Institute for Human Rights, and will involve international service learning in which students create health-based lesson plans and assemble reusable feminine hygiene supplies that they deliver in rural Kenya. Since last year’s successful trip with 12 students, we have written a grant to support the continuation of the women’s hygiene project and the addition of a micro-business sewing initiative. All of these efforts will be evaluated through community partners in Kenya.

    The common thread through all of these courses are that they all involve social work principles that advance human rights as well as social, economic, and environmental justice. And they are all led by female faculty and directors from across the College.

    As service learning is considered a high-impact learning tool, these courses are expected to strengthen student learning and engagement in multiple ways outside of the course content. And just as women are leading the efforts to craft these high-impact courses, women are benefitting from them as participants—as student and as community collaborators.

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  • New partnership between Facebook, UAB to help fight online drug sales

    The UAB Computer Forensics Research Lab partners with Facebook to fight online drug sales.

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  • Innovate Birmingham will offer scholarships to digital forensics majors

    Starting this fall, selected digital forensics majors could receive up to $4,000 toward tuition in addition to job and internship search support.

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  • Undergraduates fight on cybercrime’s front lines

    UAB students aid authorities in cybercounterespionage day in and day out, giving them “the best start on their careers that we can.”

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  • Five tips to stay safe while on vacation

    Criminal justice professor Jeff Walker, Ph.D., shares tips to keep yourself and your personal property safe while you are traveling this summer.

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  • Student spotlight: Fulbright Scholar Tamesha Duesbury

    Tamesha Duesbury, a Fulbright Scholar pursuing her Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice, is the first Barbadian student at UAB.

    Tamesha Duesbury, a Fulbright Scholar pursuing her Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice, is the first Barbadian student at UAB. Driven by her experience working at a probation office in Barbados, Duesbury wants to further develop the skills to better serve at-risk youth. She credits the support of her family with allowing her to study at UAB. “Not only am I a Fulbright ambassador, but I am an ambassador for my country,” she said.

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  • Capturing Success

    Palo Alto Networks' Cyber Competition for High School Students.

    Palo Alto Networks' Cyber Competition for High School Students

    Student support can come in a variety of forms. With a growing vacancy of cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. workforce, Rick Howard, chief security officer at Palo Alto Networks, recognized the need to nurture talent and passion for cybersecurity and digital forensics.

    So, Palo Alto Networks, along with UAB’s Capture the Flag Student Organization in the Department of Criminal Justice, sponsor the annual Blazer42 Capture the Flag Scholarship Competition for qualified high school computer science teams. This year, 10 teams of four 10th-12th grade students participated in a simulated hacking event based on the board game Risk . Individuals in the top three teams were awarded scholarships to attend UAB as freshmen students. The first-place winner of this year’s competition was a team of four students from Tuscaloosa Academy.

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  • Film series aids discussions about food insecurity and prisons in America

    Social justice issues take spotlight in film series discussion for UAB and Birmingham community.

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