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Meet Brandi

Meet Brandi WilsonMy role at Somerset Community College: I am the Criminal Justice Program Coordinator and Associate Professor. I teach an array of criminal justice courses, however my focus areas include juvenile delinquency, criminal procedures, forensics and criminological theory. I serve on several internal committees at the local college, as well as a Senator for Somerset Community College at the KCTCS level. I coordinate a crime scene investigation competition team and law enforcement competitions for Skills USA a the local, state, and national level. I am the faculty advisor for the Criminal Justice Student Organization that provides community service for the region and works hard to improve resources for students in the criminal justice program.

How long I’ve worked here: Since 2001.

Why I do what I do: I have a strong passion for making the world a better place and teaching allows me to touch people in some significant way each day. Every day when I leave the office, I can honestly say that I have made a difference in some way for someone. My students keep me motivated and inspired to be the best teacher and overall best person I can be possible be. I touch lives each day and promote a culture of wellness that focuses on healthy lifestyles for developing tomorrow’s professionals 

My teaching philosophy: In my seven years of teaching, I have learned that the key to teaching criminal justice is to find inventive, creative, and effective ways to get students to understand the structure of the criminal justice system and the social world. I use both conventional methods of teaching, such as lecture and discussion, and interactive methods that sometimes employ hands-on learning to illustrate the practitioner portion of the study of criminal justice. From the first time I meet with students, I challenge them to think outside the box by presenting them with non-traditional issues and perspectives. I ask each student to think critically and draw his/her own conclusions about the information presented to them in a classroom setting by going forward and doing further investigation and research about specific topics and issues.

A key to being a successful instructor is meeting the needs of students, either instructionally or through an advising component. Another key to a successful instructor is the understanding that people have differences. As an instructor, I must recognize these differences and be diverse in teaching styles and be culturally competent. An instructor must emphasize critical thinking and real-world applications of the concepts and issues in the field of study. My goal each semester and in each class is to foster a learning environment with a strong sense of student cohesion. This environment is an environment of discussions, creative thinking, and innovative learning methods. I want students to feel comfortable and participate in discussions without feeling inferior or substandard. I believe that in order to foster such a classroom, it begins with the instructor’s attitude and presentation toward students.

I like our students because: It is always interesting to me each semester to begin new classes and see a diversity of student population. By having such a diverse student population, it offers a whole complex dynamics with different generations, socioeconomic statuses, lifestyles, viewpoints, and perceptions. With such differences, the classroom becomes an exciting arena for interactive complex discussions. It is awesome to observe students grow cognitively and learn how to think critically about criminal justice issues and trends. Each students bring with them a different insight, experience and perceptions about the criminal justice field and I love listening to them, teaching them, and most of all helping them enrich their lives.
   
A little more about me: My favorite area of focus in the criminal justice discipline is criminological theory. I love theory and trying to understand human behavior. I work closely with the Champions for a Drug Free McCreary County coalition by completing grants for them. I truly believe that prevention of substance abuse is vital to keeping our children safe and healthy. My interest and hobbies include reading, playing softball and golf, and traveling. I love to travel and experience new things.
 
Brandi Wilson
Criminal Justice Program Director and Associate Professor