SU CJ E-Newsletter Winter-Spring 2017

Seattle University Criminal Justice Department E-Newsletter

Winter/Spring 2017 Vol.1, Issue 2

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Letter from the Chair --

Hello! 2017 has hit with a bang, continuing the Seattle University Department of Criminal Justice’s trajectory of newsworthy ”goings on.” This Winter/Spring 2017 Newsletter highlights a sampling of stories of our dynamic department. This year we welcomed a new adjunct faculty into our department and launched a new federal agency practicum course. Our faculty were awarded grants to externally fund applied criminal justice student research assistantship opportunities and we continue to see students successfully land positions in critical roles in criminal justice agencies. Our students never cease to amaze! A week doesn’t go by without hearing news of students obtaining criminal justice positions where they will have opportunities to contribute to society to make change to create a more just and humane world. On behalf of the CJ faculty, we couldn’t be prouder of our students as we see them learn and grow and go on to do amazing things to make the world a better place. Please share your stories with me for future newsletters! And don’t forget to join our social media – LinkedIn (Seattle University Department of Criminal Justice), Twitter (@Seattle U CJ), Facebook (Seattle University Criminal Justice; MACJ Program-Seattle University), and Instagram (seattle_u_cj) pages so we can continue to learn from each other. One of the greatest things about our department are the close connections between our current students, alumni, advisory committee, and faculty. Let’s keep and grow this incredible lifelong network so we can stay looped in to each other’s news and accomplishments. – Jackie Helfgott 

Featured Story -- Steven Jenkins

Steven Jenkins began his life with Seattle University in 2002. He was a freshman mechanical engineering major and a member of the men’s soccer team. Before classes started, he was on campus every day on the soccer field. Born with the genetic disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Steven has always had challenges in life. Cystic Fibrosis primarily affects the lungs, causing them to deteriorate until they are no longer healthy enough to sustain life. With 36% lung function, playing on a Division II men’s soccer team was tough. Steven’s cardiovascular capacity was far below that of his teammates. “Every practice was an opportunity, to give everything I had,” Steven remembers. This is one of many characteristics that battling illness has instilled in Steven.

After a year of soccer and classwork, Steven’s health had declined. The school work required in mechanical engineering was competing with the effort and commitment necessary for playing on the soccer team. He made the choice to switch his major to criminal justice and remain with the men’s soccer program. “It was an easy decision. I’ve always had an interest in justice, and I loved playing soccer,” Steven says.

The Seattle University men’s soccer team won the Division II National Championship in 2004, Steven’s junior year. After redshirting his junior year due to a continuing decline in the health of his lungs, Steven faced another big decision. He needed to get on the organ waiting list for a new set of lungs and he was no longer physically capable of attending class. “I knew my health needed my full effort and attention every single day,” Steven remembers. He put his academic and athletic endeavors at Seattle University on hold and focused on preserving what health he had left, in order to make it through the lung transplant.

His wait on the organ list began in June of 2005. During this time, Steven went to the gym religiously. “It was the hardest I’ve ever worked. I was at 28% lung function, but I was determined to be as healthy as possible no matter what.” After seventeen months of struggling and fighting every day, Steven got the call for the new lungs in March of 2007. “I was lying in bed around eleven at night, and the phone rang. I knew the moment had come and I almost went into shock. On the drive to the hospital, my entire life kept flashing before me,” Steven recalls.

The procedure took around eight hours and was a success. Steven went home from the hospital after eleven days. Things looked to be on the right track. Steven returned to Seattle University in the fall of 2007, only to withdraw after two weeks. “I just didn’t feel right and I was having painful headaches,” he recalls. When the headaches had become excruciating and seemed to be taking over his life, Steven went to the doctor. A CT scan revealed a three-inch tumor behind the left side of his face and under his brain. “I was not shocked at all,” Steven remembers, “I was actually relieved that the reason I was in so much pain was due to something that could be treated.”

In January of 2008, Steven began treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer. Due to the late diagnosis, the cancer was in stage four, the most dangerous stage. Doctors were honest with him about the chances of eliminating the cancer. The probabilities were at 20%. “I knew the odds were against me, but not for one moment did I let that get me down. I told myself they were just numbers.” Doctors threw strong therapy at the cancer. For eight months, he underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and stem-cell transplant. He spent the better part of that time in the hospital, but was released after the therapy was finished. “Cancer treatment was difficult and draining. But that was nothing new to me. I had gone through the last five years of my life dealing with something similar. I was well-versed in battling like this,” Steven said.

Two weeks later, Steven and his family went back to the doctors for the ultimate news --information that was no surprise to Steven. “I was in tune with my body. I knew the cancer was gone. I could feel it,” he says. Doctors came into the room where he sat with his family and delivered the great news that the cancer was in remission. “My family, friends, and support network were all so relieved,” he remembers.

Recovering from the challenges of 2008 was hard. It took several years for Steven to begin to get back on his feet and back on track. By 2010, he was beginning to feel like he had a life again. Come December, Steven got swine flu. Although he recovered, doctors believe the swine flu played a part in his immune system rejecting his transplanted lungs. Within two months, Steven’s lung function declined from 80% to 25%. “I was devastated,” Steven remembers. Although double-lung re-transplants are not nearly as common as first-time transplants, it was Steven’s only option. In March of 2011, Steven began the long process of getting listed again for a lung transplant. “It was so hard. I had already been through the process of getting transplanted and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Knowing I had to do it all over again really shattered me,” Steven recalls.

Steven was listed again for a double-lung transplant in June of 2011, but this time he could no longer bring himself to work out or exercise. “I just didn’t have it in me, mentally or physically,” he says. The waiting period this time around was much longer, due to the fact that all first-time transplant candidates on the list get priority over second-time candidates. Steven knew it was going to be long, but committed to himself and loved ones to give it everything he had. Fast-forward to January of 2014, Steven was withering away and very ill. His lung function was down to 17% and put him close to not being strong enough to make it through a second transplant. No longer able to walk up the stairs in his parents’ home, he lived downstairs on the pull-out bed.

One night he almost gave in to giving up. “I had been through so much and my current situation was so difficult. I felt like I couldn’t bare it anymore.” Steven states. At midnight, he called his close friend and Seattle University men’s soccer coach, Peter Fewing. “I told him that although I was at peace with being ready to not make it, I was in need of something, anything, to get me through.” Coach Pete, who at the time was in his own drive way, knelt down in the pouring rain. The two prayed for ten minutes. In that prayer, Steven laid down his life and stated he need the strength to continue and the faith to hold on. The two cried on and off for another half hour as they talked. “After that prayer, something unexplainable happened. I promised not to give up and hung up the phone. The next morning I felt invigorated and inspired to keep going,” Steven recalls.

Just two months later, Steven got the call from the hospital. He was ready to risk his life once again, in the hope that something good would come. The double-lung re-transplant took around fourteen hours. Immediately after the surgery, Steven’s kidneys failed. He gained thirty pounds of body fluid in a single day. His surgeon and the head of the lung transplant program at the University of Washington predicted Steven would not make it if his kidneys failed to start working in the next forty-eight hours.

Chair Jackie Helfgott and student Steve JenkinsSteven’s entire family and extended support group waited in the hospital, gathered together in hope as Steven laid unconscious in his recovery room. Just twenty-four hours later, Steven’s kidneys kicked in and completely flushed the thirty pounds of excessive fluid from his body. Five days later, Steven finally woke up. After another two weeks on the ventilator Steven took his first breath on his own. Unable to talk for the entire time the ventilator had been in place, as soon as it was removed Steven talked for a half hour straight to his loved ones who had crammed into his hospital room to see him. “All the emotions and thoughts I had for the past two weeks came out,” Steven remembers, “I was so happy I kept talking and drinking fluids for several hours.”

Fast-forward three years and Steven’s health is very good. His lung function is in the normal range and he is finally getting his life back, after ten years of fighting for it. “I feel very fortunate to be in the situation that I currently find myself in. After so many years of not knowing whether I would ever get a second or third chance at life, I am alive and well.” Steven says. He returned to Seattle University academically in the fall of 2016. He is now taking a full class load and set to graduate in June of 2017 with Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Administration of Justice. After graduating, Steven plans to get a job in either juvenile or adult justice. He loves criminology and has a passion for justice, both of which he plans to combine with his desire to give back and help others.

“I would like to thank Seattle University for sticking by me through thick and thin. Since 2002, the people at this school have been amazing. They have always been there for me and supported me. From Coach Fewing, Father Sundborg, and Jackie Helfgott to many others, I cannot say enough about this place,” Steven says. “I would also like to thank the entire medical team at the University of Washington for saving my life three times. And lastly, but not least, my family and those friends who are like family to me and who have been my rock through everything. I would not have made it without them.”

Steven hopes the trials and tribulations with his health are behind him. He is looking to the future, while staying present in each moment. Treating each day as a gift and cherishing every moment is how he seeks to live.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole teaches Issues in Contemporary Law Enforcement


This winter, students enrolled in undergrad/grad cross-listed course CRJS 4220-5220 Issues in Contemporary Law Enforcement had the opportunity to learn from Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole. Chief O’Toole is a member of the SUCJ Advisory Committee and joined the SUCJ Department this year as an adjunct professor. We look forward to more classes with Chief O’Toole. She and the students had a blast. Although I’m not sure about our newest and youngest member of the SUCJ community – MACJ student Obalvanna Chi’s new little one Seyara (pronounced “Sierra”) was quite as impressed. (Btw huge congrats Obalvanna – having a baby and getting right back at it mid-year is no easy feat  – wow!).

United States Probation & Pretrial Services Chief Connie Smith teaches Criminal Trial & the Courts

Connie SmithSpring quarter 2017 Chief Connie Smith from U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services will join the SUCJ faculty as an adjunct professor to teach CRJS 3100 Criminal Trial and the Courts. Chief Smith is an SU CJ alum (‘88) and a long-time member of the SUCJ Advisory Committee. Chief Smith, who has collaborated with our department on previous research initiatives, is now collaborating with us to launch our first-ever U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Practicum. This practicum, which will also be offered Spring Quarter, will be facilitated by recent MACJ graduates and now USPPS Researchers Ray Cowles and Caitie Healing. CJ undergrads -- Run, don’t walk, to register for CRJS 3100 Criminal Trial and the Courts!

Newly Hired! MACJ Students Jennifer Burbridge and Todd Hoagland hired by the Seattle Police Department and Karolyn Kukoski hired as DSHS Ombudsman at Special Commitment Center McNeil Island!

Jennifer BurbidgeAfter working as a Research Assistant on the SPD Micro Community Policing Plans (“MCPP”) for over two years (as the longest serving MCPP RA), recent MACJ grad Jennifer Burbridge was hired by the Seattle Police Department as the Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator.

Todd HoaglandCurrent MACJ student Todd Hoagland was recently hired in a paid internship in SPD Data Driven Unit. Jennifer and Todd join the growing number of SUCJ students who have been hired by SPD as officers, crime prevention coordinators, and crime analysts.

Karolyn KukoskiMACJ student Karolyn Kukoski who is currently finishing her thesis was recently hired by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services as Ombudsman for the Special Commitment Center at McNeil Island. Way to make SUCJ Proud! If we missed anyone else recently hired by SPD or other agencies, please let us know so we can share the news in future newsletters!

Seattle University's Criminal Justice Department at the Western Society of Criminology Annual Conference in Las Vegas!

We had our largest group ever of faculty and student presenters at this year’s Western Society of Criminology conference in Las Vegas February 9-11, 2017. All full-time tenure track faculty attended – Drs. Collins, Connor, Gunnison, Helfgott, Hickman, Parkin, Rice joined by MACJ students Brooke Bray, Jennifer Burbridge, Jessica Chandler, Chase Yap, Emily Malterud, Ray Cowles, Caitie Healing, Kalie Nelson, Agata Drozdov, and MACJ alums Beck Strah and Monica Sample. This was an especially exciting event because our own Dr. Matt Hickman was outgoing WSC President. Awesome time!

Department attendees at the Western Society of Criminology Conference 

Seattle University Department of Criminal Justice Houses the Journal of Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society Edited by Drs. Helfgott and Gunnison with Managing Editor MACJ Student Andrea Giuffre

Andrea GuiffreDrs. Helfgott and Gunnison began their three-year term as Editors of Western Society of Criminology's Journal of Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society (See: in February.  MACJ student Andrea Giuffre was selected for the CCJLS Managing Editor Position. Congrats Andrea – We are looking forward to this new adventure!

Dr. Collins Testifies in Support of Abolition of the Death Penalty in Washington State

Dr. Peter Collins testifying at Washington State CapitolDr. Peter Collins testified at the Washington State Capital in Olympia in support of legislation to abolish the death penalty in Washington State. Dr. Collins cited findings from his study, An Analysis of the Economic Costs of Seeking the Death Penalty in Washington, with SUCJ advisory committee member and SU Law faculty Bob Boruchowitz, SUCJ’s Dr. Matt Hickman, and SU Law faculty Mark Larranga.


The Center for the Study of Crime and Justice

Our Department's Center for the Study of Crime and Justice (CSCJ) brings together researchers, academics, and criminal justice professionals involved in the study of crime and justice to collaborate on research, continuing education and training, service initiatives, and public events. We have a number of ongoing and new collaborative initiatives: 

Seattle (and Seattle University with Seattle Police Department) selected as a site for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Misdemeanor Justice Network!

Students and Chair Jackie Helfgott at John Jay College

Seattle University Criminal Justice Drs. Helfgott and Parkin were awarded a $172,519 grant to be one of six sites nationwide selected to join New York as part of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Misdemeanor Justice Network. This is an important and exciting project funded by a 3.25-million, 3-year grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation that examines criminal justice response to lower-level offenses. The core sites -- Los Angeles, CA; Toledo, OH; Durham, NC; Prince George’s County, MD; and St. Louis, MO will be evaluated via data analytics to inform policy discussions and reform regarding trends in the enforcement of lower level offenses. More information is available here. Two Research Assistant positions (undergrad and grad) will be funded for this project.

Continuing Education & Community Events

Informational flyer for event on 04-28-17Our Department is hosting our Spring 2017 Continuing Education Event – All are welcome to attend! Students will receive a discounted rate ($50) for this excellent opportunity to network with fellow students and criminal justice professionals, while earning 8-hours of continuing education credit. Breakfast and lunch are provided. This year’s event will feature Dr. Lorie Fridell, Police Executive Research Director and author of Producing Bias-Free Policing: A Science-Based Approach. This is a Don’t Miss opportunity!

This Spring 2017 continuing education event follows the SUCJ Department 2016-17 series on the topic of policing and protest in the United States. The series kicked off last summer with a discussion facilitated by Kelvin Crenshaw, Retired Special Agent in Charge of Seattle Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In the fall, a formal event "Shared Dialogue on Policing & Protest in the United States" included panelists Jorge Reyes Alvarez DelcastilloAdjunct Faculty,  Seattle University Department of Psychology; Rex Caldwell, Operations Division Manager, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Academy; Felicia Cross – Chair, Seattle Police Department’s African American Community Advisory Committee; Gerald HankersonPresident, NAACP - Seattle-King County and NAACP-State Conference Alaska/Oregon/Washington; Les Liggins - Captain, Seattle Police Department; Matthew HickmanFaculty, Seattle University Department of Criminal Justice; James McCartySeattle University Campus Minister for Social Justice; Adjunct Faculty, School of Theology & Ministry; Al O'BrienAdjunct Faculty,  Seattle University Department of Criminal Justice; Washington State House of Representatives; Perry Tarrant, Asst. Chief, Seattle Police Department; Stephen RiceFaculty, Seattle University Department of Criminal Justice; Kshama SawantCouncilmember District 3, Seattle City Council; Cynthia Softli, Washington State Department of Corrections; Andre TaylorChairman, Not This Time; and John Vinson - Chief, University of Washington Police Department; Adjunct Faculty Seattle University Department of Criminal Justice. Winter quarter we held a showing of the documentary “Do Not Resist” followed by a panel including Kelvin Crenshaw; Lieutenant Brian Stampfl, Seattle Police Department; facilitated by SU CJ Adjunct faculty member Carmen Rivera, Juvenile Rehabilitation Coordinator, DSHS Echo Glen. 

Ongoing Collaborative Research 

  • Micro-Community Policing Plans (Partnership with Seattle Police Department). Dr. Parkin and Dr. Helfgott with students Brooke Bray, Jennifer Burbridge, Jessica Chandler, Shannon Ro, Joseph Singer, Chase Yap, Grace Goodwin, Karmen Schuur, Matt Thomas, and Zhanna Kachurina worked on the two year implementation evaluation completed January 31, 2017. The Seattle Police Department is funding another year of the project and a new group of MCPP RAs. MACJ students Mon-Cherie Barnes, Susan Nembhard, Puao Savusa, Matthew Todd, Michael Sowby, and BACJ student Alexa Gross will be joining the team to take over for the current RA team who have graduated/will be graduating in June 2017. Drs. Helfgott and Parkin in collaboration with SPD just submitted a National Institute of Justice Grant for the 2017 solicitation “Understanding the Impact of Police Strategies and Practices (Beyond Crime Reduction).” Fingers crossed!
  • Seattle Women’s Reentry Evaluation (Partnership with Seattle Police Department and Washington State Department of Corrections). Drs. Helfgott and Gunnison with RAs MACJ/JD student Tia Squires, MACJ student Kidst Messelu, and BSCJ student Nadine Guyo are in the 2nd year of data collection for this three year Bureau of Justice Assistance Second Chance Act Grant funded project. The study will follow women released from the Washington Corrections Center for Women for three years post-release.
  • Evaluation of the Effect of Guardian-Focused Training for Law Enforcement Officers at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission  (Partnership with Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission). Drs. Helfgott and Hickman with MACJ student RA Emily Malterud are working on this evaluation of the effects of the guardian training at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. Emily presented preliminary findings at this year’s Western Society of Criminology conference in Law Vegas with MACJ alum Beck Strah who worked on the earlier pilot phase of the project.
  • Center for Force Analysis (Partnership with Sanford, Olsen, & Scales). SUCJ Advisory committee member Kathryn Olsen and Bob Scales are partnering with SU Center for the Study of Criminal Justice to offer for-credit and paid research opportunities. BACJ Students Emma Koehler and Brianna Martinez coded use of force data for the project this year.
  • Seattle Police Department Crisis Intervention. SUCJ Advisory Committee member Sergeant Dan Nelson continues to be involved in many aspects of our department. Just this year alone, Sergeant Nelson served on two MACJ thesis committees: MACJ Blume Scholar Brooke Bray who recently completed 40-hour CIT training at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission and Karolyn Kukoski who, while working for Sound Mental Health, worked as a role play for the CIT scenarios at the WSCJTC. In addition to his work with our thesis students, Sergeant Nelson also supervised student interns interested in crisis intervention, including our own Blume Scholar BACJ student Ellary Collins who will be presenting her work at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health Congress in Prague in July 2017.

CJ Majors Dominate SU Softball!

Criminal Justice majors on volleyball teamNext time you overhear a conversation about “Three Strikes” among fellow classmates, don’t assume they are talking about the Persistent Offender Accountability Act! No – they may be strategizing for their next game! CJ Majors make up 1/3 of the SU Women’s Softball Team!!! Way to go Madison Cathcart (BACJ, Criminology & CJ Theory) Cherise Silvan (BACJ, Forensic Psychology), Savannah Loomis (CJ Minor), Andie Larkins (BACJ, Criminology & CJ Theory), Nicole Bolasky (BACJ, Administration of Justice), Emma Mitchell (BACJ, Forensic Psychology), Paige Bouska (BACJ, Forensic Psychology)! Let’s all get out to some games to support our SU Softball CJ Majors!

(left to right): Madison Cathcart holding Cherise Silvan, Savannah Loomis, Andie Larkins holding Nicole Bolasky, Emma Mitchell holding Paige Bouska

In Memoriam

Father Michael Kelliher (1936-2016), SUCJ Professor Emeritus

Father Michael KelliherFather Michael Kelliher, SU Department of Criminal Justice, Associate Professor Emeritus died on Thanksgiving at the Jesuit Center at Los Gatos. The SUCJ Department was co-founded in 1972 by Father Kelliher and Assistant Seattle Police Chief Eugene Corr. Father Kelliher served as CJ Department Chair from 1986 until 1997 and retired as professor emeritus in 2012. He was an active and much loved faculty member who taught courses including Criminology, Victimology, the Polygraph, and two of his favorites – Restorative Justice and Criminology and Literature.  Father Kelliher was a certified polygraph examiner since 1979, he was appointed by Governors Dan Evans and Dixie Lee Ray and in the 1970s and 80s to corrections and law enforcement boards and in the 1990s was on the board for the Northwest Center for Mediation and Restorative Justice.

Sign from Father Michael Kelliher's officeHe had a Polygraph office downtown on 3rd and James and he was very likely the only Jesuit Polygraph examiner in the world. He had a polygraph chair in his office and would strap students to it to practice for their CJ agency background checks. He was so proud of how much our department had grown at the time of his retirement and he would be even prouder now. He is known and loved by many and even performed the marriage ceremony for many CJ students and alumni over the years. We will continue to strive to grow our department in his honor.

Kaisha Chu (1977-2016), MACJ Student

Kaisha ChuKaisha Chu was an MACJ student in the 2016-17 cohort. During holiday break Kaisha died after a fall from the Crouching Lion hiking trail in Oahu. Her death was covered in the news media in Hawaii with accounts of how much she meant to her family, friends, Hawaii Pacific University where she received her undergrad degree, and to her soccer community. Kaisha was a valued member of the SU CJ Department of Criminal Justice. Just a week before her death she presented her final paper in the CRJS 5010 CJ Theory course – a powerfully delivered literature review on wrongful convictions. Kaisha was a sharp young woman with an incredible energy and a great deal to offer the world and to the field of criminal justice. Kaisha’s mother Cindy Chu visited campus in January and brought with her gifts from Hawaii to give to faculty and students. Kaisha’s mom said Kaisha loved SUCJ and very much enjoyed her first quarter at SU, the fellow students she met, and our faculty. We were honored to have Kaisha as a graduate student in our department, she will be deeply missed and remembered for her strong presence, and she and her family will always be a part of our department. There will be a luau in her honor Spring quarter put on by the Hawaiian Student Club.

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