College of Justice & Safety Honors Scholars

Student Krista Smithers and Lecturer James Wells display their respective awards

On Thursday, April 28, Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Justice & Safety (CJ&S) recognized its distinguished faculty members, undergraduate and graduate students for 2016.  Additionally, for the first time, the College honored two faculty members for their notable contributions to student mentoring.

Nancye Davis, chair, department of fire protection and paramedicine sciences in the School of Safety, Security and Emergency Management (SSEM) presented the Distinguished Undergraduate Student Award to Reagan Clark, an Emergency Medical Care program graduate.  Reagan hopes to work in Lexington’s Central Baptist Hospital Emergency Room and use her bachelor’s degree and her clinical experience at the University of Kentucky’s Physician’s Assistant program.

Dr. Tom Schneid, chair and acting director of the master’s program for SSEM presented the Distinguished Graduate Student Award to Anne Fuchs who earned her master’s degree in homeland security.  Anne is currently pursuing employment with several lead federal agencies within the realm of investigations and intelligence analysis.

Dr. Schneid also presented the Distinguished Faculty Award to Corey Hanks, lecturer for the department of fire protection and paramedicine sciences. This award is based on exceptional scholarship, teaching and service.

For the School of Justice Studies, (SJS) Krista Smithers was named the 2016 Distinguished Undergraduate Student.  Smithers, a criminal justice major was recognized for her outstanding work in the classroom and for her role as president of EKU’s Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society.

The 2016 Distinguished Graduate Student Award was presented to Molly Dunn.  Dunn has received several offers from prestigious universities – including Arizona State University to pursue a doctorate in justice studies and York University in Toronto to pursue a doctorate in sociology.  She has decided to attend Arizona State University.

Dr. Victoria Collins, associate professor, was named the 2016 Distinguished Faculty Member for SJS for her teaching performance, both in graduate and undergraduate courses on white collar crime, state crime, victimology and violence against women, as well as her prolific publishing work, research and student engagement.

All three SJS awards were presented by CJ&S associate dean, Dr. Gary Potter.

Both recipients of the Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award – Dr. James Wells and Dr. Paul Grant - have long and distinguished histories of student guidance and counseling.

Dr. Wells, professor, SJS is active in re-entry initiatives and is a member of the Bluegrass Re-entry Council, the Episcopal Prison Ministry Commission, the Community Relations Board at the Bureau of Prisons Federal Medical Center, and Mission Behind Bars and Beyond. 

Dr. Grant, associate professor, SSEM, is active in multiple mentoring activities including serving as the faculty adviser of a student service club - the Association of Fire Science Technicians since 2010.


Both Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Awards were presented by Dr. Jim Larsgaard.

The College of Justice and Safety also recognized four retiring faculty and thanked them for their many years of service.  From the SJS - Dr. John Curra, professor; Dr. Preston Elrod, professor; and Dr. Ken Tunnell, professor.  From the Institute of Social Intelligence and Leadership – Dr. Stephen Sampson, program of distinction fellow.


Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Justice & Safety has been designated as a Program of Distinction by the Council for Post-Secondary Education.

Published on April 29, 2016