Experiential Learning Opportunities
Terry Redlin Mentor Program
Because the University's motto is Culture for Service, many academic programs and faculty members incorporate service-learning into their curriculums and pedagogy. Professor of Criminal Justice Beth O'Toole is one of these faculty members. In 2006, she started a school-based mentor program between USF and Terry Redlin Elementary School. The growth and success of the program since then has been phenomenal. Historically, USF provides anywhere from 40 to 100 mentors each year.
Although Professor O'Toole originally began the program with USF students who were enrolled in her Juvenile Justice course, the program has greatly impacted USF's campus and has evolved to include USF mentors from many academic majors and backgrounds, as well as faculty and staff members. The goals of the Terry Redlin Mentor Program are three-fold: (1) to provide assistance, role modeling, and positive interaction between adults and students; (2) to promote the importance of education; and (3) to help students achieve short-term goals that will eventually lead to school and lifetime success.
Academy of Criminal Justice Science Annual Meeting
Our faculty attend and present at this conference every year, and they work with students to develop research and present as well. Professor Beth O’Toole has worked with 18 students to present at this conference in Seattle, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Chicago and New York City. In 2012, Professor O'Toole and six of her students were selected to present a full panel on current issues in Capital Punishment in New York City. This opportunity is available for Junior/Senior Criminal Justice students every spring.
National Mediation Tournament
The National Mediation Tournament affords students the opportunity to compete against other colleges and universities.
At the 2012 National Intercollegiate Mediation Tournament in Gainesville Ga., at Brenau University, USF's mediation team placed 10th in Advocacy and 6th in Mediation out of 38 teams. According to Assistant Criminal Justice Professor Mike Thompson, the essence of mediation is dispute resolution.
"The communication skills that a mediator must cultivate and utilize are assets in any relational situation," said Thompson. "Students who participate in mediation activities learn the value of active listening while they identify parties' needs that can be addressed in a resolution."