Spotlights

Alumni

  • Daniel Young
    Dan Young is a passionate professional and inventor, developing philanthropist, and all-around nice guy. He is also an alumni of the School of Criminal Justice (receiving both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree), Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Circadian Risk, mentor, and movie buff.

    Daniel Young in a suitDan grew up in Holly, Michigan and moved to East Lansing in 1997 to study Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. His initial interest in studying criminal justice was driven by his desire to work in the field at the federal level, but overtime he decided that this trajectory wasn’t what he wanted. This led Dan to schedule an appointment with Tim Homberg (Career Placement Specialist) to seek out other career paths within criminal justice. During this meeting, Dan was introduced to the field of private security and a company called Guardsmark.

    At an open recruitment/hiring session hosted by Guardsmark, Dan met with the company representatives and asked them one simple, life altering question: “what is the ideal candidate you are looking for?” This question impressed the reps from Guardsmark so much that they created an internship – the first one in the company’s history – specifically for Dan. Dan continued his internship with Guardsmark and by last semester of college he was a full-time manager.

    Aside from his nearly 8 year stint at Guardsmark where he managed over 100 security officers, Dan has spent time as a Regional Bioterrorism Coordinator for the District 1 Regional Medical Response Coalition, co-founded Do1Thing, served as the President & CEO of Aegis Bleu, and most recently founded Circadian Risk.

    Outside of work, Dan enjoys donating his time to various causes, non-profits and charities. Dan played a vital role in the restructuring of Michigan Pride when the organization was going bankrupt and desperately needed change by creating a new board, bylaws, and co-chair system. Dan also enjoys camping, painting, entertaining guests with his boyfriend, and watching movies – as long as they aren’t horror films. Dan has a dog; Alvin, a Pomeranian-Chihuahua and Toy-Fox Terroir mix (the first small dog he has ever owned) and seems to be resistant to fatigue and burnout, as he is also writing a book and has taught CJ 385 and 485 for the School of Criminal Justice.

    Dan’s advice to current and future students is to network and do things to make yourself stand out among the field. Dan says that if someone knows who you are, that you will get a better job because of the connection. His advice for students who are unsure of what they want to do in their future careers is to change your mindset. He says that too many students spend time saying “I don’t know what I want to do.” Instead, he suggests saying “I know what I don’t want to do” and narrowing your options from there. This way you check off all of the boxes of the things you know you absolutely do not what to do so you will have a better understanding of what you want and get a better direction of what to look for.

    Finally, in true movie buff fashion, Dan mentions one of his favorite quotes from Master Oogway (Kung Fu Panda): “There’s a saying: ‘yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift that is why it is called present.’” Dan further elaborates on how he lives his life by this philosophy. He says that it is a waste to be worried about the future and upset by the past; that everything is solvable if you focus on the solutions and live positively.
  • Jeffrey Senese

    Jeffrey SeneseThe Alumni Spotlight is a new series for our website where we will highlight the achievements of our alumni from all corners of the world in a variety of careers. Our first alumni in the spotlight is Dr. Jeffrey Senese; president of Saint Leo University, Florida’s first Catholic University.

    Prior to attending Michigan State University, Jeff earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Pennsylvania State University, and his Master’s Degree in Criminology from Indiana State University. Interested in continuing his education, Jeff attended Michigan State University where he studied Criminal Justice, Statistics, and Geography, earning his PhD in 1992. While pursuing his Doctoral Degree, Jeff’s research focused on the relationships between crime, unemployment and social welfare programs. Since then, Dr. Senese has completed multiple Higher Education Programs throughout his career, including: The Academic Management Institute at the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems; The Pennsylvania State University Leadership Academy; The Institute for Higher Education Management at Harvard University; and a Certificate in Development from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Throughout his career, Dr. Senese has served in a variety of faculty and administrative positions. He has started his academic career at Indiana University before moving over to the University of Baltimore where he served in multiple positions, including a stint as Department Chair, and as an Associate Dean. Other positions Dr. Senese has held throughout his career include:

    • Chief Academic Officer at a Penn State Campus;
    • Academic Vice President at Mount Ida College;
    • Vice President for Academic Affairs at Philadelphia University;
    • Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice Provost of Johnson & Wales University-Providence;
    • First Provost at Cardinal Stritch University;
    • First Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Saint Leo University.

    Dr. Senese also served as a reviewer for multiple Higher Education Accreditors, including NEASC and Middle States; Program Accreditors in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire; as well as conducting research funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Defense; and has work experience in South Africa, Asia, and throughout Europe. For his contributions, Dr. Senese has been recognized by the State of Maryland, and the Baltimore City Council. He has also published a methods book, multiple book chapters, professional articles, and other publications as well. He has presented at multiple conferences and events, and has been interviewed by multiple media outlets.

    Dr. Senese and his wife, Alicia, have two children: Mia who is a recent graduate of Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, and Daniel, who is currently attending Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

Faculty

  • Karen Holt

    Welcome to the Faculty Spotlight Series, where we will introduce you to a member of the School of Criminal Justice Faculty on a monthly basis. Our first spotlight is of Assistant Professor Karen Holt.

    Karen Holt at OfficeDr. Holt joined the School of Criminal Justice in 2013 as an Adjunct Professor before being promoted to Assistant Professor in 2016. Although there are a range of research topics that excite her, Dr. Holt’s main research focuses are sexual violence and victimization, and identity and crime. Her latest study was an ethnography of mothers who actively use meth in the rural south.

    Dr. Holt was born and raised about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia, where her family still lives and she still enjoys visiting on a frequent basis due to her love of everything about the East Coast. For her undergraduate studies, Dr. Holt attended DeSales University (a small, Catholic University in Pennsylvania). She was drawn to DeSales because they were one of the only schools in the nation where a student could study Psychology with a Forensic emphasis. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree, Dr. Holt worked in multiple outpatient treatment settings including a court mandated treatment program for juvenile and adult sexual offenders.

    It was her work with the Karen Holt at Alma Matertreatment program that led Dr. Holt to further her education in Criminal Justice and attend Graduate School. Inspired, Dr. Holt attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice CUNY in New York City where she received two Master’s Degrees (one in Forensic Psychology and one in Criminal Justice) and her Doctoral Degree in Criminal Justice

    Karen Holt with StatueOutside of work, Dr. Holt enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and reading various literary works (particularly Semiotics and Mythology). Music also plays a vital role in Dr. Holt’s life – especially Jay-Z. She is such a fan of Jay-Z that Dr. Holt actually thanked him in her dissertation (this was back when Karen’s last name was Pepper)! *insert Dr. Pepper puns here* Dr. Holt says “I consider myself very fortunate to have this job. Crime is one of the most fascinating subjects, and it’s never boring. I’ve been lucky to have been mentored by some criminological rock stars, most notably my dissertation chair, Jock Young. I love what I do and I think it’s important that students see that so that they get excited too.”

Graduate Student

  • Marva Goodson

    Marva Goodson is a fifth year PhD Student in the School of Criminal Justice who was recently named a Ford Foundation Scholar. Marva’s research interests include Social Network Analysis, Social Capital, and exploring the risks and needs of women in the Criminal Justice system.

    Marva first came to Michigan State University to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. Since then, she has received a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from MSU, and is now close to completing the Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice. Marva’s plan for the next year is to complete her dissertation and publish additional manuscripts before graduating. Prior to returning to MSU to pursue her Masters Degree and PhD, Marva worked as a tutor at the residential placement facility for girls, a substitute teacher, research interviewer, an undergraduate research assistant, a YMCA math, science and reading instructor, and program director for a youth development program serving high-risk, court involved youth.

    As a Graduate Student, Marva has been awarded over a dozen fellowships, scholarships and awards including the National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, the Social Networks & Health Fellowship (from the Duke Network Analysis Center), the Ford Foundation Fellowship, and the King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship. When she is able to find some free time in her hectic schedule, Marva enjoys exercising and spending time with her family.

Undergraduate Student

  • Natalie Hix

    Ever since she was a child, Natalie has Natalie Hix in front of US Capitolbeen interested in a career where she could “be involved directly with he public and could give back to the community” and felt that a career in Criminal Justice would be the “most interesting and applicable way to do so” by either “increasing the good or decreasing the bad” in the world.

    Growing up on the Western shores of Michigan, in Grand Haven, Natalie developed a passion for the outdoors. Some of her favorite hobbies include biking (both road and mountain), trying out new art forms, immersing herself in the greenery on campus – particularly the Baker Woodlot and Rajendra Neotropical Migrant Bird Sanctuary – and practicing one of the many instruments she plays, particularly her violin…which, in case you were wondering, she does play outside.

    Not being the type to sit still for too long, Natalie has taken advantage of the vast array of opportunities students have to get involved at Michigan State University. Natalie says: “there’s a club and place for every interested, and students are enabled to reach as high as they can through numerous resources and mentors.” Some of the various roles Natalie has played in student groups include Community Outreach Coordinator for the American Criminal Justice Association, Communications Director for Phi Beta Delta, and a member of Alpha Phi Sigma. She has also volunteered with the Crown Boxing Club and the English Tutoring Program.

    Natalie Hix in front of flagsNatalie has taken advantage of the multiple internships and research opportunities available to Criminal Justice students at Michigan State University. She has held internships with Homeland Security Investigations, the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center, the U.S. Department of State Bureau for Conflict and Stabilization Operations, and has an upcoming internship as a Park Guide at the Missouri National Recreation River. She has been a member of Dr. Chermak’s research team that studied “patterns of radicalization online and characteristics of schools that faced gun violence” and is conducting research on “terrorist deradicalization programs and their potential ties with restorative justice” under the guidance of Derrick Franke under a Provost Undergraduate Research Grant. She has also studied abroad in Jordan.

    Having worked at four different coffee establishments, Natalie is a self-described career barista and pro cappuccino maker. Throughout her time at MSU, Natalie has been employed as a Greencoat with the MSU Police Department, a Student Assistant at the Michigan Department of Corrections, a Crisis Line Advocate at EVE’s House, and as an Undergraduate Learning Assistant for CJ 110: Intro to Criminal Justice.

    Graduating in the Spring of 2019, Natalie has spent time reflecting on her previous three years as a student at MSU. She says that her favorite part of being a CJ student has been the people, stating: “the faculty here are absolutely incredible, everyone is so kind and encouraging of students.” She continues to say that she is inspired by the passion the faculty have for their research, and it inspires her to further pursue her own interests.

    Natalie Hix playing violin

  • Madeleine Dahm

    Madeleine Dahm is a Junior at Michigan State University pursuing a degree in International Relations and Criminal Justice with a minor in Security Management. Recently, Madeleine received the Gupta Values Scholarship; a Scholarship that is granted to students who “embody the specific values of integrity, dignity, excellence, and creativity.”

    Madeleine Dahm at a restaurantFor as long as she can remember, Madeleine has had the desire to improve the lives of those around her and to make a positive impact on society as a whole. This desire led her to look into federal law enforcement, where Madeleine believed she would be able to make a positive impact on a daily basis. Madeleine says she decided to study Criminal Justice because it was the field that would best prepare her for a future career in federal law enforcement.

    Madeleine Dahm hiking in the woodsAs a student at MSU, Madeleine has been heavily involved in the Criminal Justice Community. She has worked as a Greencoat for the MSU Police Department and has held two internships: one with Court Watch NOLA (an organization who’s mission is to “promote reform in the Orleans Parish criminal court system”) and another with the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection. Currently, she is working as an Undergraduate Research Assistant with Dr. Jay Kennedy. Staying true to her desire to improve the lives of others, Madeleine spends a large amount of her free time volunteering with MSU’s Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention Team, which is part of the Sexual Assault Program; and has volunteered with Haven House in East Lansing, participated in Alternative Spartan Breaks, and has taught English to daycare children in Dharamsala, India.

    Madeleine Dahm with a Spartan umbrella in the cityDuring her final year at MSU, Madeleine says she plans to continue her involvement with the Criminal Justice Community as a member of Alpha Phi Sigma; through her work on the E-Boards of the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA) and the MSU Student Cold Case Unit; presenting her and Dr. Kennedy’s research findings at a conference in March; interning with the USDA-Office of the Inspector General; and studying abroad in Brussels.

    Congratulations, Madeleine, for receiving the prestigious Gupta Values Scholarship – you earned it!