Dr. Justin Patchin: 2023 Wall of Fame Inductee

November 13, 2023 - JJ Thomas

Photo of Dr. Justin Patchin, an inductee into the 2023 School of Criminal Justice Wall of FameDr. Justin Patchin is an inductee into the 2023 Criminal Justice Wall of Fame and a Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.

Dr. Justin Patchin grew up in the serenity of Northern Minnesota, where he spent his free time playing hockey and running cross-country. It was sometime in High School that Justin’s interest in Criminal Justice – specifically policing - was piqued.

Justin’s initial plan was to graduate from High School and immediately attend a Policing Academy. However, a former teacher suggested that Justin pursue a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice before attending the Academy. This advice led Justin to attend the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

During his Junior year, Justin worked at a Youth Residential Treatment Facility where he discovered a sincere passion for helping troubled youth. This experience changed Justin’s future career plans. No longer did he want to be a police officer, he wanted to work in Juvenile Justice.

Justin continued to work with the Youth Treatment Facility after graduating but still wanted to take on more responsibility and help more youth. His co-workers and peers saw his potential and recommended he pursue a graduate-level degree.

This time, the advice Justin received led him to the MSU School of Criminal Justice to pursue a graduate-level degree. He was drawn to the MSU School of Criminal Justice because he could pursue both a Masters and Doctoral degree with a focus on Juvenile Delinquency Prevention.


Early in his graduate career, he and Sameer Hinduja (also a member of the Wall of Fame) shared a common interest in studying how teens interact with technology. Their combined curiosity laid the foundation for research – and a friendship – that continues to this day.

He also established strong working relationships with other students and faculty in the School, including with Dr. Tim Bynum (Professor Emeritus) who was a significant influence on Justin’s decision to pursue a PhD.

Justin describes his time at MSU as transformative, saying “The cooperative atmosphere played a vital role in my journey. Graduate students would work on projects together, students would work with faculty on projects, we were all in it together.”


In the last year of his Doctoral Program, Dr. Justin Patchin interviewed with the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. Even though he had other opportunities for future employment, he quickly realized that UW-Eau Claire would be a good fit. Justin found that the atmosphere at UW-Eau Claire was familiar to his time at MSU. His position as an Assistant Professor allowed him to balance teaching and research. This balance gave Justin the space to emphasize quality over quantity in his research, which in turn enhanced his reputation in the field.

Today, Dr. Justin Patchin continues to enjoy a balance of research and teaching and says that the best part of being a Professor is his interactions with students, their enthusiasm, and their thirst for knowledge that fuels his passion. Reflecting on his journey, he credits MSU for shaping him into the professor he is today, emphasizing that everything he practices now was nurtured there.

Dr. Justin Patchin’s advice for students is to not neglect the importance of research experience and to explore the wide range of opportunities available to a student at MSU. When speaking with students, he shares his journey, emphasizing that broader educational opportunities provide diverse pathways. By sharing his story, Dr. Justin Patchin inspires others to take the unexpected paths that lead to the most rewarding destinations.