Paul Lucas by the door of the Criminology Office The Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at IUP enables students to shine academically through conferences and publications. PhD candidate Paul Lucas has been able to develop an active research agenda and publish original research that focuses on his main research interest, Veterans Treatment Courts. "This would not have been possible without the guidance of the faculty," he said.

How Graduate Students Get Involved

Graduate students in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice can participate in the Criminology Graduate Student Organization and the only student chapter of the Pennsylvania Prison Society.

Criminology Graduate Student Organization

The CGSO is committed to providing information to graduate students to aid in their success. Each semester, the CGSO sponsors two "Brown Bag" luncheons featuring criminology faculty members talking on a variety of topics. Past luncheons have covered: professional development in academia, academic job searches, Web-based surveys, and doing research with faculty. The CGSO's annual "Bowling for Kids" event raises money for Big Hearts/Little Hands of Indiana County.

Alpha Phi Sigma

The National Criminal Justice Honor Society was founded in 1942 and is the only nationally recognized Criminal Justice Honor Society. For more than half a century, Alpha Phi Sigma has continued to foster its four ideals: Academic Excellence, Unity, Leadership, and Service.

Student members shall be enrolled full- or part-time and shall be of high moral character. Post-baccalaureate students shall meet a minimum 3.4 cumulative grade point average or rank in the top 25 percent of their class.

IUP Student Chapter of the Pennsylvania Prison Society

Open to graduate students, the following are among the chapter activities:

  • Reading for a Change Program: Located at the Indiana County Jail, the program is for incarcerated parents and their children. Doctoral students audio-record the parents reading books that they have chosen, which have been donated by community groups such as ARIN and the Kiwanis Club, and then both the book and the recording are mailed to their children. There is often a personalized message at the end of each recording. The program is conducted free of cost to the inmate and the family. The goal is to help build the bonds that are lost when a parent becomes incarcerated.
  • Expert Panel Presentations: A recent panel presentation was "A Discussion about Justice, Innocence, and the Criminal Justice System." The speakers were Kirk Bloodsworth, exonoree; Bill Moushey, Director of the Innocence Institute; Craig Cooley, attorney; Dr. Cyril Wecht, noted forensic pathologist, attorney, and medical legal consultant; and John Rago, Director of the Post-Conviction DNA Project.
  • Understanding Crime and Justice Series: Each semester, members of the IUP Student Chapter of the Pennsylvania Prison Society organize a video presentation followed by a panel discussion.
  • Poster Presentations: Members of the IUP Student Chapter of the Pennsylvania Prison Society create and staff occasional poster presentations on current events. For example, in 2014 the chapter created a poster presentation that focused on drawing attention toward the death penalty as it is administered in Pennsylvania. The poster highlighted legal issues, appellate and exoneration processes, and specific newsworthy cases.
  • Fundraisers: Chapter members hold fundraisers and toy drives for local charities.