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Nancy Hogan

Criminal Justice Faculty

by John Smith - Oct. 5, 2018 

Paul Jackson, left, and Nancy Hogan, right

Nancy Hogan came to Ferris State University’s Criminal Justice faculty, in 1997, with a wealth of experience in corrections and counseling and a keen desire to give back to those who worked in the profession.

Hogan also found that, as one of four new members of the department’s faculty, two peers had a similar interest in authoring scholarly research. Her collaborative efforts with Eric Lambert, the chair of the Criminal Justice program at the University of Reno-Nevada, are continuing more than 20 years later.

“Eric had come to Ferris from the federal prison system. I had worked in maximum security facilities, and we shared our hopes to study factors that could improve the job satisfaction of those working in the correctional system,” Hogan said. “They face incredibly stressful situations in their daily work, an indirect trauma that we believe has parallels with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

The professor has authored nearly 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, many of which included work with Shannon Barton, who is a professor with the Indiana State University Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Hogan, Barton and Lambert have worked on more than 20 published pieces since their acquaintance was established as new members of Ferris’ faculty.

“We have considered work environment variables, which we have found to have a great influence on staff behavior,” Hogan said. “We believe these observations have applications outside the correctional arena.”

Hogan said, as a research-focused criminologist, it was clear to her that while civil rights considerations for women were slow to develop, opportunities have grown and a staffer’s gender has become less of an issue.

“A female officer would frequently find themselves in traffic enforcement, working with women who were in the system, or counseling and caring for juvenile offenders,” Hogan said. “Thankfully, Michigan has had women like Pam Withrow, who spent nearly 20 years as a warden in the state’s Department of Corrections and was a real innovator. She received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Ferris and has served on advisory board for our program. Our current students enjoy a much broader scope of societal and operational considerations as they pursue their career goals.”

Hogan said with her advisory role as program coordinator for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration, serving as a CJ faculty member and presenting at academic conferences, there is always something competing for her time and attention. She said it is a demanding and enjoyable process to complete and present research, which has changed slightly over time.

“It seems to have shifted quickly since I started out as a member of the audience in a conference in awe of an author of a textbook who was there to present on their work. Now, I am the one hearing from doctoral students who are preparing their dissertations,” Hogan said. “They want to know more about some facet of Eric’s and my work. So, it is very humbling to see that concept come full circle.”

Hogan said her status as a researcher and presenter was accentuated and advanced through the support of established correctional experts.

“Ed Latessa, who is a nationally-recognized expert in corrections, criminal justice and juvenile justice from the University of Cincinnati, took an interest in our work, including our research in some of his publications,” Hogan said. “Frank Cullen, who is that school’s distinguished research professor emeritus, also helped us to understand that operational study is an important part of our job. It is very flattering to be given that kind of support and consideration.”

Hogan said her latest work with Lambert, co-authored with Eugene Paoline III, the director of the graduate program in the University of Central Florida’s Department of Criminal Justice examines staff perceptions of inmate medical care which they report can impact stress levels for both inmates and employees at a facility.

“As a researcher and presenter, I attend a number of conferences each year, where I meet people with like interests, and we discuss those,” Hogan said. “Sometimes these contacts may not have time to adequately review data they have collected which presents an opportunity to collaborate and advance that area of research.”

As the Criminal Justice Administration program coordinator, Hogan said it is gratifying to see graduates succeed in the field and bring their expertise to bear as members of Ferris’ faculty.

“Kim Koster is a CJA graduate who became director of the Wyoming Department of Public Safety earlier this year, several months after Karianne Thomas was promoted to become the chief of Kalamazoo’s DPS,” Hogan said. “Thomas’ assistant chief, Vernon Coakley, is also an alumnus of our program. We have Mike Mendenhall, Kristin Poleski and Greg Vanderkooi on our faculty, sharing their expertise and experience with our students, now. I try and impress upon my students that one never knows what opportunities might present themselves. So, it is important to develop the tools in their toolbox so they are ready to meet the challenges that might arise.”

Hogan said while those peers who hired in with her in 1997 have moved on to other universities, she is pleased and proud of the work done at Ferris to enhance and grow the reputation of the Criminal Justice programs and the Law Enforcement Academy.

“We are well established as a premier criminal justice institution,’ Hogan said. “We have a number of undergraduate alumni who understand the quality of learning and program excellence, so they return for their Master’s degree. It only helps to further our reputation.”

The considerable and voluminous efforts to examine the life and health of correctional facilities will continue for Hogan, who was named the 2016 Academic Scholar by a committee appointed by the Academic Affairs Office of the Provost.

“I want to keep up on the latest research because I want students to know their job stress is real, so they recognize it, work to deal with it and continue to advance and succeed in their careers.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Criminal Justice professor Nancy Hogan is the director of Ferris State University's graduate program in Criminal Justice Administration, and the university's 2016 recipient of the Academic Scholar award. She is pictured here, receiving that honor from vice president of academic affairs and Provost Paul Blake.

John Smith is the communications specialist in the News Services and Social Media department of University Advancement and Marketing.

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