JLA grad creating legacy of his own

WCSU grad Jeremiah Johnson is following some big footsteps — and says he wouldn’t be where he is today without the education, guidance and support he received at Western.

Johnson, a detective sergeant with the Darien Police Department, received a master’s degree in justice and law administration from Western in 2008. He is currently a doctoral candidate at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York where he is this year’s recipient of the Niederhoffer fellowship award for outstanding JCC doctoral student.

Dr. Arthur Niederhoffer, who died in 1981, was a “street cop turned sociologist.” The former member of the New York City Police Department eventually worked his way to professor of sociology at the law school. Johnson said the award is especially meaningful because of the legacy that Niederhoffer left behind.

“To continue that legacy is the idea behind the fellowship,” Johnson said. “It means a lot because there are a good number of people who graduated from John Jay and are former recipients. Not only am I following in Niederhoffer’s footsteps, it’s nice to be associated with former recipients as well.”

Some recipients of the prestigious award include Dr. Heath Grant, director of research for the Police Executive Research Forum; Dr. Abby Stein, associate professor at John Jay and Chief Executive Officer of Stein Psychodynamic Associates LLC; and Dr. Martin Greenberg, associate professor of criminal justice at Miles College in Alabama, vice president of THT of New York Inc. and director of research and education at New York State Association of Auxiliary Police Inc.

“Jeremiah Johnson is one of our ‘shining stars,’ said WCSU Professor of Justice & Law Administration Casey Jordan. “He is a full-time police officer who came into our master’s program part time and really excelled. It is nice to see one of our own not only go to John Jay, but to really become one of its most outstanding students.”

Johnson said it was WCSU’s JLA program that set him on the path by preparing him for the rigorous program at John Jay.

“It wasn’t just pure criminology; it combined administration and management in the context of criminal justice,” he said. “It was very practical in addition to the theoretical elements. It exposed me to concepts I can use in the work place, such as reorganizing the department, succession planning and labor law concepts.”

And it whetted his appetite for even more.

“At the end of the program, I felt like I wasn’t done yet. I wanted more,” Johnson said. “What opened the door for me was starting out in the Western program.”

Johnson, who expects to complete the doctoral program in May 2013, also teaches undergraduate courses in public administration and leadership and performance measurement.


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