Saint Leo faculty who teach online criminal justice and emergency and disaster management graduate courses are leaders and veterans in their fields.
For graduate students in criminal justice or emergency management, learning from professors with decades of practitioner experience in the field is invaluable.
And at Saint Leo University, it’s also nothing unusual.
Every course in the university’s online master’s in criminal justice program and online master’s in emergency and disaster management program is taught by faculty with impressive credentials, with many still working in their fields – emergency management, forensics, police leadership, homeland security, and more.
Take a course such as Leadership Applications in Critical Incident Management, which focuses on the principles and practices needed for effective command in emergency situations.
It’s just one class that Dr. Eloy Nunez teaches. With more than 26 years of law enforcement leadership experience, Dr. Eloy Nunez served as lieutenant and commander of the emergency operations unit with the Miami-Dade Police Department for 10 years. During that time, he was a principal planner of major events including the 1999 and the 2007 Super Bowls, the 2003 Free Area Trade of the Americas Conference, and the 2004 Presidential Debates.
Now an associate professor in Saint Leo’s Department of Public Safety Administration, Dr. Nunez teaches master’s-level courses in critical incident management.
“Since our faculty have extensive experience in the areas they teach, students can be confident that their professors’ perspectives and the knowledge they are gaining is relevant to the real-world,” says Dr. Robert Diemer, department chair and criminal justice professor.
Here are just a few of the many faculty members who teach online courses in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Master of Science in Emergency and Disaster Management programs at Saint Leo – and their impressive professional credentials.
Courses: Policy & Politics in Critical Incident Management, Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice, Legal Issues in Criminal Justice, Psychological Aspects of Critical Incident Management
Dr. Diemer began his career in 1977 as an officer with the New York Police Department. He has more than 35 years of investigative experience and extensive knowledge in undercover operations, drug enforcement investigations and aviation and Indian country policing. Dr. Diemer is an expert witness in federal court on undercover and surveillance operations. He has served as a deputy sheriff, state coordinator for the Florida Sheriff’s Association Statewide Task Force, and chief of investigations for the Florida Department of Environmental Protections’ Division of Law Enforcement.
Dr. Ernest Vendrell, Assistant Director of Graduate Studies in Criminal Justice
Courses: Social Dimensions of Disaster, Policy & Politics in Critical Incident Management, Management of Critical Incident Operations, Impact of Terrorism on Homeland Security
Dr. Ernest Vendrell retired from the Miami-Dade Police Department after serving 27 years in a sworn law enforcement capacity. During his law enforcement career, he worked in a variety of patrol, investigative, administrative and supervisory positions. An expert in emergency and disaster management, security management and critical incidents in policing, Dr. Vendrell, has authored numerous articles and book contributions on these topics.
Dr. Onalee Briley
Courses: Forensic & Medicolegal Death Investigation, Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice, Future Studies in Criminal Justices
Dr. Onalee Briley’s background in the criminal justice field includes working with juvenile delinquents and incarcerated youth offenders for more than 15 years and serving as a correctional probation officer in the prison system. She serves on the Community Relations Committee at Lake City Correctional Facility and volunteers with Florida’s Take Stock in Children Program.
Dr. Chris Hansen
Courses: Corrections Issues & Trends, Offender Treatment Methodology, Correctional Leadership, Contemporary Issues in Community Corrections
The Judges of the California Superior Court selected Dr. Chris Hanson as chief probation officer for Solano County in 2012. He is responsible for more than 220 staff and a $36-million budget. Dr. Hansen spent 23 years working for the Federal Probation System, including eight years as the chief probation officer for the District of Nevada in Las Vegas. Prior to his federal employment, Dr. Hanson worked for the State of Florida as a probation officer and a police officer. He is an expert in the use of evidence-based practices in the probation arena.
Dr. Todd Isaacson
Courses: Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice, Public Policy Making in Criminal Justice, Planning and Financial Management in Criminal Justice Agencies
Dr. Todd Isaacson currently works at the Jamestown Police Department in New York as the operations division commander. As a captain, he supervises 50 sworn police officers within the patrol side of the department. He also worked as a Medivac helicopter pilot for the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and had the opportunity to join the Starflight Helicopter Program. During his policing career, he was an active S.W.A.T. member, FBI certified hostage negotiator, community services supervisor and honor guard member. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy (Session 217).
William Jordan, J.D.
Courses: Legal Issues in Criminal Justice, Criminal Advocacy & Judicial Procedure
A practicing attorney, William Jordan has more than 42 years of experience in law enforcement. He was a security police officer in the U.S. Air Force, a traffic homicide investigator for the Clearwater Police Department, an assistant state attorney in Florida, an undersheriff and legal counsel for the Sumter County Florida Sheriff’s Office. He is a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar and a graduate of the FBI National Academy, VA session 211.
Dr. Angela Manos-Sittnick
Courses: Planning and Financial Management in Criminal Justice Agencies, Leadership Applications in Criminal Justice, Offender Treatment Methodology, Introduction to Forensic Science
Dr. Angela Manos-Sittnick is a retired U.S. Army colonel who served in the Military Police Corps for more than 32 years. During her Army career, she deployed to many areas including Kosovo, Somalia, Honduras, Haiti, Macedonia and Panama. Her final deployment was an 18-month tour of duty in Afghanistan where she served as the senior mentor to the Minister of the Interior. She has received numerous honors and awards including the Legion of Merit with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
Dr. Gary Metts
Courses: Leadership Applications in Criminal Justice, Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
Dr. Gary Metts is a retired lieutenant colonel of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina where he directed the sheriff’s office budget, purchasing, legal issues, employment, grants department policy, technology, sex offender program, and public concerns. A police officer for nearly 30 years, he also served in the U.S. Air Force as a narcotic/bomb K-9 police officer. He augmented the U.S. Secret Service in protection of Presidents Reagan and Bush for several years and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Class 202.
Dr. Phillip Neely
Courses: Legal & Regulatory Aspects of Critical Incident Management, Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice, Social Dimensions of Disaster, Management of HR in Criminal Justice Agencies
Dr. Phillip Neely served for 21 years as a law enforcement officer in the state of Georgia in a variety of leadership and field positions. He started as a street patrol officer and worked as a corrections officer, sheriff’s deputy, police commander and new officer trainer, eventually rising to the rank of major.
Dr. Wendy Nesheim
Courses: Policy and Politics in Critical Incident Management, Management of Critical Incident Operations, Applied Project in Critical Incident Management, Applied Research and Evaluation
Dr. Wendy Nesheim is a registered nurse and a certified emergency manager. She has worked in critical incident management and disaster medical response for 16 years. She has deployed to events such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustave and Sandy, the attacks on the World Trade Center Towers, and the Haitian earthquake as a member and commander of a disaster medical assistance team, which is part of the National Disaster Medical System under the Department of Health and Human Services. As a participant in a joint platform between the Navy and Project Hope, she has also deployed to humanitarian medical missions including the tsunami in Indonesia.
Dr. Douglas Orr
Courses: Impact of Terrorism on Homeland Security, Criminal Sexual Behaviors
A 30-year law enforcement veteran, Dr. Douglas Orr has served as a commissioned police officer in South Carolina, Idaho and Washington. A nationally certified polygraph examiner, he is currently a major crimes detective and computer forensics examiner in the Special Investigation Unit of the Spokane Police Department.
Dr. Barbara Russo
Courses: Management of Critical Incident Operations, Hazard Mitigation, Leadership Applications in Critical Incident Management, Social Dimensions of Disaster, Financial Management
Dr. Barbara Russo is an 18-year veteran of the fire service, serving as both a volunteer and career professional, most recently as the division chief of training and standards for the city of Jacksonville Fire Department in North Carolina. She is currently serving as an advisor and subject matter expert with the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board in Melbourne, Australia in an effort to establish an ongoing dialogue addressing diversity and inclusivity issues facing women in the Australian fire and emergency services.
Christine Sereni-Massinger, J.D.
Courses: Legal Issues in Criminal Justice, Criminal Advocacy & Judicial Procedure
Associate Professor Christine Sereni-Massinger is a seasoned trial attorney who began her career as a state prosecutor and tried numerous jury and non-jury trials on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She was elected Pennsylvania’s youngest female judge at the age of 27 and served in that capacity for 10 years. She has also practiced criminal defense law and tried numerous felony cases.
Dennis Stotts, J.D.
Courses: Environmental Crimes
Dennis Stotts has more than 40 years of professional experience in the environmental field as a research scientist, regulator and environmental attorney. He served as head of enforcement for the district of the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation covering South Florida and has represented local governments and private entities for more than 30 years as an environmental attorney.
Dr. John Sullivan
Courses: Risk Identification & Assessment, Hazard Mitigation, Financial Management, Management of Human Resources in Criminal Justice Agencies
Dr. John Sullivan is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served five years as an air traffic controller during the Vietnam War era. He began his career in municipal law enforcement and spent 25 years as a U.S. Treasury special agent serving with the U.S. Customs Service. Dr. Sullivan headed one of the first national threat assessments on air terrorism in addition to an international enforcement program apprehending international child predators. Dr. Sullivan developed a multi-million dollar law enforcement training center for a large municipality and serves as the executive liaison to Homeland Security for the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.
Moneque Walker-Pickett, J.D.
Courses: Fundamentals of Civil Litigation, Criminal Advocacy and Judicial Procedure
Associate Professor Moneque Walker-Pickett is an experienced attorney who received the U.S. Presidential Management Fellowship and was assigned to work with the Department of Labor and Social Security Administration in Washington, D.C. During part of that time, she also worked on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Fellow. Upon completing her fellowship, she founded her own general practice law firm.
Peter R. Wubbenhorst, J.D.
Courses: Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
Professor Emeritus Peter Wubbenhorst retired as a supervisory special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after 22 years of service. For 11 years, he was the chief division counsel for the FBI Tampa Division where he was actively involved in every facet of the Bureau’s jurisdiction, including complex terrorism investigations. He served as a Navy Reserve JAG commander and prior to earning his law degree, spent four years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army Infantry with the 25th Infantry Division.
Image credits: RDaniel on Shutterstock
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