Westminster College Faculty to Discuss the Contemporary Face of Probation

Friday, November 2, 2012

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Dr. Shannon Smithey, associate professor of political science, and Dr. Kristenne Robison, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, will present "The Contemporary Face of Probation" at the Faires Faculty Forum Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 11:40 a.m. in the Sebastian Mueller Theater of the McKelvey Campus Center.

Two Westminster students assisted the faculty with the research that will be covered in the presentation: Matthew Shiner, a junior sociology and criminal justice major, is a son of William and Lou Ann Shiner and a graduate of Clearfield High School. Jennifer Duvall, a senior sociology and criminal justice major, is a daughter of Frank and Jane Duvall of Atwater, Ohio, and a graduate of Waterloo High School.

According to the group, probation offices in Pennsylvania do not systematically assess the effectiveness of their programs. To gain insight into why this is, they spent last year combing through computer files and manila folders at a local county adult probation office.  The data provided a portrait of who is on probation and how they are supervised, with the long-term goal being to test the common assumption that "everyone comes back."

Smithey, who has been with Westminster since 2003, earned undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University, and master's and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

Robison, who has been with Westminster since 2009, earned an undergraduate degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, master's degrees from Ohio State University and Syracuse University, and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.

The Faculty Forum was established in 1990 by Dr. Barbara Faires, Westminster professor of mathematics emerita, during her term as dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs.  Faculty members from all disciplines volunteer to present lectures on their current research, artistic productions, and scholarship of teaching and learning.  Each forum presents new ideas with innovative lecture techniques.

Podcasts of the forums are available here.

Contact Smithey at (724) 946-6247 or email for additional information.

Contact Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, faculty development officer, at (724) 946-7189 for more information on the Faires Faculty Forum or click here.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

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Dr. Shannon Smithey, associate professor of political science, sociology and criminal justice


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Dr. Kristenne Robison, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice