Meet Aimee Scheidegger
What areas of Criminal Justice/Criminology do you specialize in and what about the field most interests you?
I consider myself a generalist in these areas. Both are fascinating and throughout my career, I have enjoyed teaching a multitude of courses ranging from Deviant Behavior to White Collar Crime. Often people think crime is the primary focus of my discipline. I, on the other hand, believe justice is a more compelling area to study. What drives me is the desire to evaluate critically all areas of the justice system and call attention to injustices that exist. Confronting injustice is paramount to maintaining fairness and equality within society.
What kind of work/projects have you been recently involved in with your students?
One of the classes I teach is Research Methods in Criminal Justice. Because of teaching the course, I have had the opportunity to work with many students on a number of research projects after the semester has ended. Most recently, I have been working with a student on a project that looks at K-9 police officers. We are working on surveying K-9 officers and comparing them to non-K-9 officers in relation to work stress, job satisfaction, and career goals.
In your experience, how has the media or recent crimes influenced your field and the way you design your curriculum to adapt?
The media has a significant impact on the public’s understanding of the justice system. The result has been a spread of both information and misinformation. Students’ perceptions of how the justice system operates are often influenced by crime dramas that set unrealistic expectations of careers in criminal justice. Part of my job is to dispel the myths and provide a more accurate understanding. A vast number of documentaries, series, and podcasts take a critical look at the inner workings of the justice system. When incorporated into class, they can provide students with a deep understanding of complex issues. Netflix, for example, has some excellent programming related to criminal justice issues. Often, I connect course material with the latest binge-watching trend, making information more relatable to students