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Wilfrid Laurier University Laurier's Brantford campus
August 21, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Speaker Biographies

DR. CHRIS McCORMICK - Founder and Professor

ST THOMAS UNIVERSITY - Criminology and Criminal Justice Department

Chris McCormick is a Founder and Professor in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at St. Thomas University, a member of the Graduate Academic Unit at the University of New Brunswick, a past research associate at Saint Mary’s University and Acadia University, and an expert witness before the Standing Justice Committee of the Federal Parliament. His scholarship includes the monograph, Constructing Danger: Emotions and the Mis/Representation of Crime in the News, two edited collections, The Westray Chronicles: A Case Study in Corporate Crime, and Crime and Deviance in Canada: Historical Perspective; and the best-selling introductory text, Criminology in Canada: Theories, Patterns, and Typologies, now in its fifth edition. In over 30 years of teaching, he has developed several original courses, including: Wrongful Conviction!, Crime and Media, Discourse and Crime, Cultural Criminology, and Visual Criminology. His community scholarship includes over 200 bi-weekly newspaper columns called Crime Matters, which covered many issues of crime and criminal justice.

DR. JENNIFER SCHULENBERG, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies


Jennifer Schulenberg is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo.  She received her BA and MA in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Toronto, and worked for four years in the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University in Texas.  Her research focuses on police practice, police decision-making and discretion, youth crime, persons with a mental illness interacting with the criminal justice system, police culture, and police-community relations.  She has published over 30 journal articles, book chapters, and reports.  Her most recent public outreach initiative involved working with the community, police, and policy makers to collaboratively develop recommendations to improve the Ontario police complaints system.  She is the recipient of the Govenor General's  Academic Gold Medal for her work on policing and youth crime, served as an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice (2004-2010), and continues to sit on several editorial boards.

DR. LORNE DAWSON - Chair of the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies


Dr. Lorne Dawson is a Full Professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies and the Department of Religious Studies.  Most of his research is in the sociology of religion, particularly the study of new religious movements, and he is perhaps best known for his book Comprehending Cults: The Sociology of New Religious Movements (2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 2006).  He has also published work dealing with theory and methods in the study of religion, sociological theory, religion and the Internet, charismatic authority, millennialist movements, and the failure of prophecy.  He has written three books, edited four, and published over sixty academic articles and book chapters.  His work on why some new religions become violent led to research on the process of radicalization in homegrown terrorist groups (e.g., "The Study of New Religious Movements and the Process of Radicalization in Home-grown Terrorist Groups," Terrorism and Political Violence, 22, 2010: 1-21).  In recent years he has made many invited presentations on the radicalization of terrorists to academic and government groups (e.g., Defence Research and Development Canada, CSIS, Public Safety, Homeland Security, Global Futures Forum, British Security Intelligence, Metropolis, Conference Board of Canada, CASIS, RCMP National Security Criminal Investigations Program), and he is co-editor of the forthcoming book Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond (University of Toronto Press).

DR. KIM PATE - Executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Socieities

UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA - Honourary Doctorate

Kim is mother to Michael and Madison.  She is a lawyer and teacher by training and has completed post graduate work in the area of forensic mental health and was awarded an honourary doctorate by the University of Ottawa.  Kim is the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) and a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.  CAEFS is a federation of autonomous societies which work with, and on behalf of, marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized women and girls throughout Canada. Kim has also worked with youth and men during her 29 years of working in and around the legal and penal systems.


Shannon Moroney was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, and worked full-time as a teacher and social justice advocate for several years. At age 30, she married Jason whom she had known for three years. They bought a house in Peterborough where they planned to start a family. October 2005 was a joyful Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends. One month later, Shannon’s life was traumatically altered: When she was out of town police came to her hotel room to ask her to return home. Her house was a crime scene and Jason was in custody after confessing to violent sexual assault and kidnapping two women. Grief, confusion, stigma, and loss stalked her. Within weeks she had lost her beloved job, her sense of trust, and the future she had planned for. Shannon has to make difficult choices and find a healing path that would lead her out of victimization into peace and a positive future. She was awarded fellowship to complete a Masters Degree where she studied trauma and resilience. Upon completion, Shannon began speaking out about her experience, sharing a raw and honest account of the impact her husband’s crimes had on her personal, professional and community status. Shannon’s story is one of grief, violence, judgment, and stigma as well as a story filled with compassion, restoration, forgiveness, and hope.

DR. JOEL BEST - Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice 


Joel Best received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.  He has written and edited more than twenty books, including Threatened Children, Random Violence, Damned Lies and Statistics, Flavor of the Month, and Everyone's a Winner.  He is a former editor of Social Problems, and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the online journal Sociology Compass and is a past president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the Midwest Sociological Society.


Justice Edward graduated from the University of Western Law School in 1980 and was called to the bar in 1982.  Justice Edward became a law partner with Howard Staats for 14 years until he was appointed to the bench in 1996.


Robert graduted from Queen's law school in 1974 and was called to the bar in 1976.  After thirteen years of private practice he joined the Crown Attorney's office in Brantford in 1989 and becamse the Crown Attorney for Brant County in 1999.


Sarah graduated from Osgoode Hall law school and went to work as an environmental lobbyist in Ottawa.  She then chose a career path that has brought her to Brantford doing criminal defence work with predominately native clientele.


Lisa is a member of the Mohawk nation and the wolf clan.  She has graduated from Mohawk College, Wilfrid Laurier Unviersty and Nipissing University.  After working as a journalist and business owner, Lisa began working for Aboriginal Legal Services as a Gladue caseworker and in that capacity has written over one hundred Gladue reports.

DR. JUSTIN PICHÉ - Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology


Justin Piché is Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa and Co-managing Editor of the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons ( He is the 2012 recipient of the Aurora Prize from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. His current research with Kevin Walby of the University of Victoria examines the cultural representations of incarceration and punishment in Canadian popular culture ( Through an analysis of penal history museum narratives, relics, spatial arrangements and conservation practices, their present study aims to understand how these historical sites contribute to our individual and collective understandings of prison life. With an interest in understanding how institutionalized punishment shapes and is shaped by Canadian society, Professor Piché also conducts research on prison expansion and available policy alternatives, penal geography, prisoner writing, and public criminology.

DR. TULLIO CAPUTO - Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology


Dr. Tullio Caputo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. Since graduating from Michigan State University in 1984, Dr. Caputo has taught at a number of Canadian universities including the University of Manitoba and the University of Calgary. He has served as the Director of the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Carleton University and is currently the Director of the Centre for Initiatives in Children, Youth and Community. Through his work at the Centre, Dr. Caputo has conducted research on community safety issues in over 50 communities across the country with a focus on the role of the police in community-based crime prevention initiatives. Dr. Caputo has also lectured at the Canadian Police College since 1993 in the Senior Police Administration Course, the Executive Development in Policing program and in the International Best Practices Program.

DR. PATRICIA ERICKSON - Professor of Sociology and Criminology


Patricia Erickson, Ph.D., is Scientist Emerita with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health where she was a researcher for nearly 40 years. She continues as Professor of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Toronto, and was a former Director of its graduate Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies. Her doctoral studies in Criminology at Glasgow University, Scotland, examined a community-based socio-legal response to delinquent youth. She is the author or editor of over 150 articles, chapters, books and monographs. Her long-standing interests focus on illicit drug use, harm reduction and drug policy. Recent research projects have examined drug use, mental health and violence in groups of high-risk youth and marginalized women, the substance use and mental health problems of homeless youth, and the first population based survey of adult ADHD. Current funded research includes a 4 province study of normalization and stigma for cannabis and tobacco and a 3 campus study of the process of normalization among university students. In 1996 she was the recipient of the Alfred Lindesmith Award for Excellence in Research in Drug Policy and in 2010 she received the national Kaiser Award for Excellence in Leadership on harm reduction for mental health and addiction issues.

DR. BERNARD SCHISSEL - Professor and Program Head of the Doctor of Social Sciences Program


Bernard Schissel's particular areas of academic focus include youth crime and justice, the sociology of children and youth, socio-legal studies, and First Nations studies. In general, his research focuses on the marginal position that children and youth occupy in western democracies and the relationship of that marginalization to institutions such as law, education, medicine, and the political economy. He is working on a research development initiative entitled “A Child Protection in Development Research Network (CPDRN)” and is currently working on a manuscript focusing on teenage soldiers in western armies in WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War. His books include: About Canada: Children and Youth (Fernwood, 2011; Still Blaming Children: Youth Conduct and the Politics of Child Hating (Fernwood, 2006); Marginality and Condemnation: An Introduction to Criminology, 2nd (with Carolyn Brooks, Fernwood, 2008); and The Legacy of School for Aboriginal People: Education, Oppression, and Emancipation. (with Terry Wotherspoon, Oxford UP, 2003). His journal articles have appeared in the Journal of Immigration and Integration, the Journal of Gang Research, the International Journal of Social Inquiry, the Canadian Journal of Education, and Youth and Society.