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Faculty Spotlight: Walter Smith

Walter Smith

Walter Smith

I have been an Adjunct Faculty member with EKU since 2014, teaching primarily on the Hazard Campus. As the Program Coordinator of the Criminal Justice program at Hazard Community and Technical College, I work closely with EKU to provide the best pathways to success possible for our students. It is with extreme pride that I can say I am an alumni of Eastern Kentucky University, class of 2003. After completing my B.S. in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies I completed my Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to teaching at EKU I spent many years working in correctional counseling. My favorite course to teach deal with areas of criminology, criminal psychology, and correctional treatment.

What do you like best about SJS at the Regional campuses?

I really like that we give students opportunities to succeed in areas where they may not have had that chance before. Many of our students have obligations that do not allow them to travel long distances to a college campus. Often, these same communities lack individuals with college degrees to fill key positions. Offering these programs locally provide students with opportunities to succeed, and the ability to use their education to build up their community. It’s a win win for everyone involved!

Why did you go into teaching?

I decided to go into correctional counseling because I enjoyed the ability to help those who are suffering, and protect our communities. Through my years working in correctional counseling I was able to help many individuals make lasting changes to their lives. Those changes made the communities they would eventually reenter a little safer as well. While in correctional counseling practice I had the ability to reach hundreds of peoples lives. As an instructor, I get to touch thousands of lives through well prepared students that will someday make a difference in their lives.

What do you like most about teaching at the regional campuses?

I like being able to help students who would not be able to travel or move to get an education to realize their potential. Helping them become members of the criminal justice community, and preparing them for a career focused on making people lives better worthwhile. Often, these students will work in areas where there may be a need individuals who can think critically, and have the knowledge to help improve the life of citizens.

How do you make a difference in our Regional campus students' lives?

I have an open door policy for all my students. They know they can come to my office and talk about anything they need help with. The environment is always welcoming, and I do everything possible to provide students with the resources they need to succeed.

Do you have any advice for current EKU/SJS students?

My advice to a current student would be to take advantage of opportunities to build your skills and resume now. Student organizations are a wonderful way to make professional contacts and learn skills that can help you down the road. Internships give you experience, allow you to make professional contacts, and see if your ideal career is what you really want to do.

Do you have any advice for prospective EKU/SJS Regional campuses students?

Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The college process can be a bit confusing at first, but there are people here who want to see you succeed and will help you through the process. Also be prepared to be challenged, and for the comradery of a college atmosphere. 

Published on February 02, 2015

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