Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spotlight on Criminal Justice Grads

In recognition of Union Institute & University’s recent commencement ceremony in Sacramento, we asked three new graduates of the Criminal Justice Management program “How has your Union Institute & University experience changed your life?”

Learn more about Union Institute & University's criminal justice management program.

Lt. Frederick Bobbitt, Jr. Criminal Justice
Lieutenant Frederick H. Bobbitt, Jr.
B.S. Criminal Justice Management, 2013
Mark Dunakin Award Recipient
Fremont, California Police Department

During my law enforcement career, it was always a personal goal to complete my college degree. In November 2011, I submitted an interest card to Union Institute & University’s Sacramento Academic Center. Shortly after, I was contacted by Sandra Lee, director of admissions at the center. After about a two hour conversation, I enrolled in the Criminal Justice Management program.

After just two weeks into my first course at Union Institute & University, I was extremely inspired and motivated to complete my degree. In March 2013, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. Not only did Union Institute & University assist me in reaching my educational goal, but it also assisted me in obtaining the rank of Police Lieutenant. My experience at Union Institute & University has continued to motivate me, as I am currently working on obtaining my master’s degree.

Lt. Frederick H. Bobbitt, Jr. started his law enforcement career in 1985 as a police explorer with the Fremont Police Department. In 1987, he was appointed to reserve police officer and in 1990 he attended Ohlone Community College while serving as a detention technician for Fremont’s city jail. He was appointed to Fremont police officer in 1997 and later advanced to detective, investigating robberies and homicides for eight years. In 2008, he was promoted to police sergeant and assigned to the Patrol Division. Two years later he became a detective sergeant, supervising investigators in Fremont’s Investigative Division.

Lt. Bobbitt is the recipient of Union Institute & University’s Mark Dunakin Award for his extraordinary achievement throughout his undergraduate program. While deeply committed to his studies and earning a 4.0 GPA, he was promoted to lieutenant at Fremont Police Department. Lt. Bobbitt is an excellent student and well-respected in his career. He will be recognized at the 2013 commencement in Sacramento for his outstanding accomplishments.

Sgt. Tony Silva, Criminal Justice
Sergeant Tony Silva
B.S. Criminal Justice Management, 2013
Mark Dunakin Award Recipient
Turlock, California Police Department

As a 27-year veteran in law enforcement I realized deep into my career the importance of a college degree. I was determined to earn my bachelor’s, and in 2011 I enrolled in Union Institute and University’s Criminal Justice Management program. In December 2012 I was seriously injured in the line of duty. Even while in the hospital with multiple leg fractures, I continued my academic studies. I was really determined; nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goal of a bachelor’s degree. The hard work paid off and in March I completed the Criminal Justice Management program. I am so proud to be a Union Institute and University alum. When I first enrolled at Union it was with an admittedly narrow focus of obtaining my degree for the purpose of testing for lieutenant. Since being injured I am even more thankful than ever to have my degree because it opens so many possibilities should I not be able to return to full duty.

Right after graduation from high school Sgt. Tony Silva attended Modesto Junior College, but chose to work full-time instead. After working as a grocery clerk and industrial electrician he graduated from Modesto Junior College Police Academy in 1987 and served as a deputy sheriff for San Joaquin County from 1987 to 1989. He joined the Turlock police department and was later selected as a field training officer and SWAT operator. In 2007 he returned to Modesto Junior College and was promoted to sergeant in 2008. Silva earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute & University in 2013. He was selected by the faculty to receive the Mark Dunakin Award in recognition of his deep commitment to law enforcement and his perseverance in the face of adversity.

Lt. John Weaver, Criminal Justice
Lieutenant John Weaver
B.S. Criminal Justice Management, 2012
Placer County, California
Deputy Sheriff’s Office

I was a busy single parent, balancing my career with raising my son during his high school years. (I am proud to say that he now serves in the US Army, as I once did.) When I felt comfortable that my son was on a stable career path, I finally had the opportunity to focus on my lifelong dream of continuing my education. At the age of 48, I decided that I wanted to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management through Union’s Sacramento academic center.
Last year was finally the right time to do it! I had heard great things from many Union Institute & University graduates and was convinced to move forward. I opted for the criminal justice management on-ground site in Placer County because I could study among my peers in the county where I am employed.

As a working person, Union Institute & University met my educational needs and schedule in a convenient location. The educational focus on criminal justice management matched up with my personal focus and I was able to infuse my “real life experience” to meet many of the educational requirements. Most importantly, Union Institute & University was an accredited university.

Earning my bachelor’s degree is the achievement of a lifelong dream. It has made me a stronger positive role model for my son and those I work with. I have been able to apply the things I learned in my classes directly to my job. I am confident that my bachelor’s degree will open doors for future opportunities for me.

John Weaver has been a lieutenant with the Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Office since 1992. He has 22 years of experience serving in numerous military assignments, as part of the US Army and as a reservist with the Air National Guard, in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later transitioned his military skills into a career in law enforcement, working in corrections, patrol, community service officer, search and rescue, dive team, and special enforcement. When he is not working, Lt. Weaver enjoys riding his motorcycle and reading R.A. Salvatore.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Union Alumni in the News

Congratulations to Union Institute & University’s alumni in the news. Do you have a story to share? Tell us about your recent accomplishments here:

Kathy M. B. Muhammad (Ph.D. 2009) repatriated to Ghana, West Africa in 2011. She is the coordinator and lead instructor of the Pan African History program at Ayensudo Akoma International Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAIAAS) in Ghana, West Africa. It is the only academy in the Ayensudo area that offers lessons spanning the vast history of Black/African people throughout the diaspora. Dr. Muhammad earned her Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences with a specialty in Africana Women’s Studies/Black Studies.

Jimmie R. McClellan
Jimmie R. McClellan (Ph.D. 1984) was featured in Virginia Connections Newspapers. Click here to read the full article. Dr. McClellan, from Alexandria, VA, is a seven-term member of Alexandria’s Human Rights Commission. He is also an author, an educator, and a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas, the highest honor given by the university to any graduate. Dr. McClellan earned a B.S. in Political Science from University of Texas, a Master of Philosophy from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in American Policy and History from Union Institute and University.

Jack S. Russell (Ph.D. 1976) presented “The Civilian Conservation Corps in Arcadia: One Way to View Judy Taylor’s Trail Crew” at the Southwest Harbor Public Library in Maine. Dr. Russell has had a successful career in economic development and as a consultant. In 2006, he returned to Mount Desert Island, Maine. He is a Friends of Acadia board member and chairman of its advocacy committee and writes about the history, culture, and politics of MDI and Acadia National Park.

David R. LefflerDavid R. Leffler (Ph.D. 1997) has been publishing articles in International News Magazine, including Latin American Leaders Will Soon Command Invincible Militaries,"
How Israel Can Have an 'Invincible' Military” and “Reducing Tension in the Middle East.” Dr. David R. Leffler, a United States Air Force veteran, received his Ph.D. in Consciousness-Based Military Defense from Union Institute & University. He served as an associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. He now serves as the Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS). Dr. Leffler has published articles in over 400 locations worldwide about the strategic military advantages of applying the TM technique and its advanced practices.

Anthony J. ClarkeAnthony J. Clarke (Ph.D. 2006) was recently named Vice President of Instruction and Chief Academic Officer at Richmond Community College in Hamlet, NC. After serving as an officer in the army, Dr. Clarke worked with General Mills, Arthur Andersen LLP, and GE Aviation. He taught as an adjunct at Xavier University in Cincinnati before accepting a position as a project director at Gateway Community and Technical College in Kentucky. He later served as dean of workforce solutions at Gateway. Dr. Clarke holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Development with a specialization in Management.

Kathryn Kurtz The new online scholarly journal was created and launched by Kathryn Kurtz (Ph.D. 2006). Dr. Kurtz has taught as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and SUNY/Oneonta and SUNY/Albany Rockland Community College. She has served as an editor, reporter, and guest commentator on NPR Marketplace and has published many essays and articles. Ms. Kurtz has a Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences with a specialization in Creative Writing/Literary Nonfiction.

John Imhof John Imhof (Ph.D. 1989) was recently appointed as adjunct professor of social work at Long Island University-Post in Greenvale, New York. Dr. Imhof is the founder and editor-in-chief emeritus of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. He has also served as vice president of behavioral health services at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. In 2003, he was appointed as the commissioner of the department of social services in Nassau County, New York. Mr. Imhof received a Ph.D. with a concentration in Psychology.

Rabbi Miriam S. JerrisRabbi Miriam S. Jerris (Ph.D. 2001) was interviewed by The Jewish Chronicle, for the article “Judaism without God?” Rabbi Jerris, from Huntington Woods, Michigan, was ordained through the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, and holds a doctorate in Jewish studies with a specialization in pastoral counseling.

Joyce A. Hayden-SemanUnion alumna and International Alumni Association board member, Joyce A. Hayden-Seman (Ph.D. 1993) was named an Outstanding Professional Woman for 2012-2013 by the National Association of Professional Women. The award is in recognition of her leadership and academic and professional achievements. For the last 25 years, she has been focused on the development of the Ridgewood Institute for Integral Psychotherapy, a group clinical practice in New Jersey.

Dr. Linda Ostrander (Ph.D. 1994) recently published Between Mothers and Daughters: A Collection of Poems and Lyrics across Generations, which includes her commentary and poetry and work by her mother, daughter and granddaughter. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ostrander's book.

Lois Roma-DeeleyLois Roma-Deeley (Ph.D. 2000) was named the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year, Community College, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Dr. Roma-Deeley is currently poet-in-residence and head of Creative Writing and Women's Studies at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, Arizona.

Joyce Kinley (B.A. 2009) was named chair of the Cincinnati Board of Health. Improving the health and wellness of Cincinnati citizens has been part of Joyce’s career. She previously served as director of Community Relations & External Affairs at UC Health, University Hospital and was a 2010 Hero of Health recipient from the Commission on Minority Health.

Marine-mammal biologist and Union alumna, Denise Herzing (Ph.D. 1993), was featured in the September 2012 issue of Outside magazine. As the leading authority on Atlantic spotted dolphin, she is trying to achieve something that has never been done before: two-way communication with a wild species. In the interview, Dr. Herzing shares insights from observing the dolphin’s complex culture for 28 years.

Union alum, and founding president and CEO of Age Wave, Ken Dychtwald (Ph.D. 1976) was featured in Aging Today. Ken is an expert on aging-related issues including lifestyle, marketing, healthcare and workforce. His compelling article outlines the five core ingredients for becoming and remaining a leader in this field. He also recently earned the prestigious Leadership Award at the Annual American Society on Aging Conference.

Taupouri Tangaro (Ph.D. 2004) was named a 2013 Educator of the Year by the Native Hawaiian Education Association—one of the most prestigious awards in Hawaiian education. Dr. Tangaro is an associate professor and chairman of the humanities department at Hawaii Community College.

Alice Skirtz (Ph.D. 2006) published Econocide: Elimination of the Urban Poor. Dr. Skirtz was director of social services for the Salvation Army from 1969 through 1999 and was one of the founding organizers of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, now know as the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. Learn more about Dr. Skirtz and her book in her interview with

Connie Silver (Ph.D. 1983) was featured in Women’s Wear Daily. Her painting exhibition “People Treed” was displayed at Art Basel in Miami Beach. She generously donated all of the proceeds from her Art Basel sales to New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, where she taught for more than 20 years.

Annemarie Colbin (Ph.D. 2002) presented an informative TEDx 2013 talk "How to Think About Food" in Manhattan. She is the founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, the oldest natural foods cooking school in the US. Dr. Colbin’s Ph.D. studies explored how systems theory, complexity theory, and quantum physics could be applied to nutrition.

Dr. Anthony Bogues
Author, Brown University professor, and the director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Dr. Anthony Bogues (B.A. 1989), presented two special lectures in Cincinnati as part of Union Institute & University’s July 2013 Ph.D. residency. Dr. Bogues' major research and writing interests are intellectual and cultural history, radical political thought, critical theory, Caribbean and African politics and literature. He has authored numerous works including Caliban's Freedom: The Early Political Thought of C.L.R. James (1997); Black Heretics and Black Prophets: Radical Political Intellectuals (2003); and Empire of Liberty: Power, Freedom, and Desire (2010). Dr. Bogues earned his Ph.D. in Political Theory from the University of the West Indies, Mona in 1994.

Jim Stapleton Henry & EmilyJim Stapleton (Ph.D. 1986) created Henry & Emily: The Muses in Massachusetts, a play about an imagined encounter between Henry David Thoreau and Emily Dickinson. Stapleton and his wife Diana Bigelow perform the lead roles in the production. After 15 years of touring the Pacific Northwest and Vermont, Henry & Emily opened at Stage Left Studio in New York City in April.

Japanese Noh Theater
As part of the 2013 National Cherry Blossom Festival, Union alumna Sirkku M. Sky Hiltunen (Ph.D. 1998) presented a lecture and demonstration about Japanese Noh Theater in Washington D.C. Noh Theater retains its plays, choreography, costuming, music and chanting as they were originally created 600 years ago. The presentation was followed by a special demonstration featuring masks, fans, chanting and dance kata. In addition, two performances of Mask Vignettes 2013, directed by Dr. Sky, were hosted at the Art and Drama Therapy Institute in Washington D.C. In 1991, Dr. Sky founded the Art and Drama Therapy Institute, Inc. (ADTI) with fellow Union alumna Dr. Margaret “Muggy Do” Dickinson, (Ph.D. 1987). ADTI is a medically supervised, therapeutic day treatment center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities located in an economically-depressed area of Washington, D.C., less than three miles from the White House. Dr. Do serves as the company's CEO, president, and program director, while Dr. Sky serves as executive vice president and executive arts director. ADTI has earned local, national, and international acclaim, especially for the institute’s music and theater programs.

Steven Paul Lansky, who earned his B.A. with a focus in creative writing in 1988, continues to use his talents to develop poetry, fiction, and drama. The Miami University creative writing instructor recently released a new audio book Jack Acid. The story, about psychedelic culture and mental illness, is available on

Whitney Harris (Ph.D. 1987) was recently named executive director for diversity at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. His responsibilities at MCTC include managing the Educational Equity Task Force, developing diversity training and guiding changes in college policies, practices and culture that support the College’s goal of achieving educational equity.

Richard N. AftUnion board member and alumnus, Richard N. Aft (Ph.D. 2000) recently earned the first Rob Portman Leadership Award presented by the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati. Dr. Aft was recognized for his 17 years with the CDFGC, his service as the longest-running board member, and his outstanding fundraising, participation and leadership in promoting a drug-free Cincinnati.

Scott D. Miller (Ph.D. 1991) is a Union alumnus and the president of Bethany College in West Virginia. His recent article “Finding the Value in College Affordability” investigates what a college education is worth in a time of rising tuition and a recovering economy. Click here to read Dr. Miller’s findings.

Janet Sims-Wood (Ph.D. 1994) was featured on NPR in February as part of the series “Working Late: Older Americans on the Job.” Dr. Sims-Wood is a 67-year-old librarian at Prince George's Community College in Maryland. Click here to read or listen to the full story.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling

certificate in alcohol and drug abuse counseling
A certificate in alcohol and drug abuse counseling is now available through Union Institute & University’s Master of Arts with a Concentration in Counseling Psychology program. The certificate is designed to effectively prepare students for credentialing as alcohol and drug abuse counselors. Topics covered in the program include substance abuse screening and assessment, psychopharmacology, counseling skills, and advanced treatment approaches for addiction.

Career opportunities for credentialed substance abuse counselors are strong, with an average 78% placement rate reported by colleges offering specific training degrees or certificates in substance abuse counseling. The U.S. Board of Labor Statistics estimates that this job market will increase 21% from 2010-2018, with many states reporting a much higher need for counselors trained in substance abuse counseling. This is an optimal time for professionals in human services and others interested in furthering or changing careers to consider education in substance abuse counseling.

“The need for expanded graduate-level coursework in substance abuse counseling reflects current empirical and anecdotal collected evidence indicating that all human service professionals, whether they work in the fields of substance abuse, mental health, or service-based industries, will encounter issues of substance abuse with many of their clients,” notes Gerald A. Fishman, Ph.D., associate dean of Union’s Master of Arts with a Concentration in Counseling Psychology program. “Considering the economic costs and the price in human suffering of substance use and abuse, it is critical that all mental health professionals understand the process of abuse and addiction, its impact on co-occurring mental health disorders, and the treatment approaches that are considered of most efficacy.”

To accommodate a variety of student needs, the certificate is offered as both a degree-dependent graduate certificate as well as a stand-alone graduate certificate. Students enrolled in Union’s Master of Arts with a Concentration in Counseling Psychology program can concurrently pursue the certificate without taking additional coursework. The stand-alone graduate certificate allows individuals to earn required education hours for certification without having to enroll in the M.A. degree program. In addition, stand-alone certificate courses are eligible to apply toward Union’s M.A. with a Concentration in Counseling Psychology program.

All six courses are delivered online, with brief weekend residencies scheduled once each term, occurring simultaneously in Cincinnati, Ohio and Brattleboro, Vermont.

Learn more about Union Institute & University’s new certificate in alcohol and drug abuse counseling.

Two Graduating Students Earn Mark Dunakin Award

Union Institute & University is proud to announce that Lt. Frederick Bobbitt Jr. and Tony Silva, students graduating from the university’s Sacramento Academic Center’s Criminal Justice Management program, have each earned the Mark Dunakin Award in honor of their extraordinary achievements.

Sergeant Mark Dunakin was a beloved officer, serving 18 years with the Oakland Police Department. On March 21, 2009, Mark was one of four OPD members killed in the line of duty by a parolee in the streets of Oakland.  A student and part of the Union Institute & University family, he had just completed requirements for his criminal justice management degree at the time of his death. He was awarded his Bachelor of Science degree posthumously in July 2009 at the university’s commencement ceremony.

In honor of his service and sacrifice, Union Institute & University has designated the Mark Dunakin Award to be presented to a graduating student of Union Institute & University’s criminal justice management program. Recipients must serve in law enforcement and emulate Sergeant Dunakin’s commitment to community service, academic success, and enthusiasm for Union’s criminal justice management program.

This year, Union Institute & University has selected two recipients of this esteemed award, Lt. Frederick Bobbitt Jr. and Tony Silva. Both awardees will be recognized as part of Union Institute & University’s Sacramento commencement on July 14, 2013.

Lt. Frederick Bobbitt Jr.
Lt. Bobbitt is the recipient of Union Institute & University’s Mark Dunakin Award for his extraordinary achievement throughout his undergraduate program. While deeply committed to his studies and earning a 4.0 GPA, he was promoted to lieutenant at Fremont Police Department. Lt. Bobbitt is an excellent student and well-respected in his career. He plans to continue his studies and pursue a master’s degree.

Tony Silva
Tony Silva, a 27-year veteran in law enforcement, was pursuing his studies when he was seriously injured in the line of duty in December 2012. While in the hospital with multiple leg fractures he continued his academic studies. He was selected by Union Institute & University faculty for his deep commitment to law enforcement and his perseverance in the face of adversity.
Union Institute & University’s California commencement ceremony will be held 11am-2pm, July 14, 2013 at the Sacramento Convention Center Ballroom. Kay C. Goss, emergency management expert and president of World Disaster Management, LLC will be the event’s keynote speaker.

Learn more about Union's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management program.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Florida Fall Admissions Open House

Saturday August 17, 2013

North Miami Beach

Florida Academic Center
16853 N.E. 2nd Ave, Suite 102
North Miami Beach, FL 33162-1746

Our Florida Academic Center, located in North Miami Beach, will host an open house in August. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about Union Institute & University’s flexible bachelor's programs including:
  • education
  • criminal justice management
  • business management
  • social work
  • maternal child health: lactation consulting
University representatives will be on hand to answer your questions and discuss your educational goals. Classes are forming now. This event is free and open to the public.

Francis Francois 305-653-7141 x2179

Cincinnati Apply, Admit & Register for Fall 2013

August 15, 2013

Union Institute & University Cincinnati Ohio

Get ready to take the next step in your educational journey. Please join us for Union Institute & University’s Cincinnati Apply, Admit & Register event for fall 2013. At this session students can be admitted to the university on a provisional basis (pending the receipt of all required admissions documents) and register for classes. Please review the details below so you will be prepared with the proper documents for the event.

1) Before you attend, you can visit the following link to complete your undergraduate admissions application.

 2) Bring your unofficial transcripts with you. They will need to be reviewed (if they aren’t already on file) before you can register for classes.

 3) Bring your 2012 tax info to complete your FAFSA and financial aid.

R.S.V.P. to Emily Benson at or (513) 487-1178.