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Criminal Justice Professor Named To "Top 10 Brightest Educators" List

Cary Adkinson Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice, has been selected as one of Better Tarrant’s “Talented 10: Education.”

Adkinson was selected for his talented innovations in the classroom and the impact he has on students. The 10 honorees are BetterTarrant.com’s brightest young educators of primary, secondary and post-secondary schools. They were selected from 20 Independent School Districts and 60 institutions for higher education in the area.

“It's humbling to receive recognition by your campus and community for doing something that you enjoy so much and that brings such meaning and purpose to your life,” Adkinson said.

One of Adkinson’s most popular classes for criminal justice majors is on superheroes. Adkinson writes, researches, and teaches his students about good and evil and what it means to be a hero through comic books. Teaching students about criminal justice by using comics allows him to connect with students and keep them engaged and excited.

With great power also comes great responsibility

“I think all teachers hope that they help students become their own best teachers,” Adkinson said. “It's much more than teaching them facts and information; it's about teaching them how to use their critical faculties to better understand the world around them and their place in it.” 

Adkinson keeps his classes fun and engaging by teaching criminal justice holistically. He teaches each course with the big picture in mind. This way, students get a better idea of how their course topic fits into the field and their future criminal justice careers as a whole. 

“You don't have to be a criminal justice teacher to see that we're facing a critical juncture in human history,” he said. “How we believe and behave has potentially disastrous consequences for our present and our future. Teachers should strive to give students the tools to discriminate between fact and fiction and apply principles of evidence-based decision-making.”

"The biggest impact for criminal justice students is an appreciation of the tremendous power they wield over other people's lives,” Adkinson said. “A wise man once said, 'With great power must also come great responsibility.' This is the main theme in every class I teach." 

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