Contact Dawn Insanalli, director of Public Relations, at (914) 637-2726 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Rachel Marie Paquin
Ionian Staff Writer
On May 6, the Faculty Speaker of the Year and Valedictorian will address the Spring Honors Convocation. This year, Chair of the Criminal Justice Department Dr. Cathryn Lavery was chosen as Faculty Speaker of the Year.
This is Lavery’s second year as Chair of the department. She is not only involved in the academics of Criminal Justice, but she is also the moderator of the Criminal Justice Club on campus and coordinator of Women’s History Month. She received her M.S. in Criminal Justice from Iona in 1993. When she graduated in, she was the first woman to graduate from Iona with a degree in Criminal Justice.
Prior to attending Iona’s graduate school, she received her B.A. in Sociology from Clark University in Worcester, Mass. As an undergraduate her goal was to go to the Soviet Union and work for world peace. While she did travel there, her plans changed. She always felt she needed to learn more and found that criminal justice was the perfect fit for her. Prior to choosing this career, she tried accounting, psychology, retail, executive assistant and others. It was her interest in serial crime and wanting to solve and understand the behavior of these criminals that brought her to criminal justice.
Lavery received her PhD from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She also taught there for six years and spent a year teaching corrections officers at Riker’s Island. While the world of criminal justice can be depressing, working in the classroom balances it out. She loves her students and wants to properly prepare them for the world and life path they are choosing.
Besides her passion for criminal justice, Lavery loves music, dubbing herself the 80’s Music Queen. “Music helps you be open to so many things,” she says, “ it helps shapes one for an openness to other views and opinions.” This passion is not surprising, considering her mother was a singer and an actress. In addition to music, she is also a huge animal lover. The Criminal Justice Club often works to raise money and awareness for animal shelters and humane societies.
“I feel really honored,” Lavery said about being chosen as Faculty Speaker of the Year. “It is a wonderful opportunity, and I am proud to be asked,” she said.
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. It is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs.
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