After retiring from a successful career as a lieutenant with the Chatham Township Police Department, Dr. Maureen Kazaba, LPC, wanted to share her knowledge with the next generation of criminal justice professionals. She joined the County College of Morris (CCM) Criminal Justice faculty in 2017 and since then students have benefited from her inside view of the field.
â€śI began teaching at the police academy,â€ť says Kazaba. â€śI graduated from CCM and decided to continue my passion for teaching right here.â€ť
At CCM, she has brought the Bomb Squad to campus so students can learn from the professionals who find, inspect, disarm, and remove explosive devices and how they handle the challenges of their job. She regularly invites other members of the law enforcement community, including judges, forensic psychologists, and the Morris County Sheriffâ€™s Office K-9 Team, to talk with her students to provide them with a broad and comprehensive awareness of their field of interest. Working with other professors at the college, she also helped to develop a virtual reality class so students can gain hands-on experience on how to approach and analyze crime scenes where a death has taken place.
The Virtual Crime Scene Capstone project allows students to set aside preconceived ideas about what they think may have happened and to use their critical thinking skills to determine what evidence should be collected to determine the manner and cause of death.
â€śCriminal Justice students are the future of law enforcement,â€ť says Kazaba. â€śBy training them in virtual reality, we offer them an opportunity to become better investigators in a way that is not possible in a traditional classroom.â€ť When possible, she likes to hold special presentations, such as the Bomb Squadâ€™s visit, outside so other students walking by also can stop and learn.
Kazaba earned her bachelorâ€™s in criminal justice from William Patterson University, a masterâ€™s degree in clinical counseling from Fairleigh Dickinson University, her Ph.D. in psychology from Capella University, an MEd. in education from Seton Hall University.
In addition to earning those degrees, having worked as a lieutenant and now as a college professor, Kazaba also is a wife and mother to six children. She encourages those who wear multiple hats to set aside any expectation of perfection and to be happy with doing their best.
â€śEvery day we do our best, and every day our best is different,â€ť she says.