Criminal Justice Department

West Chester University

Criminal Justice Department
200A Ruby Jones Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2647
Mary Brewster, Ph.D., Department Chair

Student Recognition

  • Dr. Brian O’Neill poses with outstanding students (from left to right): Mary Elizabeth Keeney (Outstanding Senior), Dr. O’Neill, Joseph Moloney (Outstanding Graduate Student), Adam Heath (Outstanding Junior).



Two annual scholarships are offered to Criminal Justice majors. Application periods are announced each spring semester for scholarships awarded in the subsequent fall semester. The amount of each award may change from year to year depending on economic factors. 

Jessie Silvano Scholarship
Jessie Silvano was an active, outgoing, family-oriented Criminal Justice major. While he planned to pursue both a master's degree and a law degree, his career was cut short by his untimely death in his senior year. Jessie always cared for others, and wanted to help those who were struggling. In Jessie's honor, his family established this annual scholarship to assist needy students. Criteria for this award include: minimum grade point average of 2.5; junior or senior criminal justice major; active member of the University community; commitment to completing the undergraduate degree.  Previous winners are listed below:

                                                       2013:  Kristina Kemetkova

                                                       2011: Ryan Bones

                                                       2010: Amanda Morgan

Chief Robert M. and Vera Valyo Scholarship
Robert M. Valyo served as a dedicated public servant and police officer in Willistown Township for 32 years. His last ten years he served as Chief of that Department. The Scholarship was established after his retirement, and has been continued by the Valyo family after Chief Valyo's death in 2004. Criteria for this scholarship include: minimum grade point average of 3.0; junior or senior criminal justice major; preference is given to students interested in a career in law enforcement.  Previous winners are listed below:

2013: Shane Hall

2012: Lauren Perry

2011: Kiersten Keenen

2010: Matt Bryant


Outstanding Student Recognition Event

Each spring semester, the College of Business and Public Affairs honors the outstanding junior and senior from each of the departments within the College. Students are selected by the faculty in their respective departments. An April awards luncheon is held off campus, to which students may invite family members. Each student receives an engraved plaque honoring his/her achievements.


Outstanding Graduate:  Joseph Moloney

Oustanding Senior:  Mary Elizabeth Keene

Outstanding Junior:  Adam Heath


Outstanding Graduate:  Laura Cramsey

Outstanding Senior: Joshua Bills

Oustanding Junior:  Brett Snyder


Outstanding Graduate:  Clara Archbold

Outstanding Senior:  Laura Cramsey

Outstanding Junior:  Stephanie Cristiano


Students & Alum

  • “West Chester University's Criminal Justice Department gave me the skills and confidence I needed in order to perform as a Police Officer. The courses, practicum, professors and staff were each an integral part of the preparation I needed to help me gain full time employment in the criminal justice field.” - Officer Nathan P. Kutz, Badge #8306, Ocean City Police Department, Maryland

  • "The West Chester University Criminal Justice Department delivers an uncompromising level of excellence and dedication, providing students with the edge needed to compete in today's difficult job market." - Paul Iffrig (Class of 2013) and President of the Criminal Justice Club

  • Brandon Oyama (Class of 2014) is a junior at WCU. He transfered to WCU from Green River Community College in Washington State and is a member of the Men's Tennis Team. He is looking forward to completing his practicum this summer with the Pierce County Juvenile Court in his home state. Brandon states, "WCU was a good choice for me. The faculty are helpful, the courses are interesting and relevant to my future occupation."

  • Mary-Elizabeth Keeney (Class of 2013) is the current president of the Criminal Justice Honor Society and a Fast-Track student. Mary-Elizabeth completed her practicum with the Department of Homeland Security and is looking forward to graduating with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. As a Fast-Track student, she will earn her Master's Degree in 2014.