LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — In his first semester of teaching at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, LaVarr McBride, assistant teaching professor and program coordinator of administration of justice, has facilitated exciting opportunities for the campus community to engage in timely conversations.
In October, McBride organized tours of the Fayette State Correctional Institution for three of his classes, which included one-on-one conversations with inmates. This is the first learning experience of its kind to be approved by the institution, and he plans to continue collaboration with SCI Fayette for future courses.
In November, McBride invited two sisters who survived the 1999 Columbine High School shooting to speak to his Introduction to Criminal Justice class over video chat. They shared their emotional account of one of the worst school shootings in American history.
“Students began to realize that victims of crimes deal with trauma for the rest of their lives, but they can choose to grow from it,” said McBride. “Having voices like these in the classroom makes the world a little smaller to our students. It proves that you don’t have to live in a big city or attend a big university to be part of important things that impact our community and society.”