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Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award 2008-2009
Jennifer Wesely

Jennifer Wesely
Criminology and Criminal Justice

Jennifer K. Wesely, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice in the College of Arts and Sciences, received one of the 2008-2009 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Awards.

The awards are funded by the UNF Foundation and Academic Affairs.  Nominations come from students, faculty colleagues, administrators and alumni.  From among those faculty members nominated, recipients are selected by a university-wide committee.  All recipients receive a cash award and will be honored with a commemorative plaque at the 2009 fall convocation.

In the classroom, Wesely advances her goal of helping students develop as critical, responsible and active thinkers inside and outside the university setting.  She typically engages cooperative, applied and community-based projects, including Jacksonville Activism Activities, Moot Courts, and Current Issues Debates.  Students frequently remark on her passion for the material, energy and enthusiasm, and genuine concern for student learning and well-being.  Wesely consistently demonstrates excellence in her teaching, and for the two academic years considered for this award (2006-2007, 2007-2008), she scored highest in her academic department on overall ISQ ratings.

Wesely serves the undergraduate community through “teaching moments” across campus.  She conducts programs in the UNF dormitories to raise awareness about dating violence and was an invited discussant at the UNF Women’s Center Fall Film Festival.  This year, Wesely received the Disability Resource Center (DRC) Faculty Empowerment Award for her support of students with disabilities.  In addition, she was selected for the past two summers as a Freshman Orientation Faculty Advisor, a role through which she directly assists incoming students.  Also the Graduate Director in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Wesely often advises advanced undergraduates who are considering a Master’s degree.

Wesely’s research investigates marginalized groups, in particular domestic violence victims, sex workers, and women who are homeless.  She has published 10 peer-reviewed articles and 4 book chapters on these topics and is currently completing a co-authored book to be published by Northeastern University Press entitled Hard Lives, Mean Streets: The Experience of Violence in the Lives of Homeless Women.  Wesely often applies her research to the classroom, particularly by using it to bring real-world examples to class concepts.

Jennifer K. Wesely joined the UNF faculty in 2004.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Boston College and master’s degree and Ph.D. from Arizona State University.