Criminology Honors Alumni and Students in Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony

The Department of Criminology hosted their third annual event Wall of Fame induction ceremony on Oct. 3, at the Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club. Wall of Fame honors a select group of alumni and students who have distinguished themselves by attaining the highest level of professional accomplishments, as well as a strong personal integrity and character.

The distinguished alumni inducted into the wall of fame this year include: Edward Kori, Jennifer Phillips, Robert Vincent and JD Withrow. Outstanding criminology ambassadors inducted included: Stephanie Bayly, Monica Canales, Christopher Donner, Autumn Frei, Ian Hayes, Melissa Lugo, Robert Parkinson and Brian Sellers.

During the event new inductees took the time to reflect on their experiences as students at USF and how USF helped shape them into the successful individuals they are today.

“The university has had a profound impact on my life. My education at USF has given me a solid foundation for my career in public service and it has played a pivotal role in my professional success,” said Robert Parkinson, Manager of the Criminal Justice System at Hillsborough County. Parkinson graduated from USF with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration. “The USF Department of Criminology provided me with a comprehensive repertoire of core competencies in the field and it allowed me to consistently utilize evidence based, emerging and promising practices in real world problem solving.”

“I had several professors at USF that inspired me; the whole Criminology Department was great when I was a student there and I would like to thank those professors in the Criminology. Department,” said Edward Kori, Director of the Pre-Release Orientation Program, Inc. After serving for 20 years with the Tampa Police Department’s Reserve Unit and retiring as a Lieutenant, he returned to college and received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Criminology at the University of South Florida.

“I’m truly embedded to the professors and instructors of the Criminology Department, they set the foundation and important knowledge that led me to attain the leadership skills that have helped me in my career in law enforcement,” said JD Withrow, Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety at the University of South Florida Police Department in Tampa. Withrow graduated from USF in 1988 with a degree in Criminology and later went on to attain a Master’s Degree in Adult Education. 

The ceremony was emceed by Dr. Kathleen Heide and Dean Julie Serovich provided opening remarks.

“It was Dr. Leiber’s vision to honor students who have really made their way in the world and really help to put USF on the map,” said Dr. Heide.  

The ceremony continued with Dr. Michael Leiber recounting the highlights of the past year and Dr. Leonard Territo giving an account of the department’s history.

Dr. Dwayne Smith, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Dean of the Office of Graduate Studies reviewed each inductee’s accomplishments and presented the awards.

“The inductee’s names are going to be added to the Wall of Fame, which is promptly displayed in the Department of Criminology’s main office,” said Dr. Smith.

The ceremony concluded with the presentation of the lifetime achievement award, given to Dr. Leonard Territo and Dr. William Blount.

Dr. Blount has been a professor at USF for 40 years. He was one of the founders of the Department of Criminology, serving as Director of Graduate Studies for 8 years and Chairperson for 16 years. He received recognition from the USF Disabled Students Association, earned an outstanding teaching award and was the faculty advisor for the American Criminal Justice Association.

Dr. Territo is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminology at USF. He received the Outstanding Criminology Teacher of the Year award from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at USF. He has been given awards by both the Florida Police Chiefs Association and the Tampa Police Academy.

“We wanted to honor two of our past chairs and we want to thank them for their extraordinary leadership and service,” said Dr. Leiber. Each of these professionals has represented the department in ways that promote and enhance the department’s identity. The department is proud to recognize the awardees that have impacted their community locally, regionally and nationally.