Dr. Bryan Miller in collaboration with Dr. John Stogner (UNC Charlotte) recently had their article “Assessing the Dangers of ‘Dabbing’: Mere Marijuana or Harmful New Trend?” published in the journal Pediatrics. This article describes the growing trend of using butane hash oil (BHO) and advocates for health care professionals to urge caution and to be aware of the potential dangers inherent in the production and consumption of this form of marijuana. This work has been featured by NBC News along with numerous other news outlets including Fox News, US News and World Report, Health Day, Medical Daily, Yahoo Health, WebMD, International Business Times, Live Science, Medical Express, WFLA Tampa FL, WSFA Montgomery AL, WTVY Dothan AL, KVOA Tucson AZ, among others.
Dr. Bryan Miller won the University Award for Excellence in Contributions to Instruction. This award “honors contributions to the teaching-learning process at the institutional level.” By receiving this award, Dr. Miller has “demonstrate[d] excellence in the classroom and beyond by making contributions to the discipline and to the overall institutional mission.” One of his principal accomplishments in this area has been spearheading the Inside-Out prison exchange program at Georgia Southern in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, where university students join incarcerated students at local prisons to take criminal justice courses.
Criminal Justice and Criminology Master’s students Joseph Bacot and Michael Singleton presented their research on “Depictions of Novel Drugs in College Newspapers,” working with faculty members Dr. Bryan Miller and Dr. Laura Agnich, at the Southern Sociological Society conference in Charlotte, NC in early April.
Because the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology is committed to providing high-quality educational opportunities to students through innovative, cutting-edge teaching, Drs. Bryan Miller, Laurie Gould, and Laura Agnich attended the 6th annual Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy (CHEP) held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, February 5-7, 2014. The conference, developed by the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) at Virginia Tech includes faculty, administrators, and staff from universities nationwide and internationally. The conference exhibits evidence-based best practices for teaching, and includes interdisciplinary scholarship on teaching and learning. Conference presentations included demonstrations of “effective instructional practice,” and disseminated “the latest research aimed at improving the quality of higher education.” Drs. Gould, Miller, and Agnich attended pre-conference workshops on motivating students, leveraging reflective practice, and engaging learners in the classroom, which will serve to enhance the Department’s quality of teaching and learning.
Conference on Higher Education. http://www.cider.vt.edu/conference/
This timely Brief examines recent examples of emerging drugs including salvia (from the plant Salvia divinorum), bath salts (and other synthetic stimulants) and so-called research chemicals (primarily substituted phenethylamines, synthetic cousins of ecstasy), which have tended to receive brief levels of high intensity media coverage that may or may not reflect an actual increase in their usage. Over the past decade in particular, “new” substances being used recreationally seem to come out of obscurity and gain rapid popularity, particularly spurred on by discussion and distribution over the internet.
While changing trends in the drug market have always presented a challenge for law enforcement and public health officials, online forums, media coverage and other recent trends discussed in this Brief allow them to gain popularity more quickly and change more frequently. These rapid shifts allow less time for researchers to understand the potential health consequences of these substances and for law enforcement to stay abreast of abuses of legal substances. This work includes: 1) review of relevant research and literature, 2) review the Internet sources in which many deem important in influencing the emerging drug market, 3) discussion of national and international trends in use, abuse and distribution of these substances and 4) examination of current drug policy and recommendations for the future. This brief will be useful for criminology and criminal justice, sociology and public health. It will also be useful for those that deal with youth and the problems that may develop during adolescence and early adulthood.
The book is available through Springer: http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/criminology/book/978-3-319-03574-1
Melanie Hart, a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Social Science program with an emphasis on Criminal Justice and Criminology, has published her research on musical preferences and novel drug experimentation in the American Journal of Criminal Justice. Working with Drs. Laura Agnich, Bryan Miller, and John Stogner, this research found that preferences for rap/hip-hop and rock music are associated with an increased likelihood of experimentation with thedrug, “purple drank,” (a drink mixture containing codeine cough syrup) among college students.
In partnership with Smith State Prison and the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offered its first Inside-Out class this spring semester. The “Inside-Out” Prison Exchange Program provides an opportunity for students at Georgia Southern University to go inside the walls of a prison to conduct a class with incarcerated residents of the facility. After receiving training from the Inside-Out National Instructor Training Institute this past summer, Dr. Miller developed the course “Exploring Issues of Crime and Justice Behind the Walls” to teach at Smith State Prison. The class is comprised of 14 outside students and 16 inside students and has met at the prison every Friday morning this semester. In this combined class, both inside and outside students are able to share information, experiences, and ideas about crime, justice, imprisonment, and the criminal justice system. Students are challenged to think about ways to reduce crime and promote justice. Through this type of experimental teaching setting students are encouraged to foster a greater understanding of criminal justice issues and to think of solutions.
Dr. Bryan Miller recently returned from his Summer 2012 study abroad in London. He and his students learned about criminal justice and the history of crime and punishment in London. The class visited some of the historical execution sites of London including the Tower of London, West Smithfield, Wapping Execution Dock, Tyburn, and Horsemonger Lane Gaol.
The students learned about Jeremy Bentham’s idea of the Panopticon and got to visit the site of Millbank Prison. The class met with Dr. Patricia Dark of the Southwark Historical Library and learned about the history of debtor’s prisons including the Clink, Marshalsea (where Charles Dickens’ father was imprisoned), and the King’s (Queen’s) Bench Prison.
Students got to go to the City of London Police Museum and had the opportunity to meet with the mounted unit and their horses. The class observed Parliament in session and visited the Supreme Court, Royal Courts of Justice, Crown Court (Old Bailey), and Tower Bridge Magistrate Court.
In addition, the classes learned about Jack the Ripper and traced his steps through the East End of London. Students should definitely think about doing a study abroad in the future.
Dr. Miller along with John Boman, John Stogner, and Laura Agnich presented the paper “Friendship Gender Structure andProjection: Examining Perceptions of Peer Delinquency in Friendships of Different Gender Structure.”