Faculty Profile: Criminal Justice

Amanda Humphrey, Criminal Justice

Dr. Amanda Humphrey, associate professor of criminal justice, joined Mount Mercy’s faculty in Fall 2006, when she brought with her the ability to teach courses that had not been offered at the University before.

“I choose to teach at Mount Mercy because of the mission and the connection to the Sisters of Mercy. Their work reflects issues of justice in which a social scientist specializing in criminal justice can very much relate.”

Because of the subject knowledge Humphrey brought, the university decided to revamp its undergraduate criminal justice program shortly after she arrived. Building off of the success of the undergraduate program, Mount Mercy introduced the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice degree in Fall 2014, a program Dr. Humphrey was also instrumental in creating.

“This program directly embraces — as points of discussion, evaluation, and service — almost all of the critical concerns of mercy which are reflected in the mission of the university,” Dr. Humphrey said. “These concerns are of utmost relevance for the justice system and those serving as practitioners.  By providing an advanced criminal justice education, graduates will recognize the special responsibilities that they will face as practitioners of justice.”

Dr. Humphrey, who is also program director for the fully-online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program, teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses.

Before she became a member of Mount Mercy’s community, Dr. Humphrey worked in a variety of service positions including juvenile probation and parole officer for the State of New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department and as the Omaha site coordinator for the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program.

“Those who work in the criminal justice system as professionals are true public servants. This is an admirable and respectable profession which deals with issues that are fundamental to understanding the world in which you live.”

In line with her understanding of social justice and public service, Dr. Humphrey created a college-prison literature partnership with the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Along with two English faculty members, Dr. Humphrey planned the logistics of the book club that resulted in independent book clubs ran by university students.

“The Sisters of Mercy founded the college to help the disadvantaged,” Dr. Humphrey said in the Winter 2009 edition of the Mount Mercy Magazine. “Offenders are recognized legally as a disadvantaged group—although that doesn’t excuse their past behaviors—but it does recognize that we can teach our students to feel the need to help others, even inmates, for the common good.”

When Dr. Humphrey is not working, she enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her three boys and husband.