Prit Kaur, PhD, Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), Justice and Public Safety
In the year of 2004, when I joined department of ethnic studies, California state university Sacramento as an international post-doctoral research scholar, I had already spent nine years in the criminal justice system as a sworn police officer cum academic trainer (non-uniformed) in a leading police training institute in India. In my first three years in United States, I completed my post-doctorate on the criminal justice system of United States, coordinated a community recruiter program of Sacramento Police Department with the Sikh community, contributed a chapter to the book- “Ethnic America” and served as a part time faculty in the criminal justice and the ethnic studies departments of California State University, Sacramento. From the fall of 2007 to 2011, while serving as assistant professor at Minot State University, Minot, I taught variety of courses and developed five online courses of undergrad and graduate levels, received one small intuitional grant and also developed an international exchange program between Minot state university and Punjabi University Patiala. Besides, I remained active in community as a board member on the YWCA, by delivering awareness generating talks and also received a courtesy appointment in the University of North Dakota, Fargo.
In the year of 2011, city of Minot was heavily flooded and many of us fled the city, and I joined Auburn University Montgomery as assistant professor. Since my arrival at Auburn, I have not only taught variety of courses from the curriculum but also added new courses on Criminological Theories, Cyber & White- Collar Crime, and Women in Criminal Justice system, Comparative criminal justice and Gangs at both graduate and undergraduate levels. I am also scheduled to teach in an interdisciplinary minor of ‘Ethnic and Gender Studies’. I received an institutional grant to study the ‘Popular Perceptions, Practices and Evaluations of the Criminal Justice System by the Residents of the City of Montgomery’ and also applied for a grant to National Science Foundation. I have published a book on ‘Sikh Diaspora: Legal Pluralism and Dispute Settlement’; two articles as solo author and two articles as co-author are accepted for publication. I regularly present at professional conferences, and also serve in various capacities such as editorial board member of Pakistan Journal of Criminology, Ambassador of Hope in a non-profit –‘Shared-Hope’ and consultant for Human-Trafficking research project of Alabama Fusion Center.
During my criminal justice career, teaching always remained my prime interest. In my classes, I bring international, gender and pluralistic perspectives in teaching, and engage students in participative learning through class room discussions, empirical research and by connecting them with criminal justice agencies for first-hand experiences. Emphasis is always to develop their critical thinking along with analytical skills to better prepare them for any challenges of the 21 century global society while serving the diverse communities. I believe that I have been successful thus far in achieving this goal, as is reflected in the department head and student evaluations. However, interaction is not one way process, each of the experiences in my eight years of teaching in United States has helped me to actively search for innovative ideas, technologies and methodologies of teaching and sharing, and to improve my skills as an educator, researcher and learner.