A Criminal Justice class changed how one student sees the world.

Daniel Sek recalls that Intro to Criminal Justice, a class taught by Nicky Jackson, had a big impact on his life.

It changed my idea of how I view people,” said the sophomore Criminal Justice major. “I can relate to her. Whether or not she is talking about weird criminal defense cases, she gets you thinking.”

Sek said Jackson encouraged students to use their problem-solving skills whenever they tackle a new case – no matter how familiar it may seem.

“She gives us different scenarios and narrows them down to what it may be,” he said. “We have to think about it and see whether it is classified under certain crimes.  We must think about the list of checkmarks it is hitting and what classification it should fall under. It also helps with problem solving skills.”

Sek said he prefers professors like Jackson, who keep him engaged in class.

“Instead of just giving out the information, she tries to interact with the class to help them understand it,” he said. “To make us better critical thinkers.”

Sek also likes the fact that Jackson has a lot of experience in criminal justice.

“She has been in the league for about 30 years,” he said. “It is easier for her to transfer the information to us.  I understand her and the way she teaches. It makes it a lot more interesting.”

The case studies she uses in class forced students to think beyond their comfort zones.

“A girl had a heart problem and died from a heart attack while being robbed. Professor Jackson will ask, did the robber technically kill the woman or did the victim die of heart related problems,” Sek said.  “Someone may think automatically the robber killed her.  

“Another case involved a cop who murdered someone in a fit of rage after he had too much sugar and caffeine, even though he has diabetes,” he said. “Someone may think his health had nothing to do with the case. 

“But you have to look at both [cases] differently,” Sek said. “It is really opening up our minds and seeing things in a different perspective.”

He credits Jackson with helping him better understand how criminal justice works.

“With all the new information and how she teaches it, I’m getting a lot more sense of things,” he said.