Rosemary McFee is super excited about the crime scene house on Alvernia’s campus. No actual crime has been committed in any of the houses; this is a workshop stage for students in a variety of disciplines.
“We are in the planning stages,” explained McFee, a longtime Alvernia professor in the Criminal Justice Department. ”I am so happy that we will have a whole building, near the Alumni House, where students can work through scenarios that include nursing students, those in social work and psychology as well as criminal justice, forensic science and even the theater group. Everyone can be involved in coming up with a crime scene idea, forensic science evaluating it, nursing, psychology, addictions/mental health supplying medical and mental health care.”
All of McFee’s teaching is based on real world preparation. She has been a full-time faculty member for 13 years but was an adjunct 14 years prior while she worked full-time in the Allentown court system, most recently as Lehigh County Domestic Relations Director. She has also been instrumental in developing her own Alvernia courses.
“I drive an hour each way to teach at Alvernia because I love what I do," she said. "It gives me a good feeling to mentor young people. This campus is special. The attitude of service started with the Sisters is still a constant everywhere you turn."
McFee says her experiential teaching includes bringing in guest speakers like police — she was a probation officer herself — and providing concrete examples combined with theory, research and history. She also provides mentoring for students who want to do research with Dr. Malgorzata Justyna Zuber, a professor in the criminal justice department focusing on research methods in criminology.
“I provide my students with questions to ask, good writing techniques, ways to deescalate a situation, and risk needs assessment," she said. "Students do their internship in their senior year but we regularly go on trips as a class or with the community to juvenile court and places like the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, and the National Museum of Crimes and Punishment in Washington, DC.”