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    Dr. Brenda Beach

    Dr. Brenda Beach joined the Kaplan University faculty as an adjunct instructor in 2008 and was promoted to full-time professor of social sciences in 2010. She was awarded Kaplan University’s Outstanding Instructor Award at the Kaplan Curriculum Institute in Chicago, IL in August of 2010. She currently serves on the general education literacy committee, is the facilitator for the Social Science Speaker Series, and serves as a course lead for SS 260: Gender and Society.

    Brenda’s background and education represent a unique and valuable combination of practical and academic excellence in criminology and the discipline of sociology. Raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, she emigrated to the Hawaiian Islands and the University of Hawaii to study sociology. She earned her master’s degree in sociology with specialties in conflict resolution and the protection of battered women. She returned to Virginia and the University of Virginia where she earned her PhD in Sociology with a specialization in family and social control. Her first career work was in criminal justice which included corrections program design, prison social work, and criminology.

    One of her most significant career accomplishments was leading the planning and design team that established the nation’s first regional combined adult and juvenile drug treatment court in Fredericksburg, Virginia. In the private sector, Dr. Beach helped develop and implement a criminologist position for a defense team at a major law firm. In her community, she designed an anti-crime intake process for an emergency cold night shelter that housed the chronically homeless. These experiences and expertise are invaluable in the Kaplan University classroom as they integrate real life problem solving into her teaching.

    Professor Beach loves teaching and is highly regarded by her students. She is expert in online teaching methods and the use of technology in the classroom. Written student evaluations attest to her subject matter excellence and her ability to connect individually with students and yet encourage group learning synergy. Students enjoy her disarming sense of humor. She enjoys seeing new students discovering insights into human behaviors and interactions.

    Dr. Beach now lives in rural Georgia and enjoys spending time in the state parks. Her most recent research interest is exploring the media and opinions about the death penalty. She is also interested in the ways that social media can help offenders with the barriers to community re-entry after incarceration.

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