Criminologist earns Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service

Richard Rosenfeld, Curators’ Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UMSL, will receive the 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service on Sept. 26 at the State of the University Address. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Service is second nature to Richard Rosenfeld. Whether it’s leading a research study for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, heading the board of the American Society of Criminology or lending his expertise to media outlets, he believes in giving back.

Rosenfeld, Curators’ Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, received the 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service. He was presented with a plaque and $1,000 honorarium during the annual State of the University Address on Sept. 26 in the J. C. Penney Building/Conference Center at UMSL.

Rosenfeld’s no stranger to the honor of receiving a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. He earned the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1994 and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2006. This latest award gives him the trifecta and makes him the only faculty member to have received all three tenure-track awards.

“For the past quarter century, he has proven himself to be both a stalwart campus servant and a champion of civic engagement locally and nationally,” said Richard Wright, Curators’ Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UMSL. “Indeed, it is difficult to imagine anyone who has done more to promote the mission and strategic goals of the University of Missouri–St. Louis, both to promote educational and research excellence and to forge strong partnerships with other organizations to enhance the economic and social well-being of our region, state and nation.”

Rosenfeld has made several contributions to research and partnerships throughout the region. Most recently is his involvement in the St. Louis Public Safety Partnership, established in 2012, which brings together officials from UMSL, city of St. Louis and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to use research to improve public safety.

“I currently split my time between the university and the police department, where I also have an office, as the department’s ‘Criminologist in Residence,’ he said. “In that capacity I helped to design the department’s first randomized controlled field experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of police patrol strategies to reduce crime. Along with my graduate student, who is embedded halftime in the department’s Crime Analysis Unit, I conduct research to improve the data systems used by local criminal justice agencies and have been part of the planning process for a new specialized Circuit Court docket devoted exclusively to firearm crimes. The partnership is a career culminating experience that requires applied research and communication skills I did not possess as a younger researcher. My hope is to establish a permanent foundation for researcher-practitioner partnerships that will bring other researchers into collaborative relationships with criminal justice professionals in St. Louis. That would be a truly rewarding outcome of my commitment to public service.”

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay credits Rosenfeld’s work for many of the improvements being made to the department.

“Rick has helped us to build on the best traditions of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and, with the support of UMSL doctoral students and faculty colleagues, to usher in new era of police service in which public safety is secured through evidence-based strategies and national best practices,” Slay wrote in a nomination letter. “We are deeply grateful for his contribution.”

He also serves the university and his discipline by lending his expertise to both local and national media outlets.

“Rick has been a fixture in our stable of experts,” Don Marsh, host of “St. Louis on the Air” on St. Louis St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU, wrote in a nomination letter. “He is our ‘go-to guy’ when it comes to issues relating to criminal behavior, crime and law enforcement. But even more impressive has been the willing and enthusiastic endorsement of his assistance in helping reduce the local crime rates. That goes beyond a simple thanks; it gives credit to Rick’s expertise and the quality of his analysis and advice for a substantive contribution to helping resolve urban crime issues.”

Rosenfeld joined UMSL’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice in 1989. In addition to teaching, he’s served on most department committees, as graduate director, and as chair. He’s also served on several UMSL and University of Missouri System committees. Outside of higher education, he’s served as a board or committee member on the American Society of Criminology, American Sociological Association, American Society of Criminology and National Academy of Science Law and Justice Committee. In 2010, he was appointed to serve a six-year term on the Science Advisory Board to the Office of Justice Programs in the United State Department of Justice. 

“One of the most rewarding characteristics of academic work, for me, is that ‘service’ is an essential part of the job,” Rosenfeld said. “We are paid to serve our colleagues and community. I am near the end of my 24th year at UMSL and in multiple ways have served my department and university colleagues; my discipline and profession; my community; and, although it is awkward to put it this way, my country.”


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