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SWOSU Criminal Justice Professor Wins National Teaching Award

Dr. Daniel Kavish, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in Weatherford, was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Teacher Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Convict Criminology (DCC).

The American Society of Criminology (ASC) is an international organization whose members pursue scholarly, scientific and professional knowledge concerning the measurement, etiology, consequences, prevention, control and treatment of crime and delinquency.

 Members of ASC’s DCC engage in mentorship, advocacy and critical carceral scholarship focused on the experiences of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. The DCC’s Outstanding Teacher Award recognizes contributions that have made a significant impact on teaching at the local, state, regional, national or international level through exemplary classroom teaching, student engagement activities, leadership and innovation in teaching developments, scholarship on teaching and learning, and/or the enhancement of teaching within professional associations.

Kavish is involved with student engagement activities such as serving as the faculty advisor for SWOSU’s Criminal Justice Student Association and local chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma (National Criminal Justice Honor Society), and he is very proud of how his students have routinely performed well in the Undergraduate Student Quiz Bowl competitions hosted annually by the six-state Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice (SWACJ). Kavish has supervised several undergraduate student research projects presented at local and regional academic conferences. His students have presented research on topics like prison suicides, Oklahoma’s staggering incarceration rate, the social and financial costs of America’s War on Drugs, the relationship between foster care and crime, jurisdictional issues related to tribal land, and body-worn cameras.

Based on student and peer evaluations, Kavish has a documented record of commendable classroom teaching.

“He has boosted SWOSU’s reputation within the criminal justice field,” said SWOSU’s Department of Social Sciences Chair Dr. Becky Bruce. “His approach to teaching not only assists students in improving their thinking, speaking and writing skills but also helps students explore their career goals and employment opportunities after they graduate from college.”

In addition to his instruction and advising responsibilities, Kavish’s research has been featured in a host of academic journals, including Crime & Delinquency and the Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology. He has also recently authored chapters for the books Routledge Handbook of Street Culture and Convict Criminology for The Future, as well as a chapter in the forthcoming book, Power and Pain in the Modern Prison: The Society of Captives Revisited.

A native of Springfield (IL), Kavish began teaching at SWOSU in the fall of 2018. Kavish earned a master’s degree and doctorate in criminology and criminal justice from Southern Illinois University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Kavish said he enjoys working at SWOSU because the university’s faculty are passionate about the subjects they teach and are committed to helping students learn and achieve their academic goals.