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Criminal justice faculty member to lead global security institute

With an extensive background in criminal justice, an Austin Peay State University faculty member will lead the Institute for Global Security Studies (IGSS), effective July 1.

Dr. Thomas R. OConnor, program manager of criminal justice and homeland security and assistant professor of public management, will succeed retired Col. Greg Kaufmann, whose contract expires at the end of the 2006-07 fiscal year due to funding constraints.
With an extensive background in criminal justice, an Austin Peay State University faculty member will lead the Institute for Global Security Studies (IGSS), effective July 1.

Dr. Thomas R. O'Connor, program manager of criminal justice and homeland security and assistant professor of public management, will succeed retired Col. Greg Kaufmann, whose contract expires at the end of the 2006-07 fiscal year due to funding constraints.

In addition, the IGSS office, currently located on APSU's main campus, will be moved to the Austin Peay Center @ Fort Campbell, where O'Connor teaches.

APSU President Dr. Sherry Hoppe said O'Connor's experience in criminal justice makes him qualified to lead the IGSS.

“I am pleased that he has accepted this new responsibility and am confident that the IGSS will continue to provide synergy for numerous global security-related programs, including forensics, law enforcement, international politics, military history, geographic information systems and several others,” she said.

The IGSS program at Austin Peay is the first of its kind in Tennessee to focus on homeland security. APSU, which also offers the state's first bachelor's degree in homeland security, launched the IGSS in mid-2005 after receiving approval from the Tennessee Board of Regents.

With 14 years of higher education teaching experience, O'Connor came to APSU in 2006 from North Carolina Wesleyan College. Previously, he taught at Southeastern Louisiana University, Mercyhurst College and Southern Illinois University.

O'Connor has refereed several publications since 1994, provided content development assistance to higher education institutions and published extensively. From 1986-90, he was a mental health counselor and therapist at Southeastern Illinois Counseling Center, Olney, and Egyptian Public and Mental Health Department, Eldorado, Ill.

Prior to that, O'Connor was a correctional counselor at the Illinois Department of Corrections, Pontiac. He earned his Ph.D. in criminology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, master's in criminal justice from the University of Illinois-Springfield and bachelor's in anthropology-sociology from Knox College, Galesburg, Ill.

For more information, about the IGSS at Austin Peay, contact O'Connor by telephone at (931) 221-1477 or by e-mail at oconnort@apsu.edu. -- Melony Leazer