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2009 News Releases

Longwood professor of criminal justice is new director of Homeland Security minor

February 27, 2009

Dr. John Barbrey

Dr. John Barbrey, assistant professor of criminal justice at Longwood University, is the new director of the Homeland Security minor.

The 18-credit interdisciplinary program had been directed by Dr. Charles Ross, dean of the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences (CCCAS), since its inception in fall 2006. It has about 40 to 50 students and is the largest minor in the CCCAS.

Barbrey came to Longwood in fall 2008 after teaching at the University of Northern Colorado for three years and at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., for two years before that. A native of Fountain Inn, S.C., a town "about the size of Farmville" 30 minutes from Greenville, he has a B.A. in history and a master's of public administration (M.P.A.) from Clemson University and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in political science, specializing in judicial process and policy process.

"My Ph.D. dissertation involved a spatial map analysis of the effectiveness of new crime control policies of the Knoxville Police Department in Knoxville public housing sites," he said. "The dissertation, plus my subfields in policy process and judicial process, allowed me to teach courses related to criminal justice at Armstrong Atlantic. I enjoyed criminal justice more than political science, so I sought tenure-track teaching positions in criminal justice. I primarily teach courses related to administrative management issues and courts or law."

Appropriately for someone involved in criminal justice, Barbrey is the son and grandson of police officers. "My grandfather, J.E. Barbrey, was a Fountain Inn police officer until his death at age 59 from a heart attack in 1965. My father, R.E. ‘Pete' Barbrey, who died in 2007, retired from the Mauldin, South Carolina, Police Department in 1996 at the rank of captain after 27 years of distinguished service. I keep the commemorative plaque that was presented to my grandmother upon his grandfather's death, and a collection of my father's uniform insignia, on display in my office. My grandfather died before I was born, but I believe my father was always proud that I'd found an indirect way into the family business."

Barbrey had planned to attend law school but changed his mind during his senior year at Clemson. After receiving his undergraduate degree in 1994, he worked for the Parks & Recreation Division in Greenville, S.C., for the next five years.

"I worked for the director, writing grants and purchasing, while earning my M.P.A. from a joint Clemson/University of South Carolina program," he said. "In that job, I became a first aid/CPR instructor for the American Red Cross. The Red Cross gave me my first experiences in training diverse groups of students. I realized for the first time that I was comfortable in front of strangers, blowing hot air - into a dummy. I found that I just liked teaching, and I decided to pursue a Ph.D."

Within a span of two months in 1999, he got married, quit his job in Greenville, S.C., and moved to Knoxville, Tenn., to begin his Ph.D. coursework.