In a heartfelt moment that marked the end of an era, Dr. Laure Brooks, esteemed Instructor and former Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Maryland's Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, concluded her final class on Monday. The occasion was made even more special as undergraduates surprised Dr. Brooks, capturing the essence of her impact on generations of students.
Dr. Brooks, an alumna of the Criminology Department at the University of Maryland, completed her academic journey where it began. With a Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. all earned within the department, Dr. Brooks epitomizes the deep connection between a dedicated scholar and her alma mater. Serving as the Director of Undergraduate Studies from 2004 to 2023, Dr. Brooks played a pivotal role in shaping the academic trajectory of countless students. Her commitment to excellence in education was reflected in her roles as an instructor, teaching both the undergraduate research methods course and a specialized class on policing. Dr. Brooks's research interests centered on the multifaceted realm of policing. Over the years, she delved into critical areas such as police discretion, police stress, and violence against police, contributing significantly to the understanding of these complex issues. Dr. Brooks's dedication to teaching excellence did not go unnoticed. She was honored with the 2012 College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Dean's Medal, the Excellence in Teaching Award, and the 1999 College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching Mentorship Award. Her commitment to mentoring scholars earned her the title of Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Mentor five times, further solidifying her impact on the academic community. In 2014, the American Society of Criminology recognized Dr. Brooks with the Teaching Award, highlighting her outstanding contributions to the advancement of criminology education. This prestigious accolade underscored the enduring impact of her innovative and effective teaching methods.
Dr. Brooks concludes a remarkable four-decade teaching career at the University of Maryland's Criminology Department, celebrated by a touching surprise from undergraduates. Though bidding farewell to formal teaching, it's crucial to recognize that Dr. Brooks will remain an essential part of the department until August 2024, providing valuable insights and guidance to the academic community.