by Sheryl Marlar

In his first year of primary school, a young Patrick Brady experienced first-hand a tragedy that would shape his life.

Dr. Patrick Brady“When I was in the first grade, a classmate and neighbor of mine was kidnapped and never found,” Brady said. “I remember the massive investigation and special agents from the FBI searching all around our neighborhood. Since then, I knew I wanted to work in the criminal justice field.”

Today, he has not only worked in the field, but Dr. Patrick Brady now teaches others as an assistant professor of criminology in the University of West Georgia’s College of Social Sciences. Less than a year out of his Ph.D. program, Brady recently received the Victimology New Scholar Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS).

“I am very proud of his accomplishment,” said Dr. Brad Yates, UWG’s interim chair of criminology and a professor of mass communications. “The criminology department celebrates his award and his excellent start to what will surely be an outstanding career.”

ACJS, an international association established in 1963, fosters professional and scholarly activities in criminal justice. It promotes criminal justice education, and research and policy analysis for both educators and practitioners.

The New Scholar Award recognizes the achievements of a scholar who exhibits outstanding merit at the beginning of his or her career. Merit is based on a single book or work, including a dissertation or a series of theoretical or research contributions to the area of victimology.

Brady earned his undergraduate degree in forensics from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Just before Brady’s senior year, a professor asked if he wanted to work with her on a research project exploring fatigue among child victims during forensic interviews.

“From there, I was hooked, and I knew a career conducting research would allow me to explore the best of both worlds,” Brady explained. “I could conduct research studies that mattered, and I could work collaboratively with the brave men and women who labor relentlessly to keep our communities safe.”

After obtaining his undergraduate degree in forensics, Brady went on to receive his master’s degree in criminal justice from Boise State in Boise, Idaho, and his Ph.D. in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University, in Huntsville, Texas.

Brady’s research interests developed out of experiences he observed and researched while working as a practitioner. Working with offenders in a residential treatment facility provided his first glimpse into triggers that cause juveniles to commit violent crimes.

“While I loved working with adolescents, I noticed a lot of stress, vicarious trauma, burnout and turnover among my colleagues,” Brady recalled. “I became interested in conducting research on burnout among professionals working with crimes against children cases and how the nature of the work affects their work-life balance.”

Brady’s primary research findings are also improving the justice system’s response to intimate partner stalking.

While working on his master’s degree, he worked as a research analyst for the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, where he helped implement bystander intervention programs to reduce teen dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in large high schools in Idaho.

“I was always fascinated with the crime of stalking, which, I’m aware makes me sound a little creepy,” Brady said with a laugh. “But seriously, stalking is a terrifying crime, and much of the research shows that practitioners are often unfamiliar with how to properly investigate the crime. As a result, I enjoy conducting my research and working with practitioners to improve victim safety and offender accountability.”

Brady feels his research and practitioner experience has prepared him well for teaching.

“This is my eighth semester teaching and the experience has been unreal,” Brady said. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but the best part about teaching is interacting with the students who come from all walks of life. It’s so interesting to hear their thoughts and experiences, and their work ethic and willingness to learn is incredible.”

Yates couldn’t be more pleased with Brady’s recognition.

“When I learned he was selected as the recipient of this award, I realized this was a tremendous honor for him,” Yates concluded. “Further, his research is getting him invitations to present at several conferences and institutions. UWG is fortunate to have such a well-rounded professor who is devoted to the education and safety of others.”

Posted on May 1, 2018