This archived article was written by: Laura Strate
Steven McGibbon joined the College of Eastern Utah faculty last semester as an instructor of criminal justice. He is teaching a wide variety of classes in the criminal justice field such as laws of evidence, criminalistics and criminal investigations.
From the time he was graduating from high school, McGibbon knew he wanted to pursue a job in criminal justice. He served as a police officer for 12 years in Virginia and later became a federal agent for the Air Force.
The Air Force unit was patterned after the FBI; the department was even started by the deputy to J. Edgar Hoover. The agents dealt primarily with fraud, counterintelligence and criminal activity. McGibbon served the Air Force for 20 years.
McGibbon earned his master’s degree in forensic science, specializing in interpretation of blood-stain pattern. He used his knowledge of the subject to testify as an expert in different federal courts.
To qualify as an expert in this area requires a certification course plus outside experience and education of the subject. The court has to find the person the most knowledgable on the matter in which he/she represents.
McGibbon learned his art of blood-stain pattern interpretation from Herb McDonell. McDonell was a student of Dr. Paul Kirk, the founder of modern-day studies on the subject of bloodstain interpretation. Though Kirk did extensive research in that area, McDonell was the one to have blood-stain interpretation accepted by the courts as a science in the 1960s. McDonell has also published his findings in numerous books.
Though he has had priceless opportunities as a police officer and a federal agent, McGibbon wanted to teach. He began as a part-time teacher of leadership and management in 1996. He taught at California State University and at a college in San Bernardino. He chose CEU because of the unique area and the warmer climate, but the thing that sold him “was the college’s all-day interview process”. McGibbon enjoyed that CEU allowed him to meet with the dean of arts and sciences, teach a class, have lunch and an interview with the selection committee, plus tour the campus. The interview was not a regular “get to know me in an hour” interview.
McGibbon’s introduction to criminal justice course is an overview of the justice system. The introduction to law enforcement class takes a deeper look at the aspects of a police officer. The course helps students understand what is required of an officer, how to become one and what situations are dealt with by officers. Criminal Investigation deals with protecting and maintaining a crime scene and different forms of criminal activity. The laws of evidence class teaches students how courts accept evidence and rules of physical, hear-say, and other forms of evidence. Introduction to corrections is an in-depth look at different correctional units and programs that are used as an alternative to jail.
McGibbon plans to teach at CEU for at least ten years, but has a goal to become a judge or magistrate.