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William M. Virkler, MBA
Chair of Criminal Justice

(315) 223-2559

Economic Crime and Justice Studies at Utica College


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The Department hosts a suite of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as research centers and the Economic Crime Institute. Our faculty is truly interdisciplinary and has advanced degrees in business, computer science, criminology, education, electrical engineering, history and policy, and law.

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UC History Project Nationally Recognized



Council of Independent Colleges and Universities and Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education select UC project as an effective practice

Utica, NY (01/16/2004)
- The Council of Independent Colleges and Universities (CIC) and its grant-making unit the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education (CAPHE) have selected Utica College’s History Project to participate in the Council’s Effective Practice Exchange. The Effective Practice Exchange, part of the CIC’s national Engaging Communities and Campuses initiative, is a Web-based network that promotes independent colleges and universities across the country that have successfully partnered with community organizations to enhance experiential and service learning while addressing community needs.

The History Project is a junior-senior course sequence that engages students in original research related to the culture and history of the Mohawk Valley and its surrounding vicinities. The in-depth, two-semester project culminates with the publication of a journal featuring the original research of students. In addition, the College hosts a public conference on local history each spring.

To date, the College has published four History Project journals, each relating to a different theme and era of local history. This year’s forthcoming journal, "American Workers and the Labor Movement in the Mohawk Valley", focuses on the major labor movements of the 19th and 20th centuries that have historical significance, such as the strikes at local textile mills. Titles of previous publications include: "Industrialization and Deindustrialization in the Utica, NY Area: Economy, Politics, Society;" "1919: A Year of Crisis and Change in New York State;" "Faces in the Crowd: Ethnic Portraits;" and "Building the Mohawk Valley: Enterprise and Society." The journals are made available to local school and public libraries, historical societies and museums.

Utica College history professor David Wittner explains the purpose of The History Project as being twofold: first, to teach students to design and conduct research in a manner that simulates the work of a professional historian and, second, to provide valuable resources for the local community. He believes the project offers students a distinctive experience that is not found at many other colleges and universities.

"I think it’s rather unusual to have this built in the curriculum," Wittner says. "The students come into this at a time when they are focusing on graduating. But after performing original research and working hard on their projects, they realize the value of walking away with tangible evidence. This is more than a senior thesis, which wouldn’t get saved. With this program, students walk away from the class with this journal."

Adds Chris Fobare, a junior history major at Utica College: "The most significant part of The History Project is that we are able to look at the very foundation of local communities. Through our exploration of local history, we are able to see the factors and influences that caused this community to become what it is today."