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Lecturer Joe Vince Touches the Lives of Countless Students

Michael Hershey
Graduate Assistant, College of Liberal Arts

Joe Vince at Blue Mass 2022

Joe Vince speaks at the Blue Mass, an annual service to honor law enforcement officers. During the Mass, members of the senior class are inducted into the Order of St. Michael, a confraternity devoted to achieving and maintaining the highest ethical standards and morals in the field of criminal justice. The Mount’s Criminal Justice Student Association initiated the Order of St. Michael to create a bond among members of the Mount community who work in criminal justice as well as to recognize those who have made positive contributions to this vocation.

Lecturer Joseph Vince ends every class with the words, “Let’s be careful out there.” Thousands of students have benefited from Vince’s concern for their safety and mentorship as they plan their careers. Over the last two decades, he has mentored hundreds of students into careers in law enforcement and intelligence through several programs that offer them firsthand experience in criminal justice careers.

junior-mountaineer-vince-in-text.jpgAs the faculty advisor to the Criminal Justice Student Association (CJSA), Vince helps students to operate the Junior Mountaineer program, the Crime Scene Investigation Challenge, networking events, the Delaney Dinner, and the Mark E. Drever Lecture.

Vince has held criminal justice in high esteem since he rode along with his father, a deputy sheriff, to answer house calls. “I learned to treat people with patience and kindness on those rides,” he recounted. “People were always happy to see my father.” Seeing this personal side of law enforcement, he learned one of his most important life lessons: “You do not have to be in a crowd to change the world. You change the world helping one person at a time.”

Vince came to the Mount after a highly decorated nearly 30-year career in law enforcement, working as a special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and ultimately the Bureau’s chief of the Firearms Division and the Crime Gun Analysis Branch.  He was introduced to the Mount through his friend, Rev. James T. Delaney, who had worked with him when he was stationed in Washington DC. Vince would often host conferences and meetings in Washington. He could always count on Delaney, a Mount faculty member in psychology and sociology, to put on an impressive presentation. Vince recalled, “He always had an infectious spirit to help others and I wanted to be in a community like that.” After visiting joe-vince-office-2-in-text.jpgRev. Delaney at the Mount, Vince kept coming to the university to aid in developing the criminal justice program, which Delaney founded in the early 1990s.

This February Vince reestablished the intercollegiate Crime Scene Investigation Challenge, a popular annual all-day event that had been on hiatus since the pandemic. The Mount hosts teams from Maryland as well as several teams from Canada. After spending many hours preparing for the event over several weeks at their home campuses, these teams converge on the Mount for an elaborate practicum organized by Vince. He coordinates detectives and police officers from the Frederick County Police Department to score the event. He wants to keep it as authentic as possible and appreciates how eagerly students take advantage of opportunities to work with professionals. He considers it the best experience students can get on a college campus. “Employers will look straight past a GPA for someone who has successfully performed an on-the-job experience,” he said.

Vince was anxious to make opportunities like this once again available to students. In the fall of 2022, he hosted Xcelerate Solutions, a national cyber security company, for a networking event. Samuel Cheyne, C’24, worked hand-in-glove with Vince to get the CSI Challenge up and running again. Sam transferred to the Mount his junior year and regrets not having a class with Vince but has loved working with him in the CJSA: “He was one of the first faculty members I met. I have not met another person on this campus that does so much for their students.”

The Mount is privileged to have professors who are so dedicated to students and their success in the classroom and beyond. The five greatest words parents want to hear on graduation day are “Dad/Mom I’ve got a job,” Vince shared. He does everything he can to make that a reality for his students.

Michael Hershey
Graduate Assistant, College of Liberal Arts