UNH Dean Honored by Polish

UNH Dean Honored by Polish

Vasilios Diamantis

On July 16, the University of New Haven’s Dean of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Dr. Mario Gaboury, was awarded the Order of Merit of the Polish National Police. The distinction is indicative of the high levels of achievement and collaboration the university has attained in the fields of criminal justice and the forensic sciences.

Non-Poles that demonstrate international cooperation between their country and the government of Poland at the police and ministerial levels are recipients of the award.

U.N.H. was recognized for its comprehensive exchange program with the Polish police.  It began in 2008 when the late-Dr. Richard Ward, then the dean of the Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, revived a program he had pioneered while at the University of Illinois – Chicago.  Dr. Gaboury has been supervising the program since Dr. Ward stepped down in 2011.

“It was a great personal honor to receive this award and especially also to accept a second award posthumously for the late Dr. Richard Ward.  Dr. Ward was a great man and his ‘students-first’ legacy lives on in the Lee College,” said Dr. Gaboury.

The program entails the exchange of students, professionals, and faculty between the two nations where each party can immerse themselves in lectures, meetings, and tours that deal with issues and developments in criminal justice and forensics, such as terrorism/counterterrorism and community policing.  

Additions to the program address the issue of human rights.  Professor and Chair of Forensic Science Dr. Timothy Palmbach leads a section on modern day human trafficking and Associate Dean of the Lee College and Associate Professor Dr. David Schroeder takes participants on visits to the Auschwitz death camp and investigates the effects of the Nazi invasion and occupation of Poland, which decimated the Polish police force.  

When U.N.H. acts as hosts, Polish police chiefs from all 17 provinces of the country and other high-level officials get to meet with the Connecticut attorney general and governor as well as with representatives from the New York and Boston Police Departments.  Polish police chiefs have commented that the most moving moment for them is seeing the Polish flag flying over the Connecticut State Capitol.  

In addition to the exchange program with Poland, the Lee College also has worked with Australia, England, Italy, the Netherlands, and South Korea.  A program with China could re-materialize as well.

“International understanding is important (because) crime is an international phenomenon,” said Dr. Gaboury.  

With its endeavors in Poland and beyond, U.N.H. is in the vanguard in making the world a safer place.