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UT Tyler Earns National Recognition from Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

University Receives Academy’s Education Award for 2022 Murder Mystery Event 

By Hannah Buchanan

Dr. Jennifer Wooldridge (left) and Dr. Danielle Bailey, UT Tyler associate professors of criminal justice, accept the award on behalf of the department.

TYLER (March 30, 2023) – The University of Texas at Tyler announced its Department of  Criminal Justice received the 2023 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ National Criminal Justice  Month Education Award. UT Tyler was recognized for its March 2022 inaugural event, “Murder  Mystery at UT Tyler,” which was developed and led by Dr. Jennifer Wooldridge and Dr. Danielle  Bailey, UT Tyler associate professors of criminal justice. 

Each year, the academy recognizes academic departments, schools, colleges and universities for  National Criminal Justice Month efforts that promote criminal justice education and community  engagement. 

“We are proud of Dr. Wooldridge, Dr. Bailey and the entire criminal justice program for being  recognized nationally,” said Dr. Neil Gray, College of Arts and Sciences dean. “This event was a great  educational tool to showcase our program and the criminal justice profession.” 

The Murder Mystery featured an interactive, fictitious crime scene allowing participants to collect  evidence, visit with professional crime scene technicians and interview volunteers who played  suspects and witnesses. Participants also explored informational booths featuring local law  enforcement and criminal justice agencies as well as forensic science activities such as fingerprint  analysis, impairment simulations and bloodstain analysis. The event’s educational theme centered  on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s One Pill Can Kill Campaign, which targets the dangers of  counterfeit prescription drugs like fentanyl. 

“Not only was this event planned to celebrate National Criminal Justice Month, but it was also hosted during our university’s homecoming week, which provided positive exposure for both the  university and department,” said Bailey. “We are very thankful for all of the agencies and  community businesses who partnered with us to make this amazing event so successful.” 

Wooldridge and Bailey accepted the award on behalf of the department and were recognized  earlier this month at the ACJS annual meeting.  

“The event also supported our efforts to obtain a permanent Crime Scene House on campus, and  we continue to pursue funding for this initiative,” Bailey added. 

Officials hope to offer ‘Murder Mystery’ again next spring. For more information or to support this  initiative, contact Bailey at

Established in 1963, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences is an international association that fosters professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justice. ACJS promotes criminal  justice education, research and policy analysis within the discipline of criminal justice for both  educators and practitioners. For more information, visit 

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