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MWCC Newest Criminal Justice Professor Brings Experience in Psychology and Criminology Focusing on Human Trafficking

MWCC Criminal Justice Professor Katherine Wahrer
Criminal Justice Professor Katherine Wahrer

Mount Wachusett Community College is pleased to welcome our newest criminal justice faculty member, Katherine Wahrer.

“We are excited to welcome Ms. Wahrer to our team. Her work in human trafficking and race issues bring a welcome new perspective to our criminal justice department faculty” notes Dean Margaret Jaillet, Dean of Health Sciences.

The Scarborough, Maine native discovered her passion for psychology, criminal justice and teaching at Stonehill College in Easton, MA where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminology. Inspired by her professor Dr. Twyman-Ghoshal, she focused her research studies on human trafficking, which lead her to an internship at ASTRA in Belgrade, Serbia where she worked on a variety of action initiatives against human trafficking in that country. In 2016 and 2017 she was a LION Scholar for conducting independent research in Belgrade, Serbia and Yerevan, Armenia, about anti-trafficking actions.  In 2017 Stonehill College named her Criminology Student of the Year.

Following her graduation from Stonehill, Wahrer earned her master’s in criminal justice at the University of Albany, State University of New York where she is now a doctoral candidate. As a research assistant for the John Finn Institute for Public Safety, she helped code police body-worn cameras for projects that examined supervised coaching, instruction, and police performance.

Currently, she is a supervisor for the PULSE Lab in Albany, NY, where she researches psychological theory to understand criminal justice and legal issues, particularly those affecting vulnerable and victimized populations. Some previous work includes understanding the medical misdiagnosis of child abuse, specifically the effects of race and involvement with child protective services and the effects of dehumanization and disgust language on immigration attitudes through sentiment analysis of Twitter.

Assistant Professor Wahrer will be teaching Criminal Procedure, Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Investigation during the spring and 7-week accelerated semesters.

Mount Wachusett Community College offers a law enforcement track and a criminal justice transfer track in its criminal justice associate degree program in addition to a certificate in law enforcement.