Distinguished Alumni Recipients


Jason Kaelin, BS, 1994

Jason earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology in 1994. Jason has been a Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 2001 and is currently assigned to the Public Corruption/Civil Rights Squad in the FBI Miami field office. Prior to his time with the FBI, he worked in local law enforcement, serving as a police officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in Jacksonville, Florida, and as a deputy sheriff with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in Clay County, Florida. In his remarks, Jason noted the important role the College played in preparing him for his career in local law enforcement and with the FBI. Specifically, Jason discussed how his time in the College challenged him to think critically and that critical thinking is the biggest asset one can have in their career.


Kimberly J. Dalferes, MS 1988; Senior Associate Booz Allen Hamilton, Washington, D.C. – Kimberly’s career has focused on criminal and juvenile justice policy and reform for over 30 years. She currently serves as a Senior Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton where her responsibilities include her position as Project Director for the Performance Measurement Tool Project in support of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. Kimberly’s background includes her work at the National Crime Prevention Council, the U.S. Department of Justice (Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention), and Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice.


Michael A. Adkinson, Jr., BS 1992; Sheriff of Walton County, Florida; formerly with Florida Division of Probation and Parole, Tallahassee Police Department and DeFuniak Springs, Florida Police Chief

David M. Gaouette, BS 1976; Assistant US Attorney for District of Colorado; 40-year career in various roles within the US Attorney’s offices, including task forces for drugs and organized crime in Colorado

Donald E. Larson (Posthumously), BS 1972; 40+ year career, included positions with Miami Police Department combatting extensive gang and drug crime in Miami and a 13-year position with the US Customs Service

Charlotte Mayhugh McKee, BS 2005; Staff Sergeant and State Law Enforcement Officer South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Columbia, SC; formerly held position in South Carolina Governor’s Executive Protection Detail

Stephen M. Oelrich, BS 1970; 40+ year career included positions with St. Petersburg Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, then elected as Alachua County Sheriff, and 6-year term as a Florida State Senator

Brian G. Redburn, BS 1994; Assistant Police Chief, Irving, Texas Police; career included work with Florida Department of Corrections, as well as Dallas, Texas Community Supervision and Corrections. Over 10 years with Irving, TX; licensed attorney

Raymond E. Velboom, BS 1973; Chief of Police, Dade City, Florida; recognized as a leader in fields of child abduction, domestic security and terrorism, and community policing. Assists with several statewide Florida law enforcement councils

Chuck Wexler, MS 1975; Executive Director, Police Executive Research Forum, Washington D.C.; formerly held positions in various federal law enforcement offices; held numerous administrative roles in the Boston Police Department


Dr. Max L. Bromley is Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminology and Director of the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration (MACJA) Program at the University of South Florida, where he has been employed since 1974. The MACJA program is a specialized program of study designed for practitioners (222 practitioners have graduated from the MACJA program since 2008). He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University and his doctorate from Nova University. Prior to becoming a full-time faculty member he served as the Associate Director of Public Safety at USF and worked in the criminal justice field for almost 25 years. He served as an adjunct instructor from 1975-1996, served on a statewide task force that established the first set of law enforcement accreditation standards for Florida, and served as the Chairperson for USF’s taskforce on campus security following the terrorist attack on September 11th. Dr. Bromley has assisted the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics in developing and implementing the first national survey of campus law enforcement agencies. Dr.
Bromley has been married to his wife, Debbie, for 38 years and has two children, Jeff and Melissa.

Dr. Charles “Mike” Swanson earned both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Florida State University. He is an expert in integrating theory and practice within law enforcement and fire promotional systems. Dr. Swanson spent 29 years with University of Georgia’s Vinson Institute of Government working to strengthen Georgia law enforcement agencies. He served as the Director of the Institute’s Southeast Law Enforcement Training Programs for over a decade. In that time, he trained more than 10,000 police officers from over 40 states in topics ranging from homicide investigation to organizational theory. The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police twice recognized his contributions to the association. Dr. Swanson is the recipient of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ O. W. Wilson Award for distinguished police research. Additionally, the University of Georgia twice granted him Distinguished Service Awards and a Walter Bernard Hill Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service. The Governors of Florida, Kentucky, and Georgia have also recognized Dr. Swanson, issuing proclamations recognizing his contributions to law enforcement in their respective states.


Denny Abbott is the author of “They Had No Voice,” a book that discusses his legal fight to end the abuse of children at a segregated state institution. After Mr. Abbott’s ultimate triumph on behalf of those children he continued his work as a nationally recognized children’s advocate. From 1981-1989, Mr. Abbott served as the national director of the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center. During that time he testified before U.S. Congress on two occasions to support the establishment of The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children, which President Ronald Reagan signed into law. In 1990, Mr. Abbot became the coordinator for victim services in Palm Beach County, FL and wrote victim rights legislation, which became Florida law.

Ernest Cowles has had a very extensive academic career. He has held faculty positions at four universities and, for more than 18 years, directed large-scale university research and policy institutes. Dr. Cowles has served as a principal investigator/project director on more than 30 projects, reflecting over $20 million in funded research. Additionally, he has served as a consultant to a number of federal, state, and local agencies and organizations, and has written on several topics in the field of criminology. His most recent book entitled “Introduction to Survey Research,” co-authored with Edward Nelson, was released this spring. Dr. Cowles is currently an Emeritus Professor of Sociology at California State University, Sacramento and a senior fellow and emeritus director of the Institute for Social Research.

Ronald D. Hunter is a professor of criminal justice/criminology at Georgia Gwinnett College, School of Liberal Arts. As a scholar, Dr. Hunter has presented numerous papers at regional, national, and international criminology/criminal justice meetings, and has published many articles and book chapters dealing with crime prevention, policing, research methods, and criminological theory. Dr. Hunter’s work has been acknowledged with several awards and honors from the following organizations: the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the Southern Criminal Justice Association, Western Carolina University, Jacksonville State University, Florida State University, and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Tena M. Pate is the commissioner and third-term chair of the Florida Commission on Offender Review. For more than 30 years, Commissioner Pate has leveraged her extensive knowledge of the post conviction and prison release process to propel the Commission forward in becoming an internationally recognized model for parole and supervision release processes and policies. Over her career, Commissioner Pate has served four of Florida’s governors and has been tapped for numerous positions on public safety boards and task forces, including the Florida Supreme Court’s Florida Innocence Commission, the Attorney General’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, and the Self-Inflicted Crimes Task Force.

Susan Sayles has enjoyed an eclectic and varied career within the criminal justice arena. Ms. Sayles started out interning with the Tallahassee Public Defender’s Office. She then focused on investigation. She was a private investigator in St. Petersburg for her father’s firm where she was certified in both polygraph and voice stress analysis. Ms. Sayles was also the first female investigator hired by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. While working for the Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Sayles chaired and wrote a document, “Crimes and the Elderly.” After receiving her doctorate, Dr. Sayles taught at various universities in Florida, North Carolina, and Indiana before retiring.

Lynn Grefe's professional career centered on issues, advocacy, and solutions. She worked for state government in the criminal justice system; the private sector for a variety of corporate and non-profit clients on legislative and policy issues; moved into the non-profit political arena for women’s reproductive health issues for eight years; and, in 2003, was named president and chief executive officer of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). In addition to serving as the national spokesperson of the NEDA, Ms. Grefe also authored two chapters in the field of eating disorders. Additionally, Ms. Grefe was a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders, the National Institute of Mental Health Alliance, and was the leader of the NEDA Network of 23 eating disorder non-profits around the nation.


John Dussich has spent the last 40 years working mostly in the field of victimology, specializing in victim services. He is the creator and founder of the National Organization for Victim Assistance and has been very active in the World Society of Victimology. He has recently finished 11 years of teaching criminology, victimology, and victim services in japan, where he completed his tenure as the director of the Takiwa International Victimology Institute and the editor-in-chief of its journal, International Perspectives in Victimology. He is now Professor Emeritus at California State University, Fresno. His most recent and continuing work has been at the United Nationals Headquarters – Vienna as the chair of the WSV’s UN Liaison Committee on behalf of international victims’ rights.

Sheriff Tom Knight is the ninth sheriff of Sarasota County, Florida. Currently in his second term, he first took office in 2009 following a 20-year career with the Florida Highway Patrol. While working with FHP, he rose to the rank of major and supervised a seven-county region, including the Tampa Bay area. Sheriff Knight serves on the advisory board for FSU’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. He also serves on the State of Florida’s Commission for Law Enforcement Accreditation, and on numerous boards for nonprofit organizations in Sarasota County. Sheriff Knight and his wife Tracy have two daughters and reside in Nokomis.

Margaret Pugh, after receiving her BS from FSU and relocating to Alaska, dedicated herself to the development and operation of a progressive criminal justice system in Alaska. She held a variety of positions, but her passion for policy steered her into administration where she developed the state’s objective offender classification system, wrote the regulations for computerized criminal justice information, and directed regional operations. The last eight years of her career were spent serving as the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections – one of few women in the nation to hold the position. She is the wife of University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor John Pugh, mother of Beth Nordlund, and John Pugh Jr., and grandmother to Ella Nordlund and Sophia Pugh.

Charles Reusing spent approximately ten years of his professional career working in several high-level positions in Florida State government at both the Division of Mental Health and the Division of Youth Services after earning his graduate degree from FSU. The vast majority of his career was devoted to the national accreditation of correctional programs, both adult and juvenile, throughout the United States and Canada and later in the states of Tennessee and Ohio. He has served as the Director of Field Operations for the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections in Rockville, MD, Director of Accreditation for the Tennessee Department of Corrections in Nashville, and Administrator of Internal Management Audits for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in Columbus. The state correctional systems in both Tennessee and Ohio became fully accredited during his watch.