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A community college sponsored by Niagara County

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July 10, 2019

Sanborn – SUNY Niagara was created in 1962, the original campus was located in downtown Niagara Falls at the former Nabisco Shredded Wheat plant. By 1973, SUNY Niagara had moved to its permanent location in Sanborn at the intersection of Route 31 (Saunders Settlement Road) and Route 429 (Townline Road).  A lot has changed about SUNY Niagara over that time, but one thing has remained the same: faculty who are dedicated and committed to creating an environment of excellence in teaching and learning.  The SUNY Niagara Criminal Justice department has the unique privilege of having three such dedicated faculty members in the department who together have over a century of teaching experience.

James A. Mezhir, who has been teaching at SUNY Niagara for 45 years, Tim Veiders, teaching at SUNY Niagara for 42 years, and Ted Skotnicki, teaching at SUNY Niagara for 30 years, collectively represent more than 100 years of teaching experience in the criminal justice field. Between the three of them, they have developed and taught almost every class offered in the program, including Deviant Behavior, Criminology, and Juvenile Justice.

Mezhir, a former Niagara County Sheriff’s deputy, currently serves as the division chair of the SUNY Niagara Humanities and Social Sciences Division.  Veiders is the Coordinator of Field Services for the program and Skotnicki is the Coordinator of the Criminal Justice program.

“We have great memories of all of the students who have graduated from the Criminal Justice program at SUNY Niagara — they are an amazing group,” Skotnicki said, “Among our graduates are judges, lawyers, parole officers, police officers, and probation officers.”

“I’m happy to have been at SUNY Niagara so many years,” Mezhir commented. “I’ve had interesting experiences at SUNY Niagara, great friendships, and teaching has allowed me to become part of my students’ lives.  I’ve been an usher at a student’s wedding, the best man for a student, a godfather for a student’s baby and I have even had the unfortunate task of being a pallbearer for a student.”

In addition to prepping their course work for the upcoming fall semester, the three professors are also making plans for reviving the SUNY Niagara Criminal Justice Association, a student club whose purpose is to provide networking and educational opportunities for students.  According to Professor Veiders, previous club activities included visiting the New York State Police Academy, the U.S. Supreme Court and the FBI Academy in Washington, D.C., and the Orange County, FL Sheriff’s Dept. “We have great expectations this year and are hoping that the new Criminal Justice students want to get involved with the club”, Veiders said.


About SUNY Niagara

SUNY Niagara is one of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York, the largest public university system in the country. The College provides more than 60 certificate and degree programs to over 5,000 students and is funded by the Niagara County Legislature, the State University of New York, and student tuition.


About the SUNY Niagara Criminal Justice Program

The Criminal Justice program at SUNY Niagara has been rated one of the top 50 Associate Degree Programs in the United States. In addition, one of the unique features of the program is an internship experience in the criminal justice system. Students get to acquire first-hand experience with an agency of the criminal justice system.  For more information on the SUNY Niagara Criminal Justice program