While Brandon Applegate was completing his bachelor’s degree at another school, he wrote to UC professor Larry Travis, then a trustee for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, to ask about joining the organization. As it happened, Brandon had just applied to UC’s graduate program in criminal justice, and when he received Dr. Travis’s reply letter, it came with a handwritten note complimenting his application and encouraging him to attend UC. It was this kind of “personal touch,” Brandon remembers, that drew him to the program.
Since graduating from UC, Brandon has served as associate editor for the “American Journal of Criminal Justice” and held positions at the University of Central Florida and the University of South Carolina, where he currently serves as chair of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Brandon’s current research interests include the nature and operation of local jails, offenders’ views of their sanctions, and effect of people’s perceptions of criminal justice on the operation of the justice system.
Brandon credits his success to the strong preparation he received at UC. “Before I left UC, “ he remembers, “I had experience in classroom teaching, conceptualizing a research project, gathering and analyzing data, writing journal articles and research proposals, and so on.” In this way, he says, he was already “culturally literate” in the field when he entered the job market.
In many ways, things have come full circle for Brandon since he left UC. Along with helping to prepare the next generation of criminal justice scholars, he has also served on the board of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the same organization he inquired about with Dr. Travis so many years ago.