One million dollars in total has been awarded to the public justice department through generous donations from alumnus David Cutler.
“The fund, created in 2004, started with $100,000, and today in 2017 has increased to $1 million,” said Jaclyn Schildkraut, an assistant professor in the public justice department.
Cutler, an Oswego State graduate of 1974, currently is the executive director of the Arapahoe Community Treatment Center in Englewood, Colorado.
“He actually wasn’t even a graduate of the department of public justice, but has been very generous in terms of his donation to our department to be able to help our students,” Schildkraut said.
Working for the treatment center, Cutler deals firsthand with many of the experiences students learn about in the public justice program. The treatment center’s mission is to advance corrections through innovative results that benefit and protect what we all serve, as stated on their website.
While Schildkraut admitted she was not entirely sure why Cutler donated to the department, she inferred that it probably had to do with the line of his work.
“He works in a human services capacity,” Schildkraut said. “Our discipline does have a human services component. I think his personal mission to better society certainly aligns with our department, and I think that might have played into it.”
Schildkraut’s bottom line was the gratitude and generosity from the department to Cutler. With the now $1 million fund, the department has big plans.
“We do guest speakers. This year, we have John Michael Keyes from The I Love U Guys foundation, who will be coming in the spring for our school safety symposium,” Schildkraut said. “In the past, we’ve had Frank DeAngelis, who was Columbine’s principal with Christina Anderson, who was a Virginia Tech survivor. We’ve had victim’s advocates. We’ve had law enforcement representatives. We’ve had Tim Wise from the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Schildkraut also mentioned that the fund allows for the department to take students on prison trips, led or sponsored by faculty members, state and regional meetings, national conferences, scholarships and an awards banquet.
“Through my three years as a public justice minor, I have been very lucky to experience the various opportunities provided by the political and public justice departments,” junior Isabella Njimogu said. “For example, the public justice department encourages meetings between both professors and students to discuss law school prospects and informs all public justice majors and minors of upcoming internships throughout New York state.”
She added that one of the greatest parts of the major was the opportunity for students to be open in their future careers.
Schildkraut said as the fund increases, more can be done for students.
“We have students that will go on to law enforcement and go on to become police officer or an official,” Schildkraut said. We have students that go to law school and become lawyers. We have students that go to graduate school and become social workers or teachers. We’ve had students go into becoming victim’s advocates or court security.”
Schildkraut concluded with her gratitude on behalf of the entire department and what the entire fund allows for.
“Our department is extremely grateful to Mr. Cutler for allowing us the opportunity to do as much as we do for our students. We would not be able to do any of that without his generosity,” Schildkraut said.
Photo: Taylor Woods | The Oswegonian