Loyola University Maryland

Center for Innovation in Urban Education (CIUE)

What is Policing Trying to Teach Us?

Faculty Speaker Series

Loyola University Maryland’s Center for Innovation in Urban Education (CIUE) presents “What is Policing Trying to Teach Us” on Wednesday, December 5, at 6:30 p.m. in McGuire Hall East in the Andrew White Student Center on Loyola University Maryland’s Baltimore Evergreen Campus. Preceding the event, the CIUE will host a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the McGuire Hall Atrium. Doors will open for the event at 6:00 p.m.

This panel considers how policing exists not only as an act, as in the policing of a person or group, but also as a social product that is created and maintained by sociocultural norms and values. Although the literature emphasizes the effects of policing and incarceration, there are few scholars attending to the impact and construction of policing as curriculum. For example, policing not only hits the bodies and minds of marginalized students in particular ways but also normalizes the carceral state for all people and the broader social world. In other words, policing as enacted in the contemporary United States is teaching us how to interact with state power. 

Panel Participants:

Reverend Scott Adams, Assistant Director of Interfaith & Ecumenical Ministries
Campus Ministry

Robert Helfenbein, Ph.D., Associate Dean
School of Education

Boni Wozolek, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow
Teacher Education Department

Learn more about the panelists below.

Reverend Scott Adams, Assistant Director of Interfaith & Ecumenical Ministries, Campus Ministry


Rev. Scott Hamilton Adams serves as the Assistant Director of Interfaith and Ecumenical Ministries at Loyola University Maryland. He serves as the chair of the university’s Interfaith Strategic Planning Committee to develop a campus-wide strategic plan to foster religious diversity. Prior to coming to Loyola, Scott served as the founding Senior Pastor of Ekklesia Community Ministries in Bel Air, Maryland, served as the director of a non-profit restorative justice program in Durham, NC and as an administrator for Maryland’s Health and Human Services agency. 

Scott holds two Masters Degrees in Theology; Th.M. from Duke University's School of Divinity, and an M.A. from St. Mary’s Seminary & Ecumenical Institute. He has also completed a course of study in Executive Coaching at The University of Texas, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from James Madison University. He has a wealth of experience in the areas of race and faith, restorative justice, issues surrounding mass incarceration, trauma, crisis intervention, and grief. He writes extensively and lectures on various issues surrounding theological ethics and social justice. Scott is married to Tanya, and they have two children, Ray and Scotty.

Robert Helfenbein, Ph.D., Associate Dean, School of Education 

Robert Helfenbein

Robert Helfenbein is Associate Dean of the School of Education at Loyola University Maryland. He has published numerous pieces about contemporary education theory in journals such as Curriculum Inquiry, the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Educational Studies, The Urban Review, and co-edited the books Unsettling Beliefs: Teaching Theory to Teachers (2008), Ethics and International Curriculum Work: The Challenges of Culture and Context (2012), and Deterritorializing/Reterritorializing: Critical Geographies of Education Reform (2017). He is currently serving as Editor of the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing and current research interests include curriculum theorizing in urban contexts, cultural studies of education, and the impact of policing on communities and the lived experience of schools.

For more information on Dr. Robert Helfenbein, visit his faculty website. 

Boni Wozolek, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow, Teacher Education Department 

boni wozolek

Dr. Wozolek is currently an Inclusive Excellence Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the School of Education at Loyola University Maryland. She received her Ph.D. from the School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies at Kent State University. Her work considers questions of social justice, qualitative research methods, and teaching practices that focus on the examination of race, gender (with its multiple forms and identities), and sexual orientation in schools. Dr. Wozolek is the recipient of the 2012 James T. Sears Award for her paper The Nested Nature of M/othering: Complicating Curriculum Conversations, a 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Recognition Award from Division B (Curriculum Studies) of the American Educational Research Association, and a 2018 inductee into Kent State University’s Hall of Fame for her work with marginalized student populations. She is the author of nearly 20 articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and editorials. Her forthcoming publications include an edited book on Black Lives Matter in Education, a second edited book on Emancipatory Education, an article on what she calls the school-to-coffin pipeline for LGBTQ+ youth, and a book chapter on racism-as-affect. In addition to her publications, Dr. Wozolek is engaged in 3 research studies: One with urban middle school youth, a second with a Juvenile Diversion Program, and a third with victims of domestic violence in India. Finally, Dr. Wozolek serves on the Executive Council for the American Educational Studies Association (AESA), a section co-chair for the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and is a member of the University of Michigan's National Center for Institutional Diversity. Dr. Wozolek was a world language teacher for over a decade and has continued her work with K-12 teachers by leading anti-racist, anti-homophobic/transphobic inservices in public schools.