Luz Reyes-Martin, Director of Communications
“Crime Across the Curriculum” may sound like a line on a police blotter, but as the title of the upcoming 39th annual Faculty Lecture at Santa Barbara City College, the topic will prove to be far more intriguing and far reaching than a simple list of recent illegal activities in the neighborhood. On March 21, 2018, Department Chair and Professor in the School of Justice Studies at SBCC, Anne Redding will present her lecture at 2:30 p.m. at the Garvin Theatre. The public are invited to attend what promises to be a riveting journey through time, pop culture and the judicial system.
When asked to describe “Crime Across the Curriculum,” Professor Redding explained that the goal of her lecture is to illustrate how issues of crime and justice have always cut across all disciplines and all aspects of life. “Stories about crime are human storytelling at the most basic level; they show us the worst—and the best – of what humans can be.”
She went on to relate how even crimes that took place long ago live on in popular songs, television shows and movies. Citing Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” as an iconic film based on a true-crime story, she went on to point out how crime has influenced language as well.
“You’ve heard of the term ‘rule of thumb.’ It comes from English common law that said it was alright for a man to beat his wife with a stick as long as the stick was not thicker than his thumb.”
A voracious reader of Sherlock Holmes mysteries as a young girl, and later a fan of “Cagney and Lacey” (Emmy Award winning TV show about New York City police detectives), Professor Redding’s interests led her to major in Criminal Justice at Los Angeles Valley Community College, and to go on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. After teaching at the Police Academy, serving as a law enforcement park ranger, and teaching at 2 other colleges, she joined SBCC in 2004.
Fellow members of faculty, staff and students participated in the process that led to her selection as this year’s annual faculty lecturer, the highest honor bestowed on a SBCC faculty member. The honor distinguishes a full-time faculty member for excellence in teaching and overall contributions to SBCC.
Professor Redding, known for her enthusiasm and humor in the classroom, has a special affinity for her students, having attended a community college herself. “I know that in the long run my students won’t remember everything I cover in class, but I hope it’s a launching pad where I can light the spark that inspires them to keep learning.”It’s not surprising, then, to hear how one student summed up classes taught by Professor Redding, “She makes you want to learn more.”