Dr. Alicia Wilcox, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, has become well known across campus for her engaging teaching style; her wealth of knowledge; and her passion for educating our students with a succession of progressively creative and innovative methods of engagement.
But that’s just what’s well known about her. In this month’s faculty profile, we sit down with Professor Wilcox to learn more about what impacts her teaching; what she believes makes Thomas students so different; and why it’s her impression that the Thomas College community is like one big family.
As a young student growing up in Ireland, Alicia was a gifted student. She always felt if you have passion for something and it’s interesting to you, then learning isn’t work, it’s fun.
Alicia decided to pursue her passion for forensic science and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from the University of Ireland, earning double honors. She moved on to earn advanced degrees in Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, and Business Administration. She eventually earned her PhD from the University of Dundee, Scotland, with a particular focus on how juries interpret forensic science evidence.
Dr. Wilcox has since gone on to practice forensic science for nearly 20 years now, initially serving the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in Dublin, Ireland, and then later with the Maine State Police Crime Investigations Unit. She has also spent considerable time working as a forensic professor at both Husson and Thomas College here in Maine. Alicia has accumulated a wealth of knowledge in her career and has become one of the foremost, professional forensic expert witnesses in the country, often called upon to offer her expertise to train high-profile law enforcement agencies or to testify in high-stakes jury trials.
With that kind of a resume, Dr. Wilcox could work anywhere she wants – and she does. She is very clear about what she wants: to be right here at Thomas College. Alicia recalls, “The instant I set foot on campus and started talking to people, it just felt like family here. I have never felt so proud as when I get to connect with the students, helping them to learn and to grow as both people and professionals.” She also mentioned that here at Thomas we change lives; the kids really care about their success; and the professors build genuine professional relationships with the students that continue well after graduation.
When asked what she thinks makes Thomas College students so different from students at other colleges, she replied, “Every student that I have encountered here at Thomas is appreciative of their opportunity to be here. They are all very hardworking, optimistic people; it’s great to be around so many people like that. With my teaching, it’s easy to be innovative and to make things as realistic as possible for them, not only because I have done the work in the real world but also because the students’ passion for this subject matches my own. It’s visible not only in my lesson plans, but also in their outstanding work.”
Finally, Dr. Wilcox mentioned, “I am proud to work here at Thomas. We are molding the next generation of forensic scientists, and these people are impressive. We are just helping them along their way towards making a big difference.”