New professor Deminique Heiks has an unusual background for a criminal justice professor.
Heiks graduated with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Kent State University.
After working in the field as a TV journalist, she found a love for criminal justice.
She then went to University of Toledo for graduate school.
According to Paul Hedeen, dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, her devotion to criminal justice was one reason she was hired.
“She was very drawn to the field,” he said. “We were very impressed that she was so drawn to the field that she would leave another viable career and come back to criminal justice.”
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While she was at UT, she worked as a graduate assistant and teacher’s assistant.
She said her experience at UT helped her realize she wanted to teach at some point in her life.
She said that when she saw the position open at MCCC, she couldn’t believe it.
“I thought, this is just too good of an opportunity to pass up,” Heiks said.
She said her other work experience has helped her teach criminal justice.
“Every job I’ve ever had, even though it seems I’ve had a lot of diverse experiences, I find that I take something from all of them and I’m able to bring it here to help me,” she said.
After graduating from UT with a master’s degree in Criminal Justice, she worked in a re-entry program for criminal offenders and in a homeless shelter.
Part of her job in the re-entry program was to help ex-convicts get back into the community.
Hedeen said this was a different work history than usual, which caught his attention.
“She had a strong background in service work,” he said, “rather than the police academy.”
She said her experience trying to help ex-convicts has helped her with students who are unsure of what they would like to do professionally.
“I would talk to the ex-offenders and say, hey, what is working for you, what didn’t work for you,” she said.
Students have different kinds of barriers to overcome than criminals, however.
“I have a whole new set of puzzle pieces to fit together,” she said.
Heiks said she loves it when students come to her for help.
“I feel like at MCCC I have the ability to do that one-on-one time with them, that I believe is important in helping them be successful.
“I know what they want to do, so I try to talk about those things.”
Heiks is currently teaching five classes, all required for the Criminal Justice major: Intro to Law Enforcement, Juvenile Delinquency, Police Administration and Organization, and Intro to Corrections.
Heiks said her favorite is her Juvenile Delinquency class due to her strong background and because she finds people are more open and willing to fix the system when it comes to kids.
“In Ohio, I am on the governor’s Council on Juvenile Justice, so I’m able to bring a lot of that into it,” she said.
Heiks said it’s because of her drive that she is so drawn to criminal justice.
“I think that I am a very passionate person, so when I find something that I love, I go all in,” Heiks said.
Outside of work, she said she loves to ride her family horse, Dixie.
“I go every weekend and practice, I go to a show about once a year now,” she said.
Heiks also said she likes to be involved in the art scene in Toledo.
“When I find time, I either go home and ride or try to do some cool things in downtown Toledo,” she said.
However, since she began at MCCC, Heiks said she’s staying busy.
“I grade a lot — that’s become my new hobby,” she said.
Heiks said she is excited to learn more about MCCC and is looking forward to the upcoming years.
“I think that we have a really great program and in the future I would only like to enhance it,” she said.