Addicted to Crime

Simpson Colloquium SC 101 – Addicted to Crime

Fraud, assaults, shootings, murder. Check your favorite website, TV channel, news outlet, or the latest blockbuster films and you are very likely to find a connection to stories about crime. Whether in real life, fiction, or somewhere in between, media and society have a fascination with crime. In this course, we will explore this addiction to crime by viewing and analyzing movies and TV dramas (NCIS, CSI, and Orange is the New Black) and by reading stories in newspapers and online news outlets. We will use these sources to see how media and entertainment portray crime and criminals, how this influences popular perceptions of crime and criminal behavior, and what it says about us and society.

Meet Your Professor Constance-Kostelac

Constance Kostelac, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice

I like to talk about crime….or at least how it is defined, why it occurs, and strategies to reduce or prevent it. I am currently an assistant professor at Simpson in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. I teach courses on a variety of crime-related topics including policing, inequality and justice, crime and place, justice system discretion, and criminology. I also teach statistics (yes, it is one of my favorites!), in part because I think research and statistical analysis are key skills for those working in the criminal justice system or in any social service occupation.

Prior to joining Simpson, I came from working directly in the criminal justice field as a researcher. I supervised the Phoenix (AZ) Police Department’s Crime Analysis and Research Unit where I was responsible for the crime analysis, crime mapping, and research efforts of the department. This role involved everything from forecasting the next likely incident in a crime series to analyzing crime trends and hotspots. In this capacity I used my knowledge of crime, statistics, and research on a daily basis and I enjoy bringing this experience into the classroom.

I continue to work in related areas and enjoy collaborating with students on conducting research. My interest in crime started early on. I completed my undergraduate degree in Criminology and Law Studies and Psychology at Marquette University, then went on to complete my MS in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University and my PhD in Justice Studies at Arizona State University. We relocated to Iowa when I joined Simpson in 2011.

I spend most of my free time with my husband and two children, Sydney and Logan. We love to swim, play games, ride bikes, and eat sweets. If you take a course with me, chances are you will meet them somewhere along the way!

Meet Your SC LeaderKali

Kali Reed


My name is Kali Reed and I will be your destination leader for “Addicted to Crime.” I will be a senior in the fall and plan to graduate in December of 2014 with degrees in sociology and criminal justice. I can honestly say that coming to Simpson was one of the best decisions I ever made!

I attended Iowa Falls-Alden High School where I was involved in a lot of different activities including National Honor Society and student government. I tried out my fair share of athletics, but my passion has always been dance. I am on the dance team here at Simpson and absolutely love it. I also am in a few organizations on campus and a lot of my time is spent at different meetings or activities dealing with those groups!

In the little spare time I do have, I enjoy spending time with my friends, watching movies, dancing, watching the food network, and of course sleeping!

You are more than welcome to contact me with any questions you have regarding Simpson, classes, or just life in general. I am more than happy to help you out as I would love your transition to Simpson to be as easy as possible. I cannot wait to meet all of you!

Meet Your Writing Fellow1378302_10153393891845525_1863560098_n

Shawn Schossow

Hello all!

My name is Shawn Schossow and I’m going to be a sophomore at Simpson next fall. I’ll be your Writing Fellow with Professor Connie Kostelac for your “Addicted to Crime” class. I am currently a Criminal Justice major with a possible interest in Philosophy. As of now, I am looking at law enforcement or continuing my education after Simpson. In my first year here, I joined the Student Conduct Board and Parking Appeals Committee, participated in intramurals, and worked as a Student Ambassador. I am also planning on being a Community Advisor in the first-year area next year.

I am originally from Rockwell City, Iowa, a small town up North but was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. At my high school, South Central Calhoun, I was involved in a number of things, including tutoring, student government, National Honor Society, and All-Male Drill Team. Outside of school, I went to many Rotary-sponsored leadership camps and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

A little about me… In between classes, studying, and Simpson stuff, I enjoy doing many activities, which range from writing song lyrics to formulating hopefully useful mathematical equations, (insert disgusted facial expression). Some other things to know about me are that I love lamps, Chinese food, and videogames. Well, I am looking forward to meeting you all next fall! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me anything. I am pretty easy to get a hold of probably because I am on Facebook 573 times a day. Go Storm!


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