L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Wurie Wins University Award for Faculty Mentorship

Chernoh Wurie, a criminal justice instructor at the VCU Wilder School, with his class.
Chernoh Wurie, a criminal justice instructor at the VCU Wilder School, with his class.

Chernoh Wurie, Ph.D., a criminal justice instructor at the VCU Wilder School, has received the 2018 Excellence in Faculty Mentorship Award from the University Academic Advising Board (UAAB). The UAAB awards encourage wider support and recognition of outstanding advising at VCU.

Wurie is one of just five university employees who will be recognized during a public ceremony in September. He will also be entered into consideration for a national award from the National Academic Advising Association.

One-on-one time between faculty and students facilitates the success of undergraduates at VCU, providing opportunities for feedback, goal-setting, networking and professional and exposure.“Dr. Wurie goes out of his way to prepare and accommodate his students as a motivator, confidant, mentor, counselor and friend. When approached with an issue or problem, students are guaranteed to receive an immediate solution followed by action from Dr. Wurie,” said Jaren Butts.

Butts is a recent criminal justice alumna and the former president of the VCU Chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ) which Wurie serves as a faculty advisor.

“He’s incredibly generous with his time and has dedicated countless hours to counseling students and providing recommendations for internships and full-time positions. Dr. Wurie was personally responsible for helping me to land a full-time position and more recently to gain acceptance to the George Washington School of Law.”

Wurie joined the Wilder School faculty in 2015, after more than a decade in policing. He brings a wealth of practice to the classroom including substantive experience in patrol, crime scene investigation, crisis intervention and police planning.

In his current role, Wurie teaches Introduction to Policing, Principles of Criminal Investigations and Violent Crime Scenes Investigations, where he consistently receives stellar reviews. He also mentors some 45 students each semester.

Other achievements include service as a faculty mentor within the university’s Multicultural Connection Advisement Program (MCAP) and leadership of VCU’s NABCJ chapter, which Wurie single-handedly reinstated at VCU, securing 20 initiating members during his first year as the chapter’s faculty advisor. One of the most active student organizations within the Wilder School,  NABCJ is devoted to addressing the needs, concerns and contributions of minorities as they relate to the administration of equal justice. Last year, Wurie helped to grow chapter membership by 40 percent.

“Helping students discover the passion of policing is my way of giving back,” said Wurie. “I can feel their excitement, I can see it and relate to it. Their success is my success.”

Wurie said he connects to the value of mentoring and advising because it helped him tremendously in his educational journey.

His own mentor, Executive Director and Dean of Students at Walden University, Dr. Walter McCollum, was instrumental in helping Wurie to navigate the political and academic challenges of a doctoral dissertation. In fact, Wurie contributed a chapter to McCollum’s recent book, “Black Men Changing the Narrative Through Education.”

The chapter offers a deeply personal account of Wurie's quest for a terminal degree and his decision to pursue a career in higher education as a means to effect positive social change.

Wurie received his bachelor’s degree from Radford University and his master’s and doctoral degree from Walden University. His research focuses on the impact of public perception and policing.