Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity

Yellowjacket Union

Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department

The Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity Department (HBJD) encompasses Social Work, Psychology, Legal Studies, Criminal Justice and Indigenous Studies. Faculty members in the HBJD Department provide in-depth knowledge and expertise while sharing real-world experience on current subject topics.

The HBJD’s programs prepare students for careers in fields that have the potential to profoundly impact people and society, requiring a high level of global awareness and intercultural fluency. Students are given the experiences and training to develop a sense of social responsibility, exceptional critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They sharpen their awareness of societal issues and opportunities.

I would definitely recommend UWS’ social work program. The smaller class sizes mean instructors are very attentive, and you get one-on-one attention. And, when I was a student, I had some intense ‘life stuff’ happening, and I received total support and accommodation.

Emily Mack,
Social Work 2017 Graduate

I’ve been fortunate to be part of the pilot program for the new Ethical Policing Certificate. Nick Alexander, the Superior Police Chief, teaches the class and brings in other professionals in the field to speak to us. It was one of the most valuable and unique parts of my education here at UWS. I think it really sets the criminal justice studies program here apart from the rest.

Kayley Kallberg,
Legal Studies, Criminal Justice

I’ve absolutely loved my college experience at UWS. I’ve had some of the most phenomenal female mentors and professors. I’ve also had many opportunities for in-depth research and self-discovery, such as this fellowship and my summer internship with the District Attorney’s Office. It’s truly been amazing.

Sydney Mastey,
Legal Studies

Program Offerings

Each program within the HBJD includes experiential learning opportunities, research and Academic Service-Learning opportunities in partnership with regional organizations woven throughout the coursework. The Legal Studies and Criminal Justice program is the only program of its type in the area and has an impressive record of students gaining admissions to law school and finding employment. The Social Work program is the only public undergraduate program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education within a 150-mile radius of Superior, Wisconsin. The Psychology program offers broad exposure to various subfields, such as behavioral neuroscience and clinical psychology, and is offered both online and on campus. The Indigenous Studies program provides an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum with a strong overview of Indigenous Studies that also allows students to pursue specific areas of interest.

Scholarship Opportunities

Involvement Opportunities

UW-Superior features more than 50 student organizations, with many aligning with HBJD areas of study, such as the Criminal Justice Student Association, Social Work Student Association, Native Nations Student Organization and many more. These clubs provide opportunities to network with fellow students, attend events and conferences, participate in community service activities and more.


Swenson Hall exterior

The HBJD Department is located in Swenson Hall, one of the newest and most updated buildings on campus. Classrooms and labs feature the latest technology. The building also includes study spaces with beautiful views of campus, a computer lab, and offices for Student Support Services that provide a wide array of resources and support.

Swenson Hall interior

Meet the Department

Kennedy Fenster
Administrative Assistant III
Maria Cuzzo
Professor, PhD, JD, Mediator Legal/Paralegal Studies Conflict Resolution/Mediation
Rachel Forsyth
Assistant Professor of Social Work
Nicholas Alexander
Senior Lecturer
Brandon Engblom
Senior Lecturer
Eleni Pinnow
Meg Chrusciel
Assistant Professor of Legal Studies and Criminal Justice
Priyanka Mehta
Teaching Assistant Professor
Brooke Fitch-Collins
Senior Lecturer
Vanessa Hettinger
Associate Professor, HBJD Dept Co-Chair
Erica Backstrom
Senior Lecturer
Lynn Goerdt
Shevaun Stocker
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Amanda Lilly
Assistant Professor
Maureen Rappley-Larson
Academic Advisor
Kenna Bolton Holz
Professor, HBJD Dept Co-Chair
Jennifer Sem
Senior Lecturer
Chantal Norrgard
Assistant Professor