Frank Cormier (B.Sc., B.A., M.A.)
Brief Professional Biography
Since 1995, I have taught Sociology and Criminology at the University of Manitoba and in First Nations communities across northern Manitoba. I also worked for six years as an independent justice consultant, completing projects for numerous government and NGO clients. More recently I was a senior associate at a private-sector research and consulting firm, designing and managing research and evaluation projects for clients including Justice Canada, the Winnipeg Police Service, Saskatchewan Justice, the Correctional Service of Canada, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. I rejoined The University of Manitoba full-time in 2003 to take over the position of Criminology Field Coordinator (now titled Criminology/Sociology Research Practicum Coordinator). I am committed to, and actively involved in, public sociology, and I am presently writing a textbook for Oxford University Press on the Canadian criminal justice system.
Bachelor of Science (Physics/Applied Mathematics), University of Manitoba
Bachelor of Arts (Criminology/Psychology), University of Manitoba
Master of Arts (Sociology), University of Manitoba
Canadian Criminal Justice Association
Manitoba Criminal Justice Association
Based upon my personal experience, one goal that is shared by most teachers is to contribute to their students’ success in life – which I believe is in many ways related to the ability to identify and to solve problems. This ability not only enriches the individual, but will also make him or her an asset to friends, family, colleagues, community, and therefore to society as a whole. The more obvious of my goals as a university instructor then is to teach the technical skills that students will use to solve problems in their chosen careers and in their personal lives. Another, and perhaps more important goal, is to instill in my students the desire to use those skills in all of their pursuits. The knowledge of how to investigate and address problems is of little use in the absence of the desire to do so.
My ideal student, then, will also have developed a general sociological curiosity, a desire to recognize and explore social problems, and an inability to be satisfied with her current level of knowledge and understanding. In order for this to occur, I believe that it is vital for me to inspire dissatisfaction in my students. I want to cause them to rarely be satisfied with the professed wisdom of the “expert”, the politician, the bureaucrat, the corporate spokesperson, or even the professor. To this end, I focus assignments, exercises, and class discussions on examples of actual, current criminological research. I seek to give them the confidence to challenge the “common knowledge” that so many members of our society seem willing to accept without question.
As a final note, I also believe that it is important that university teachers impart to students the disturbing idea that the correct answer to many important questions is, at least initially, “I don’t know.” An awareness of the things that we do not yet understand, when coupled with an inability to simply accept that situation, is an essential part of what drives my students to learn in my classroom. It is also part of what helps them continue to be critical thinkers, thoughtful researchers, and contributing citizens long after their time with me is finished.
Courses regularly taught:
Recent Thesis Supervision
As the Criminology/Sociology Practicum Coordinator my “research program” is, by necessity, largely defined by the projects in which my students are engaged in any given year. Some recent research areas include:
I regularly provide expert consultation and commentary for local and national media on criminal justice issues. I encourage all of our students to search out “sociology in the news”, particularly those items that highlight the work of their favourite Sociology faculty members.
Last updated: March 2017