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The Benefits of Presenting and Attending Professional Conferences

By Michael Beshears, faculty member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

On March 25, my colleague Dr. Mark Bond and I will present at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ (ACJS) annual meeting in Kansas City, Missouri. The ACJS conference is attended by criminal justice professionals, academic scholars and criminal justice students.

Our presentation, Narcissism in Policing Organizations: What to Look for and How to Correct It, is based on our research and will focus on how narcissistic leaders and employees negatively impact police agencies and how agencies can address these individuals.

[Related: Public Safety Leadership: Be Cautious of Extreme Narcissists]

In addition to presenting our research, Dr. Bond and I will be a part of a panel that will focus on the sub-topic of “Police Officer Characteristics and Related Organizational Practices.” We will be joined by three other presenters who will discuss topics similar to our research. At the end of the panel, there will also be a question and answer session, which will allow panelists and attendees to interact, discuss the topics further, and share ideas. Such discussions often lead to opportunities for collaboration on future projects.

[Read about other AMU criminal justice faculty presenting during ACJS]

Presenting at conferences is always an excellent opportunity to collaborate with fellow scholars and researchers in a common field of study. Simply attending these conferences is also an invaluable opportunity to expand your network and meet other professionals around the nation who share similar interests and expertise on one’s topic of research.

Benefits of Attending Professional Conferences

Our presentation will be one of hundreds of other panels and presentations that will cover various topics related to current issues in the criminal justice system. Attending professional conferences provides an opportunity to explore various areas of interest and learn more about the pressing issues surrounding the criminal justice field today. Often times, attending sessions will encourage you to think about other areas of research and topics in a way that you may not have previously considered.

In addition to the opportunity to showcase and get feedback on your work, conferences are also extremely beneficial for getting face-to-face time with other researchers from other parts of the country. In doing so, there is often an opportunity to make connections, collaborate and explore evidence-based practices that can help solve some of the current issues facing the field of criminal justice. I cannot think of a better way to feel as though you are making a real difference.

conferencesAbout the AuthorDr. Michael L. Beshears since military retirement has acquired over 20 years of teaching experience in the traditional and online teaching environment. Michael has an extensive background and first-hand experience in online pedagogy instruction, as one of the first Internet (online) course developers and instructors. Since 1994, he has instructed more than 10,000 online students and mentored numerous colleagues in the skills required to instruct online while promoting student success. Michael is a co-adviser for the Kappa-Kappa Chapter of the Alpha Phi Sigma – Criminal Justice National Honor Society.

Michael has two baccalaureate degrees, one in psychology and another in criminal justice from Drury University. In addition, he has two graduate degrees, one in criminology from Indiana State University and another in health services management from Webster University. Michael also has a Ph.D. in business administration with a specialization in criminal justice from Northcentral University. He is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at American Military University and is full-time faculty in the school of Security and Global Studies. You can contact him at michael.beshears(at)



Leischen Kranick is a Managing Editor at AMU Edge. She has 15 years of experience writing articles and producing podcasts on topics relevant to law enforcement, fire services, emergency management, private security, and national security.

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