Faculty and Staff

The faculty and staff of the School of Criminal Justice, Fire Science, and Emergency Services are committed to helping you reach your academic goals, and professional aspirations.

Bryan Fuller
Emergency Medicine Assistant Professor
BAS 2014 Siena Heights University
MA 2018 Siena Heights University

Mr. Fuller worked as a paramedic for many years and is now teaching the next generation of emergency responders full time.

Dustin Gaberdiel
Emergency Medicine Instructor
Associates Degree 2015, Lake Superior State University
BS Central Washington University, 2017

Mr. Gaberdiel is a paramedic as well as a permanent part time Lake State instructor.

A faculty photo of Dr. Paige Gordier

Paige Gordier

Criminal Justice Professor
BS 1988, Lake Superior State University
MA 1989, PhD 1992, Sam Houston State University

Dr. Gordier is a graduate of LSSU with a degree in Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement. She went on to graduate school in Texas where she earned a Masters degree in Criminology and Corrections and a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University. In her doctoral program she specialized in research methods and statistics.

Dr. Gordier’s current research is related to jury selection in capital murder trials which occurred between 1850 and 1900. Her other research areas include inmate gangs, violence in prison and student success in non-traditional fields.

A faculty photo of Prof. Herbert Henderson

Herbert D. Henderson

Criminal Justice Professor
MPA 2001, NMU
BS 1994, Lake Superior State University
ABD 2010, NCU

Mr. Herb Henderson is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice.  He holds a Masters in Public Administration and Criminal Justice from Northern Michigan University, with a graduate certificate in homeland security. He is working toward his Ph.D.

Professor Henderson is regional anti-terrorism trainer for Northern Michigan. He teaches homeland security, criminalistics, internship, police operations, and investigations. He serves as the Director of both the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) and the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and Programming Coordinator for LSSU.  He is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award at LSSU and the 2012 Academic Advisor Award.

Mr. Henderson is an active service police officer with over 20 years of law enforcement experience including service as shift commander with SSMPD.  He has earned a Distinguished Service Award and numerous other citations.  He has served as Union President for patrol officers and command staff and is the current chair of the police and fire pension board.

Scott Strait
Criminal Justice Assistant Professor
BS 1984 Lake Superior State University
MPA 2001 Northern Michigan University

Mr. Strait served at the Sheriff of Mackinac County and brings over 30 years of experience in law enforcement to his second career as a criminal justice educator.

Picture of Professor Vaught

Nick Vaught

Fire Science Instructor
BS 2004, Lake Superior State University

Mr. Vaught is a current member of the Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department as well as a permanent part time instructor for LSSU.

A faculty photo of Dr. Aaron Westrick

Aaron Westrick

Criminal Justice Associate Professor
BA 1982, Michigan State University
MS 1986, PhD 1998, Wayne State University
Curriculum vitae (pdf)

Dr. Aaron Westrick is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice.  He holds a Ph.D. from Wayne State University. Has been at LSSU for 10 years teaching courses in loss control, crisis intervention, ethical issues, police process, MCOLES classes and recreation studies (self-defense).

Dr. Westrick is an active Deputy Sheriff for Charlevoix County.  He is the recipient of awards for valor, having been wounded in exchange of gunfire with a felon.

He has authored a book on Use of Force Investigation and has future publications on forensic science and criminology, and crime scene investigation.

He has participated in and/or written in grants in excess of $1 million.  Dr. Westrick is a recognized court expert in a number of areas within use of force investigation, law enforcement policy, and ballistics/armor research.  He is the principal of Ballistic Armor Research Group, LLC. Dr. Westrick has participated in numerous defense contracts regarding the research and development of armor systems.

Picture of Academic Assistant Sheri Garee

Sheri Garee

Academic Assistant

Ms. Garee serves the College of Criminal Justice and Emergency Responders as well as the College of Education and Liberal Arts.

Barb Light
Interim Dean
BS 1990 Michigan State University
MS 2001 Western Michigan University
PhD 2010 Eastern Michigan University

Dr. Light serves as the Interim Dean for the College of Criminal Justice and Emergency Responders as well as in the role of Dean for the College of Education and Liberal Arts.

  • CJ professor Herb Henderson receives Distinguished Teaching Award

Prof Henderson receives Faculty award

Herb Henderson, a professor who has dedicated his life to law enforcement first as a police officer and now as a member of Lake Superior State University’s criminal justice faculty, has received the LSSU Distinguished Teaching Award.

  • Two alumni, now police officers, receive commendations for bravery

    Professor Henderson stand with Sault PD colleges receiving an award
    Sault Ste. Marie Police Sgt. Supervisor Herb Henderson and Officer Phil Donnay recently received commendations from the police department for bravery in the line of duty after the two were involved in a dangerous situation in the city earlier this year. The two convinced a person who was threatening to attempt suicide to drop the handgun with which he was armed.