From a letter sent from GMU Adjunct Professor Karen Bune to GMU’s Media Relations Department, forwarded to FishbowlDC:
Dear Mr. Blacksten,
My name is Karen L. Bune, and I am an adjunct professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at GMU, Fairfax Campus. I teach on Monday nights and teach a class in victimology titled, “Victims and Victimization.” This course looks at all facets of criminal victimization and its impact. This semester I suggested to my class that they engage in a class “service project”. I had discussed with them the case of David Rosenbaum, the NY Times reporter who was fatally beaten on the streets of D.C. That particular case had many issues related to what we study in the course, and I discussed the impact of victimization, the systemic failures, the enduring grief and loss issues on the family, etc.
I suggested that a project might want to “honor” a victim and/or family and left the decisions up to the class. In a nutshell, the class decided to honor the Rosenbaum family, and they selected a gift off the internet to present to the family. Everyone is voluntarily (they all agreed to do this) chipping in $2.00 -$3.00 to cover the cost of the gift item. I suggested I invite the family to come to class to present the gift.
I have contacted a family member, and Daniel Rosenbaum (the son)– who is a photographer for The Washington Times newspaper– will be coming on April 23 to accept the gift from the class. He seemed very touched.
This project will enable the students to understand the importance of reaching out to victims and survivors and will provide them a genuine understanding of the importance of support in the aftermath of crimes of this nature. It will also enable them to recognize their efforts can have a positive impact in the forefront of someone else’s suffering. This project will also be beneficial to the Rosenbaum family in knowing that there are students at the university level who are studying the issues and impact of victimization and learning to make a positive difference in this arena.
I have already had a couple students offer to bring in cookies and drinks so that we could offer him some refreshment in the aftermath of the presentation.
I thought I would share this with you because it might be a story you would like to disseminate. The communications director where I work was very impressed with this effort and suggested I contact you because he told me he think it is a heartwarming human interest story that should be disseminated to the public to inform them about the good things GMU students are doing and the positive impact these students can make in the lives of others. He thinks the “night press” would love to write a story about this.
In reflecting on our conversation, I decided to share this with you.
Karen L. Bune
Dept. of Criminal Justice
GMU, Fairfax Campushair, Dept. of Criminal Justice, GMU