Meet Phil Reed, associate professor of criminal justice. Prior to joining Olivet’s faculty, Professor Reed served the Battle Creek Police Department for 25 years, retiring in 2003 as commander of investigations. He helped develop the Calhoun County Cold Case Homicide Team and was responsible for the detective bureau, the undercover narcotics team and the crime lab. Now, Professor Reed uses his extensive experience to develop the next generation of law enforcement officials.
More than 14 years since coming to OC, Professor Reed has become a campus icon, known for bringing the best out of his students. In the classroom, he expects students to work hard and dedicate themselves to their classwork, earning a reputation as one of the toughest, and also most compassionate educators at OC.
What do you enjoy most about working at Olivet College?
I love working at Olivet College because of the students, staff, and faculty. I really like the atmosphere at Olivet College because it is so pretty and the students make it wonderful. I like the sporting events we have here, and I go to the games to support them because I am able to watch my students.
What inspired you to work in higher education?
I had a very successful career with the Battle Creek Police Department, I was fortunate to retire at a young age and I wanted to do something different.
How would you describe your teaching style?
My teaching style is different from other professors because I encourage the students by using hands-on techniques and demonstrations while ensuring they learn the material, and I encourage students to think about the other side of things despite their personal religion or beliefs. I teach the students critical thinking skills by having them consider the other side and by having them speak up in class.
Why should high school students attend OC?
There is a constant one-on-one interaction between professors and students because of the campus size and you’re able to get to know your adviser. For those interested in criminal justice, we have a wonderful program that is a great value to the students.
What do you look forward to most in your role?
I am looking forward to my students getting great jobs while using their education from here. I am also looking forward to solving a cold case investigation with my students.
What is the number one piece of advice you share with students?
Don’t be naïve and learn not to have your feelings hurt.
More about Professor Reed:
- Professor Reed played an instrumental role in bringing the cold case course to OC. It allows students to work alongside detectives and other law enforcement officials of the Calhoun County Prosecutor and the Battle Creek Police Department to examine evidence, recommend interviews with witnesses, and uncover potential new leads, ultimately working to solve decades-old cold cases.
- One of his favorite hobbies is bird watching and he enjoys feeding them in the winter as well.
- He has been honored with the Drs. Gorton and Peggy Riethmiller Award for Excellence in Teaching and Advising, and has twice received the John J. Shipherd Award. Professor Reed has also been chosen to serve as speaker at Baccalaureate by several graduating classes.