Published on October 12th, 2022 | by University Communications


Ocala Education Center kicks off 2022-2023 Criminal Justice Speaker Series on October 26

The Ocala Education Center will kick off its 2022-2023 Criminal Justice Speaker Series on Wednesday, October 26. The events are open to the public, students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This series is a great opportunity for those who are serving in law enforcement or those who simply are interested in learning more about law enforcement and criminal justice.

This free series will be held at the center,1930 S.W. 38th Ave., Ocala, FL 34474. All sessions of the speaker series will be held 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The sessions will be taught by some of the most respected professionals in their field and will cover a range of topics from conflict resolution to how COVID-19 has affected law enforcement.

Certification credit may be available for those attending if approved by the appropriate law enforcement agency.

The sessions include:

Peace & Conflict Resolution in Our Communities, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday, October 26. Presenting will be Dr. Eloy Nuñez, retired Miami-Dade Police Department lieutenant, who served 26 years and assisted in planning and security for several large-scale events including two Super Bowls and presidential debates. He also is an expert in peaceful resolutions. Following his retirement, Nuñez was a full-time professor in Saint Leo’s Department of Public Safety Administration.

Nuñez and Dr. Ernie Vendrell, associate director of Saint Leo’s Department of Graduate Studies in Public Safety Administration, co-authored the award-winning book Managing Critical Incidents and Large-Scale Event Security as well as their personal accounts in the book Escape From Cuba.

Register for this event here.

How COVID-19 Has Affected Law Enforcement, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday, November 9. The presenter for this seminar, Dr. Charlotte Braziel, served 26 years in the FBI and was the senior team leader for the Tampa Evidence Response Team and was hazardous material- and weapons of mass destruction-certified. While serving as a special agent, Braziel was assigned to white collar, bank fraud, health care fraud, and human trafficking investigative matters as well as major organized crime and terrorist investigations.

After retirement from the FBI, she joined the faculty at Saint Leo, where she is an assistant professor of criminal justice/criminalistics, and she uses her training as an FBI instructor to teach crime scene management, case management, informant development, presentation skills and defensive tactics. Braziel earned her Doctor of Criminal Justice degree from Saint Leo University in 2022.

Register for this event here.

Testifying Made Easy, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday, February 8, 2023. The speaker is Dr. Christine Sereni-Massinger, associate professor of public safety administration at Saint Leo University. Sereni-Massinger has published and presented at both the national and international level on the customization of on-ground and online learning environments to fit various learning styles. She has also published numerous peer reviewed articles and has presented nationally on incorporating critical thinking into the police academy curriculum. She has won awards for her teaching including the Distinguished Faculty Award and the Outstanding Faculty Award.

A former state prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and elected Pennsylvania’s youngest female judge, Sereni-Massinger will speak about preparing law enforcement officers to testify in court. She will explain the most effective ways to testify and explain how to avoid common tricks and traps of defense council in cross examination.

Register for this event here.

Learning to Diffuse Hostile Behavior by Reading Body Language, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 12, 2023. Presenting will be Dr. Henri Benlolo, dean of Student Services for the College of Central Florida, who also teaches graduate courses in business, organizational behavior and change, and psychological appraisal. He holds a doctoral degree in psychology, a master’s degree in criminal justice, and a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages.

For many years, Benlolo directed statewide health and rehabilitative services programs in Florida, managed institutions for criminal offenders, worked as a forensic therapist, trained police officers, and managed private businesses.

Register for this event here.

For more information about Saint Leo University’s Criminal Justice Speaker Series or if in need of special accommodations, contact Rena Rolfsen at or call (352) 671-3391.

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