In Memoriam: Jami R. Grant, M.S. ’90, associate professor
Jami R. Grant, M.S. ’90, first came to the University of Baltimore in 1986 as a graduate student in the University’s M.S. in Criminal Justice program. During the next two and a half decades, she never strayed far from UB.
Grant, an associate professor in the College of Public Affairs’ School of Criminal Justice, died suddenly March 23 of complications related to pneumonia, leaving her students, colleagues and the University community as a whole shocked and saddened.
After graduating from UB with her master’s degree in 1990, Grant served as an adjunct faculty member before becoming an assistant professor in 1997 and director of the B.S. in Forensic Studies program in 1999. She served as the principal architect of the program, which she developed in conjunction with the University’s criminal justice programs and with the support of the Baltimore Police Department, bridging the cultures of academia and law enforcement.
Grant earned her Ph.D. in 2000 from the University of Maryland’s Institute of Criminal Justice and Criminology, and in 2005, she led the effort to secure a $2 million grant to establish UB’s state-of-the-art forensic laboratories, which also serve as backup for the Baltimore Police Department’s lab in an emergency.
Students and colleagues remember her as “tough but tender,” as was quoted at her funeral on March 30; she expected the best from her students to prepare them for successful careers. “I would not be where I am today had I not met Dr. Grant during my undergraduate studies. She always pushed her students and myself to excel and this is what I will truly miss. I hope I can live up to the high expectations that she held of me,” wrote Jenn Burton, B.S. ’10, a current student in the M.S. in Criminal Justice program, in the online guest book that accompanied Grant’s obituary.
Many have remembered her as easy to laugh and particularly fashionable, capable of gracefully mixing high heels with the serious subject matter about which she was passionate. But her attention to style never detracted from her ability to nurture professional relationships with state and local agencies to benefit her students.
“She was definitely a person who built strength through collaborative agreements,” said David R. Fowler, the state’s chief medical examiner, in Grant’s March 27 obituary in The (Baltimore) Sun.
In Grant’s memory and to honor her contributions to the University, UB has received approval from University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan to name its forensic laboratories in memory of Grant.
The University of Baltimore Foundation has created the Jami R. Grant Memorial Fund in Forensic Studies to benefit deserving students in the program that Grant built and directed. Contributions may be made online or by phone to the Office of Annual Giving at 410.837.6135.