Dr. Darl H. Champion is a Faculty Emeritus, Department of Justice Studies, Methodist University (MU). He came to Methodist University in 1992 and remained until his retirement in December 2018. During his tenure at MU, he held positions including Chair of the Department of Justice Studies and Director of the Master of Justice Administration Program.
Dr. Champion was born in western Pennsylvania on a dairy farm and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA degree in criminology and a commission in the U.S. Army. Upon his graduation, he entered active duty with the U.S. Army for five years. During this time, he served as an artillery forward observer and military police company commander with the 82nd Airborne Division and Special Agent with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command.
After leaving active duty with the U.S. Army, he started his academic career at Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) in Fayetteville, NC, serving as both an instructor and eventually Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice. While at FTCC he obtained his masters in criminal justice degree from the University of South Carolina. In 1992, Methodist College recruited him to develop an undergraduate program in criminal justice. Shortly after his arrival, he completed his doctorate in adult education from North Carolina State University. With the support of many, he was instrumental in creating the Masters in Justice Administration Program in 2006 and shortly thereafter in close collaboration with colleague, Dr. Mark Bowman, the Center for Excellence in Justice Administration was created.
Throughout his career, Dr. Champion received numerous awards for his teaching, leadership, and service. Some of his awards include the 1986 Margaret Lange Willis Outstanding Educator in North Carolina; the 1989 Teaching Excellence Medallion from the University of Texas Research Project on National Teaching Excellence at the Community College Level; the 2015 Methodist University Alfred E. Cleveland Award for Excellence in Teaching; and the 2016 Carlos Zukowski and Terri Union Humanitarian Award from the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Human Relations Commission for his leadership, service, and dedication to making the Fayetteville-Cumberland community a better place to live.
He has presented numerous papers at professional conferences and conducted workshops on a wide-range of topics to include critical thinking. In 2002, he co-authored a textbook entitled An Introduction to American Policing. Dr. Champion has taught criminal justice courses in policing, corrections, policy and planning, problem-solving, criminal justice ethics, criminology, the future of policing, and leadership.
Throughout his career, Dr. Champion has held membership in a number of state, national, and international professional organizations to include the North Carolina Criminal Justice Association, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the World Futures Society. Currently, he holds membership in the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Dr. Champion has always felt it important to give back to the community. He has served as a board member and President of Fayetteville/Cumberland County CrimeStoppers Board and for 17 years was a member of Greater Fayetteville United (GFU) where he served as a board member and President.
Dr. Champion has been involved in criminal justice education and training his entire career. His classroom experiences were memorable and rewarding, but one of his most impactful experiences was serving from 1984-1994 on the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. As a member of the Commission, he served on the Education and Training Committee where he oversaw the voluntary post-secondary certification program for criminal justice programs in North Carolina.
Dr. Champion has dedicated his life to helping students realize their full potential and sharing his passion for learning. He prides himself in being a life-long learner. In retirement, he continues to teach for several universities.
He is an avid NC State Wolfpack and Pittsburgh Steeler fan and enjoys attending football games, reading, visiting historical sites, listening to music, biking, and spending time with his wife, Vicki, and their four children, 10 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.
Dr. Champion often ends his emails with his favorite expression of Carpe Diem… “Seize the Day” and recalls often his favorite poem, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.”