Know Joe: Criminal Justice Program Chair Shares Fun Tidbits

Posted by on March 7, 2014

Do you know Joe Vanasse? He has been with Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center campus since October as the campus program chair and the executive program chair of criminal justice. Prior to that, he worked at the Minneapolis campus in the program chair role. Keep on reading to learn a little more about him!

Joe Vanasse

What is your educational background? 

A.A.S. in Information Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force

B.S. in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Military Science from Troy University (Alabama)

M.A. in Human Services with an emphasis in Criminal Justice Leadership from Concordia University in St. Paul

Certifications from New Mexico Tech Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center – Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings and Suicide Bombing Prevention and Response

How long have you been with GEN?

I started in Spring quarter 2011 as an adjunct.

What did you do prior to working at GEN?

Vanasse (left) and three of his guys in Baghdad after the initial invasion (taken in 2003)

I started my criminal justice journey in the United States Air Force, and I am a former Military Special Ops Unit Member. While I was in the Air Force, I was the Lead Training Instructor for a unit of 15 Special Operations members and was considered a Close Air Support (CAS) Subject Matter Expert. I deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was involved in direct combat operations overseas as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC).

After the Air Force, I worked for the Department of Homeland Security as a Behavior Detection Officer. I supervised multiple security details for foreign dignitaries as well as national, state, and local government officials; performed security analysis of an international airport; and identified vulnerabilities and designed and implemented a specialized screening team that performed security assessments and details throughout the entire airport and surrounding grounds.

What jobs/roles have you had since being with GEN?

Adjunct instructor, program chair and Executive Program Chair of Criminal Justice

What is your favorite memory from work?

Other than a couple of students shoplifting to meet a loss prevention manager (the assignment was to talk to a loss prevention manager or employee about their job…they went above and beyond), I would say that every graduation that I have had students walk at is my greatest memory. The way people light up when they say they have an interview or when they get the job…that is the best, and why I do what I do.

What do you like most about working at the Brooklyn Center campus?

I like Brooklyn Center because it is like an extended family…there is hardly any stress, and people actually like and care about each other from the very top down, and that makes it a very easy place to work.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I work out, cycle, and I like to go fishing to a fault – my favorite, though, is spending family time with my wife and daughter Lily.

Do you have:

Any guilty pleasures? Dark Chocolate

A favorite band? I enjoy artists that can actually sing, so pretty much anything country and my foot is tapping…

A favorite television show and/or movie? “Cops”…duh

A favorite food? I already used dark chocolate…so pizza is right up there

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?

I believe that humor is the jam on the dry toast of life…


Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.