Sikeston Attorney Teaching Students at Sikeston Area Higher Education Center

Photo of John Cozean

Cozean teaches introduction to criminal justice at the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 31, 2005ᾰJohn Cozean, an attorney with Blanton, Rice, Sidwell, Nickell, Cozen and Collins in Sikeston, Mo., has joined the team of dedicated instructors at the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center (SAHEC) this fall. 

Cozean teaches introduction to criminal justice to SAHEC students, making this his first teaching experience in a college setting.

“I have always wanted to teach a law related course at the university level,” he said.  “Being able to both practice civil law and teach criminal justice is the best of both worlds for me.”

To prepare for his new teaching career, Cozean reviewed all his criminal law and procedure books he kept from law school before reading the entire book used in his class.  He also re-read the U.S. Constitution and recent landmark criminal law cases from both the U.S. and Missouri Supreme Court.  Judy Buck, director of SAHEC, and Dr. Jon Wade, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology at Southeast Missouri State University, assisted Cozean with his teaching preparations by providing insight into the student population and challenges the class and subject matter would pose. “We are so pleased to have John teaching at the Center,” Buck said.  “He brings lots of experience into the classroom as an attorney. John’s enthusiasm for teaching is apparent by the interest he shows towards the students and their success.”

Cozean mixes lectures with student participation, encouraging questions and discussion during class.  He says the students at SAHEC have a high caliber and enthusiasm for learning.

“Student participation is vital to learning,” Cozean said.  “I have been very impressed with the sophistication and thought that comes from my students’ questions.”

Before practicing law, Cozean worked as an intern for the U.S. House of Representatives, as a legislative aide for the Missouri State Senate and as a law clerk for the Missouri Supreme Court.  Cozean’s legal and political background offers him an “insider’s view” into the way criminal laws are formulated, litigated and ultimately decided.  He says it is important for his students to understand the integral role all three branches of government play in the criminal justice system

“I want my students to realize they, as voters and jurors, have a role in the criminal justice system,” he said.

Cozean says he enjoys teaching students at SAHEC, and believes the center is vital to the Sikeston community.

“My students are a blend of traditional and non-traditional students,” explained Cozean.  “I believe that without SAHEC, many of them would not have access to higher education or an opportunity for further personal and career advancement.”