Professor Kevin Fornshill broke new ground at Mason by assigning undergraduate students in his CRIM 490 Hate Crimes class to write letters to a former neo-Nazi, Sean Gillespie, who is serving a lengthy prison sentence for fire-bombing a synagogue. The Washington Post recognized the value of this experimental assignment in a front page article by Michael E. Miller featuring interviews with both Fornshill and students in the class, including CLS major Stacy Nelson, who graduated from Mason in May. In the article, Fornshill's students discuss the many things they learned from their correspondence with Gillespie, with Nelson in particular convinced that even those who committed hate crimes could change. The full article is available on The Washington Post website here.
August 10, 2017