Cencich shares his experience

Dr. John Cencich tells the students about his experiences

“I want students to know that they can do whatever they want. I am just an ordinary person that has had extraordinary opportunities,” said humbly by Dr John Cencich, who is a senior professor of criminal justice at California University of Pennsylvania and is world renowned in his work with international crime and security. In his recent work, he is apart of the research team with the History channel’s show Hunting Hitler that just concluded its first season.
At Cencich’s presentation in the CSC on February 4, he shared his vast knowledge with all of the history classes at Latrobe. He shared his work in international crime and law, as well as his personal story about being a specialized agent in Croatia in 1998.
Mr Ferraro, who set up the presentation, was excited to hear him speak. “ He had so much to convey to students. He is well traveled, a TV personality, and yet, he is so down to Earth,” said Ferraro.
Cencich may be so “down to Earth” because he worked his way to the top for his success. He told students about how he didn’t go to college right away, but instead he went out and experienced life.
He started out serving for more than 20 years as a police officer and a U.S Air Force of Special Investigations, then applied for a war crimes investigative position through the United Nations to lead the investigation into Slobodan Milosevic’s reported war crimes in Croatia in 1998.
After retiring from international justice, he used his JDS degree from Notre Dame University and his education from Harvard Graduate School of Education to begin teaching criminal justice at California University of Pennsylvania. Because of Cencich’s experience in Croatia region, he was asked to be apart the History channel show Hunting Hitler in early 2015.
Cencich also talked a little about his book The Devil’s Garden which discusses his travels to Belgrade to uncover the investigation and indictment of Slobodan Milosevic and an inside look at how he led the international team of investigators, detectives, and police through the case against Milosevic. After giving a few signed copies away to students and teachers throughout the day.
For law students, listening to Cencich’s story was beneficial to hear from a trained professional about the practice of international law and the life experience that Cencich had gained from traveling.
Law ll student Royce Sherrod found the presentation interesting. “It was interesting to see how international justice works and how other nations come together to work through the issue,” said Sherrod.
Law classes have been preparing for Cencich’s presentation by researching international law and Cencich’s experience with it. “We researched Cencich’s past experiences, jobs, and what he is doing now by looking at his California University of Pennsylvania professor biography, his biography on the History channel for Hunting Hitler, and an article from The Guardian about the Slobodan Milosevic trials,” said Emily Walker.
The most important lesson Cencich brought to Latrobe was his message that “ life is a learning curve and you learn that through experiencing new things,” said Cencich. Anybody has the capability to do anything they choose in life, and the experiences that they go through will only help them out along the way.