Dr. Kenneth Cairns, a familiar face and name at Waynesburg University as an assistant professor of criminal justice as well as a university counselor. Cairns earned his doctorate in Psychology at Case Western University in 1992. After three years of work, Dr. Cairns will have his very own textbook titled “Forensic Psychology: An Inside Perspective on Criminal Thinking and Behavior,” hot off the press for classes come the fall 2023 semester.
“The first thing you do is look for a book you’re going to use… All of them were coauthored, one author was almost always police or a criminal justice professional… the other author was a psychologist or a social scientist.” Dr. Cairns has expertise in both, spending 20 years as a psychologist in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, and as mentioned previously has his Ph.D. in psychology.
Cairns believed that it was a big need to have a book written by somebody that is an expert in both psychology and has worked with offenders. Dr. Cairns said “It’s a need, and who better than me to try to write something.”
The process from beginning to write, to now having a publishing company Sage Publications begin the printing process, will end up being a three-year process on top of working at the university. “I wrote four or five publishing companies and expected them all to quickly reject… Sage Publications pretty quickly said hey this is something we’re interested in.”
Once Cairns had Sage Publications willing to publish his textbook the “experts” that read over his content picked apart all of the work he had done and told him certain things were not right or that they did not like. This was the hardest part of the writing and publishing process for Cairns “Seeing people kind of tear apart some of what I had done… It’s helpful, but it’s difficult when you have this work that’s kind of your baby.”
Not only will this textbook be used in Cairns’ classes and other criminal justice classes here at Waynesburg University, but Sage Publications has told Cairns that they plan to push this textbook out across the nation for college and university use.
Writing a book was something that Cairns had on his bucket list, and is now going to be able to cross it off with this 300 plus page textbook being published.
“I think what’s really going to hit me is when I get that first copy in the mail… I’ll probably need a chair to sit down,” Cairns said.
I asked Cairns what was one piece of advice he had for somebody that may be looking to publish their own work and he told me “Take a risk You’re always going to have people telling you that you can’t do it, it’s never going to work. There are all kinds of people that will try to pull you down or put you down.”