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In Memory: Chester Britt

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Chester L. Britt, III

Chester L. Britt, III, aged 54, passed away August 30, 2016 at Israel Family Hospice in Ames, Iowa following a severe anaphylactic reaction to a wasp sting. Friends and colleagues will come together to celebrate the life and work of Chet Britt at Northeastern University on Tuesday November 1, 2016, 3:00pm – 4:30pm, 310 Renaissance Park.

Born in Santa Monica, California on July 22, 1962, Chester (Chet) L. Britt III is survived by his wife, Kelly Champion; his children, Chester Lucas (Nicole) Britt, IV, Aly Hiller (né Britt; Morgan), Dana and René Gustafson; his parents, Chester and Lilia Britt, II; his sister, Karyn Johnny, his nephew Sam Johnny, and his grandson, Jackson Hiller.

Chet Britt earned his B.S. (University of Iowa, 1984), M.S. (Washington State University 1986), and Ph.D. (University of Arizona, 1990) in Sociology. He held faculty positions at the University of Illinois (1990-1995), Pennsylvania State University (1995-1999), Arizona State University (1999-2006), Northeastern University (2006-2015), and Iowa State University (2015-2016). He served as Chair at Arizona State University and Iowa State University, and as Associate Dean and then Dean of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University.

Chet was an accomplished scholar with a love of quantitative methods and scholarly interests that spanned from criminological theory and the demography of crime, to criminal careers and criminal justice decision making. As a student of Travis Hirschi, Chet firmly believed that control theory was the answer to most, if not all, questions relating to the etiology of crime. Chet’s books include Control Theories of Crime and Delinquency: Advances in Criminological Theory, Volume 12, edited by Chester L. Britt and Michael Gottfredson (2003) and Statistics in Criminal Justice, 4th ed. by David Weisburd and Chester L. Britt (2014). In addition to his books, Chet also served as Editor of Justice Quarterly from 2004-2007. His work appears across peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews.

There’s a reason so many students and colleagues feel so devastated by his loss. Chet was approachable, kind, and always went out of his way to help people see things a little more clearly, understand things a little more deeply, and… of course… apply the appropriate statistic. Chet was a favorite among the students and the faculty. He was a selfless academic, bringing out the best in so many, rarely taking any credit. So many of us feel lucky to have been mentored by and to have worked with Chet.

Together with Arizona State University, Northeastern University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice co-sponsored the Division on Corrections and Sentencing (DCS) annual social during the American Society of Criminology (ASC) conference in New Orleans to honor our colleagues Chet Britt and Marie Griffin, both of whom we lost too soon this past August. Friends and colleagues attending the ASC conference are welcome to join us on Wednesday November 16, 5:00pm – 6:20pm in the Kabacoff room of the New Orleans Hilton.

Natasha Frost and Jack McDevitt, September 2016

The family have established a memorial fund to honor Chet and his illustrious career through Iowa State University’s Foundation. To make a donation to the Chet Britt Memorial Fund please visit www.foundation.iastate.edu/gift (#2704526) or a check can be sent to the ISU Foundation, 2505 University Blvd, Ames, IA 50010. A gofundme page has also been set up by friends to help the family during this difficult time. To donate, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/chetbritt.

Published On: September 26, 2016