Joel M. Cox graduated from Great Bridge High School in 1981. From 1981 – 1983, he attended a large four-year university; however, he struggled as a student and could not find a mentor. He eventually dropped out, but decided to take classes at TCC. He found professors that cared and who were willing to invest their time mentoring students beyond the classroom. In 1984, Joel, an administration of justice major, graduated with honors from TCC. Two years later, he graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in accounting. As a law enforcement professional, Joel has worked for the Virginia State Police, a small sheriffs office, and Virginia Beach Police Department. He retired from the Virginia Beach Police Department after 24 years of service. During his time with the Virginia Beach Police Department, Joel held various positions including a street officer, community policing officer, property crimes detective, robbery detective, homicide detective, street sergeant, community policing sergeant, SWAT sergeant, and precinct lieutenant.
Throughout his professional and educational journey Joel would utilize his work and study ethic he developed at TCC to help him succeed. In 1999, Joel obtained a master’s degree in public administration with a 4.0 GPA from Troy University. Moreover, in 2007, he graduated from Nova Southeastern University with an education doctoral degree in organizational leadership. Again, Joel maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his doctoral studies. Joel remains connected to TCC by teaching administration of justice classes for the Chesapeake and Portsmouth campuses. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice/Government and program director of graduate and undergraduate criminal justice programs at Liberty University.
Joel’s words of wisdom to TCC students, “From TCC, you can truly go anywhere! Find a mentor, engage your professors, learn how to learn- you can do this… I know you can do this!”