History professor Robert Mathisen, who helped in Scharn’s hiring process , believes it was “his prior teaching experience, his 30 years of professional experience in law enforcement, and his Christian worldview” that made him stand out.
“His life experience that he shares in class is really nice to have,” stated student Julia Fraser.
Through these 30 years of experience, Scharn has developed many friends in the criminal justice community. He believes that through these connections he can publicize Corban’s criminal justice program, and with time, he hopes it will become the best one in Oregon.
“The first thing I’d like to do is further develop the courses and give them more continuity. I would also like to see the program [criminal justice] expand,” he said.
Scharn attended Western Baptist as an undergraduate studying management and communication, which helped him in his successful career as an investigator. He later went on to receive his master’s in Business Administration from George Fox University.
“Police stations and correctional facilities are run a lot like businesses. I recognized that if I wanted to promote up I would need a background in business,” stated Scharn.
While he grew up in the Catholic faith, Scharn realizes that it was his time spent at Corban 19 years ago that really developed his relationship with God. This connection to Corban is one of the reasons that persuaded Scharn to return as a professor.
The murders of Carol and Crystal Miller made a national name for this new professor in the 1990’s.
“What made the case unique is that it was the first of its kind in the country. It was the first double no-body homicide with no physical evidence that linked the murders back to the suspect,” described Scharn.
With no blood, witnesses, or confession, Scharn and prosecutor Dianne Middle were challenged to get a conviction based solely on circumstantial evidence. After four years of diligent work, Scharn and Middle saw Gerald Wesley Miller found guilty by jury on March 17, 1993. He is now currently serving two consecutive life sentences. This case is just one of the many life experiences that Scharn hopes to bring to his students.