On April 23, the College recognized the service and leadership of its many alumni and honored those who have fallen in the line of duty. Student leaders of various criminal justice student organizations were recognized for their exceptional accomplishments and achievements during the 2008-09 academic year.
The College honored and publicly recognized Timothy N. Oettmeier as the recipient of the Defensor Pacem Medal, which is presented each year to an individual or organization that has provided invaluable assistance to the criminal justice field. Oettmeier, who has begun his 36th year serving the public as a member of the Houston Police Department where he currently serves as Executive Assistant Chief of Police, received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from SHSU in 1982, and has received numerous awards and recognition since leaving SHSU. "Dr. Oettmeier is an asset not only to the Houston Police Department, but law enforcement statewide, nationally, and internationally," said Dr. Larry Hoover. "Sam Houston State University is proud to be able to honor him in this way."
The recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Alumnus Award is Nancy Rodriguez. Dr. Rodriguez is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. Her research has included program evaluations of drug courts, restorative justice programs, and three strikes laws. Dr. Rodriguez has received several grants from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She received her BS in law enforcement and police science from SHSU in 1992. Dr. Todd Armstrong, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, commented "We here in the College of Criminal Justice can be very proud of the manner in which Dr. Rodriguez represents us to both the field of criminology and criminal justice, and to the larger community."
Following the Leadership Luncheon, the traditional Sundial Ceremony took place at the south entrance to the Criminal Justice Center at 1:30 p.m. The ceremony commemorated criminal justice alumni and other law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Later that evening, the College recognized their most academically gifted students at the annual Honors Convocation. More than 70 scholarships were presented and 130 honor students recognized. Professor Jerry Dowling, who joined the faculty of the College in 1972 after serving as a Special Agent of the FBI, was guest speaker at the Honors Convocation.