The College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University will recognize service, leadership, superior scholarship, and will honor those who have fallen in the line of duty at three events on April 22.
Leaders of various criminal justice student organizations will be recognized for their exceptional accomplishments and achievements during the 2009-2010 academic year. Also the college will honor and publicly recognize the recipients of the Defensor Pacem Medal, the 2010 Outstanding Alumnus Award, and the first recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation Award during the Leadership Luncheon, which will be held in the Flag Room of the Criminal Justice Center at 11:00 a.m.
Each year, the College presents the Defensor Pacem Medal to an individual or organization that has provided invaluable assistance to the criminal justice field. This year's recipient is Dan R. Beto. Mr. Beto is the retired Founding Director of the Correctional Management Institute of Texas (CMIT) at Sam Houston State University. While he began his career in institutional corrections, most of Beto's career was devoted to community corrections. His career spanned more than 40 years in community corrections as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Texas; United States Probation and Parole Officer; Chief Probation Officer; and Director, Judicial District Community Supervision and Corrections Department for Walker, Grimes, and Madison Counties. Vincent Webb, Dean of the College of Criminal Justice, commented that "Dan Beto's leadership in the area of community corrections has had a tremendous impact on the administration of criminal justice in Texas and in the nation. His leadership and hard work have improved the quality of our lives by improving the quality of our justice system."
A loyal alumnus, Dan Beto earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and master's degree in criminology and corrections at SHSU. He and his wife, Donna, have established several scholarships to offer financial assistance to students in need. The Dan Richard Beto Endowed Scholarship in Correctional Leadership provides assistance to international students studying institutional or community corrections in criminal justice; The Dan and Donna Beto Endowed Sociology Fund provides scholarships or assists with the professional development of students majoring in sociology; and the latest scholarship, The Donna L. Beto Endowed Scholarship will provide assistance to students studying in elementary education.
Dan Beto currently serves as Editor of Executive Exchange, National Association of Probation Executives, as President of Beto Strategic Partners, and as a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Training Institute.
The recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Alumnus Award is Robert Lampert. Mr. Lampert is a Marine Corps veteran with more than 35 years of correctional experience, including military and state service. During his tenure with the Texas Department of Corrections, Lampert rose through the ranks from correctional officer to senior warden. While in Texas he worked at nine different facilities and was personally charged with developing and implementing several innovative programs for high-risk and substance abuse involved inmates. Upon his retirement from TDCJ, he was selected by the Oregon Department of Corrections to serve as superintendent of the largest correctional facility in the northwest and as assistant superintendent at Oregon's only maximum-security institution.
Lambert carried the lessons learned in college and in the field with him to Wyoming. During his tenure as Director of the Wyoming Department of Corrections, Lampert led his agency to the forefront of correctional practices. He has taken a leadership role in tackling tough issues in Wyoming ranging from suicide prevention, juvenile detention, at-risk children and families to energy sector partnerships and green technologies. He currently serves as Chair of the Governor's Substance Abuse and Violent Crime Advisory Board, Chair of the Wyoming Health Information Network's Executive Leadership Team, Commissioner of the Wyoming Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, and as a member of the National Commission on Professional Certification for Corrections.
Lampert holds bachelors and master's degrees in criminology and corrections, as well as a Master's of Business Administration from SHSU. He also earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law.
During the luncheon the faculty will also recognize Dr. Bitna Kim, the first recipient of the College's Outstanding Dissertation Award. This award recognizes a student completing a doctoral degree in the College of Criminal Justice whose dissertation reflects superior scholarship. Dr. Kim's dissertation committee was comprised of the following faculty: Jurg Gerber (chair), Mike Vaughn, Craig Henderson, and Brian Lawton.
Following the Leadership Luncheon, the traditional Sundial Ceremony will take place at the south entrance to the Criminal Justice Center at 1:30 p.m. The ceremony will commemorate criminal justice alumni and other law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The ceremony is open to the public.
In the evening, the College of Criminal Justice will recognize their most academically gifted students at the Honors Convocation at 7:00 p.m. in the Killinger Auditorium. More than 80 scholarships will be presented, and 121 honor students will be recognized.
Ed Reyna will be the guest speaker at the Honors Convocation. Mr. Reyna was honored in 2009 as one of Sam Houston State University's Distinguished Alumni. He holds a master's degree from Southern Methodist University and attended the Harvard University JFK School of Government. The public is invited to attend.