SHSU's College of Criminal Justice Graduates 270

The College of Criminal Justice graduated five Ph.D.s, including (l to r) Drs. Wendy Kaye Pollock, Seksan Khruakham, Yung-Lien (Edward) Lai and Jiletta Leeannae Kubena. Not pictured is Kenneth W. Balusek.
The College of Criminal Justice graduated five Ph.D.s, including (l to r) Drs. Wendy Kaye Pollock, Seksan Khruakham, Yung-Lien (Edward) Lai and Jiletta Leeanne Kubena. Not pictured is Dr. Kenneth W. Balusek.

Five students joined the list of Ph.D. graduates from the College of Criminal Justice during the 40th anniversary of the program.

Drs. Kenneth W. Balusek, Seksan Khruakham, Jiletta Leeanne Kubena, Yung-Lien (Edward) Lai and Wendi Kaye Pollock joined the list of 268 Ph.D. graduates who earned the top academic achievement in the criminal justice field at Sam Houston State University. The College also conferred 27 master’s degrees and 238 bachelor's degrees during Spring Commencement exercises on May 14.

"Today is a day you will always remember," Dr. Vincent Webb, Dean of the College of Criminal Justice said to all CJ graduates. "I salute you and recognize you for your efforts that led to achieving this important milestone."

In 1970, the then-Coordinating Board of Texas Colleges and University System approved one of the first doctoral programs in Criminal Justice in the nation at Sam Houston State University. Over the last 40 years, graduates of the program have worked across the country and world, and their teaching, research and scholarship have added to the body of knowledge and practice in the field. Ph.D. graduates serve on the boards and are office holders of key academic professional organizations in the discipline, including the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Society of Criminology, and are prominent leaders in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, and the courts.

Among the dissertations and contributions of the newest Ph.D. graduates are:
  • Balusek. Attitude Adjustment?: An Outcome Evaluation of the Effects of the Texas Cognitive Intervention Program on Incarcerated Offenders (Dissertation Committee Chair: Dr. Victoria Titterington). Dr. Balusek is director of the Criminal Justice Program at Rockhurst College in Kansas City.
  • Khruakham. Assessing the Effectiveness of the 2001 Drug Police and Drug Enforcement in Thailand: A Time-Series Analysis of Police Data (Dissertation Committee Chair: Dr. Larry T. Hoover). Dr. Khruakham is an assistant professor at the Royal Thai Police Academy in Thailand.
  • Kubena. Convergence or Divergence: An Intergenerational Examination of Male and Female Offending (Dissertation Committee Chair: Dr. Scott Menard). Dr. Kubena is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.
  • Lai. The Determinants of Public Attitudes toward the Police across Racial/Ethnical Groups in Houston (Dissertation Committee Chair: Dr. Jihong Solomon Zhao). He is returning to his native Taiwan to teach at the National Central Police University.
  • Pollock. Disproportionate Police Contact: An Examination of the Correlates of Police Contact and of Perceptions of Fairness in Police Contact Situations Across Time and Generations (Dissertation Committee Chair: Dr. Scott Menard). Pollock is an Assistant Professor at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches.

"It is a wonderful time to get a Ph.D. in criminal justice," said Dr. Michael S. Vaughn, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and Director of the CJ Ph.D. Program at the College of Criminal Justice. "The job market for academic criminal justice is very strong, even in a down economy. Criminal justice programs are growing all over the world, and the market is clamoring for Ph.D. graduates."

The College of Criminal Justice Commencement Ceremony was held at the Johnson Coliseum and was followed by a luncheon reception at CJava Café in the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center. The Commencement Speaker was Donna N. Williams, a member of the Texas State University System Board of Regents. She is Vice President and Program Manager of Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Inc., a global engineering and construction leader in facilities, industrial processes, communications, infrastructure, transportation, water, advanced technology, environmental and planning markets.

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