ASIS Houston Welcomes Scholarship Winners

SHSU Scholarship winners and their guests were recently honored by the Houston Chapter of ASIS. Pictures from left to right Cody Wortham, Garrett Samples, Craig Furrow, Lauren Smith, Dr. Jim Dozier and Jennifer Shearer.
SHSU Scholarship winners and their guests were recently honored by the Houston Chapter of ASIS. Pictures from left to right Cody Wortham, Garrett Samples, Craig Furrow, Lauren Smith, Dr. Jim Dozier and Jennifer Shearer.

Graduate students in Security Studies from Sam Houston State University were recently honored during a monthly meeting of the Houston Chapter of the American Society of Industrial Security.

"The members of ASIS Houston consider it an honor and privilege to welcome these young professionals to our community," said Mike Mallon, President of the local chapter. "The importance of mentorship to outstanding students by our members cannot be understated."

Cody Wortham, Lauren Smith and Jennifer Shearer received scholarships from the organization, which represents more than 37,000 security professionals worldwide. The society is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and productivity of security professionals by developing educational programs and materials that address broad security interests as well as specific security topics.

"ASIS has given us the opportunity to begin the transition from our academic pursuits to the real-world of security professionals," said Smith. "To that end, ASIS continues to provide us with useful mentorship and helpful professional networking."

The students plan to use the scholarship funds to continue their studies. Wortham said he would like to pursue a career in the intelligence field in a collection or analyst position. Smith said she would like to work in national security, but is keeping her career options open.

"It’s a hard field to get into," said Wortham.

During the meeting, the scholarship winners and their guests learned more about geospatial analysis in a lecture by U.S. Marshal Frank Weber. He demonstrated how open source information, along with GIS programs like Google Earth, could be a helpful tool for public and private security professionals alike.

As an example, Wortham said that Weber showed how Google Earth could have been used in the case of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped in 1991 when she was 11 years old and forced to live in a series of sheds behind Phillip Garrido’s home in Antioch, California. Dugard was discovered two decade later, in 2009, after she had two children by Garrido. Garrido and his wife Nancy were sentenced in May.

Google Earth could have been used to see the growth of the tent city, which would raise suspicion among local law enforcement agencies, Wortham recalled.

“Because of its wide applicability, gaining knowledge about geospatial systems would be beneficial to anyone seeking a future in security,” Smith said.

Member of The Texas State University System