New Special Topic Classes Debut This Spring Semester

Picture of college students in a classroom looking up at the professor.

The College of Criminal Justice has several new Special Topics courses available on campus and online this spring.

College of Criminal Justice Graduates 250+

Two online Master's students, David Stovall and Adam Brown, share a moment with Dr. Gaylene Armstrong.
Two online Master's students, David Stovall and Adam Brown, share a moment with Dr. Gaylene Armstrong.

The College of Criminal Justice awarded one new Ph.D. degree, 29 Master’s degrees and nearly 230 Bachelor’s degrees during Commencement ceremonies on Dec. 14.

New Graduate Certificate Available in Criminal Justice

Photo of computer with handcuffs, reports and pens around it.

The College of Criminal Justice is introducing an online Graduate Certificate Program this spring to help professionals in the field with career advancement.

The Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management is designed for working professionals in law enforcement, corrections and victim services to assist with professional growth and career development. The 18-hour program is structured so it can be completed in a year, and it can be applied toward a Master’s degree in the future.

Riding the Roads with Texas State Troopers

Intern Jorge Hernandez served with Texas Highway Patrol in Conroe.
Intern Jorge Hernandez served with Texas Highway Patrol in Conroe.

As an intern with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Jorge Hernandez got to ride with state troopers on their daily patrols, which included traffic stops, drug seizures, accident scenes, local agency assistance, warrant service, suspect interviews – and even a SWAT standoff.

Preparing for Second Careers at SHSU

Lt. Dan Norris serves in the administration office of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.
Lt. Dan Norris serves in the administrative office of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

After nearly 27 years with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Dan Norris has his future sights set on being a law enforcement instructor in a college or maybe even as a police chief, helping to lead the next generation of criminal justice professionals.

Alumnus Links Weapons to Crimes

Firearms Examiner Kevin Callahan prepares to fire a large caliber revolver in a water tank during training.
Firearms Examiner Kevin Callahan prepares to fire a large caliber revolver in a water tank during training.

In one of his most memorable cases, Firearms Examiner Kevin Callahan (MSFS ’08) used a fired shotshell found in a suspect’s possession – as well as a test fire from a non-functioning shotgun – to link the suspect to a crime scene where two women were sexually assaulted and shot. His analysis assisted in the filing of a murder charge.

Houston Police Intern Tracks Robberies

Aaron Yzquierdo (l) worked with his Dad, Raul (r), in the Robbery Division at the Houston Police Department.
Aaron Yzquierdo (l) worked with his Dad, Raul (r), in the Robbery Division at the Houston Police Department.

For his senior year internship, Aaron Yzquierdo followed in his father’s footsteps at the Houston Police Department Robbery Division. Now he has the opportunity to follow his career.

“In the middle of October, they (the Houston Police Department) offered me a job,” said Yzquierdo. “The academy begins in February, but I really want to finish school. I also am considering going into the military after school.”

Society of Forensic Science Meeting

Society of Forensic Science logo

Tue, Dec 4, 2012
5:30 PM
Chemistry and Forensic Science Building
Room 103

The Society of Forensic Science is a special interest group at SHSU, consisting of individuals who are interested in working together to expand and share their knowledge of Forensic Science. The society participates in various volunteer and fundraising activities throughout the year.

The Society will hold its 2013 Officer Elections. Pizza and beverages will be served.

Phi Alpha Delta Annual Social Potluck

Phi Alpha Delta logo

Mon, Dec 3, 2012
5 p.m.
Lowman Student Center
Room 319

Bring your favorite dish!

Hunting Fugitives for the Harris County DA

During the Fall 2012 semester, SHSU Intern Ryan McClellan helped the Harris County District Attorney’s Office track down fugitives charged with felonies, including murder, rape and other violent crimes.

Beto Chair Lecture: Dr. Scott Decker

Beto Chair Lecture Series

Wed, Nov 28, 2012
9:30 - 11:00 A.M.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Dr. Scott H. Decker, a Foundation Professor and Director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, will present “Life Course Perspectives on Gang Membership: Walter Miller and the Lost Gang Project” as part of the Beto Chair Lecture series on Nov. 28.

Alpha Phi Sigma Meeting


Wed, Nov 28, 2012
5:30 p.m.
CJava Cafe


Crime Victim Services Alliance Meeting

Crime Victims' Service Alliance logo

Wed, Nov. 28, 2012
5 p.m.
Lowman Student Center, Room 319

Real Talk w/CJ: Federal Job Searches

Real Talk with CJ

Tue Nov 27, 2012
3:00 pm - 4:00pm
CJ Cafe (CJava)

Michelle Meers, a Career Counselor from Sam Houston State University Career Services, and Roberta Ardoin, a VetSuccess on Campus Counselor at the Veterans Resource Center at SHSU, will present "Managing the Maze of Federal Job Searches."

Working Couples Face Greater Odds of Intimate Partner Violence

Shadows of a man hitting a woman

Intimate partner violence is two times more likely to occur in two income households, compared to those where only one partner works, a recent study at Sam Houston State University found.

Interviewing Victims of Child Abuse

Forensic Interviewer Rebecca Cunio interviews a child.
Forensic Interviewer Rebecca Cunio recreates an interview with a victim of child abuse. Photo courtesy of William Betancourt, Tyler, TX.

After talking for two hours about ongoing sexual abuse at the trusted hands of her stepfather, a precious seven-year old girl handed Forensic Interviewer Rebecca Cunio a drawing of a large heart encircled by smaller ones. It read “I love you for what you do.” For Cunio, it was a defining moment in her career.

Graduate Student Organization Meeting

Graduate Student Organization logo

Wed, Nov 21, 2012
1 P.M.
Criminal Justice Center, Flag Room

Graduate students are invited to a potluck "Friendsgiving."

Society of Forensic Science Meeting

Society of Forensic Science logo

Tue, Nov 20, 2012
5:30 PM
Chemistry and Forensic Science Building
Room 103

The Society of Forensic Science is a special interest group at SHSU, consisting of individuals who are interested in working together to expand and share their knowledge of Forensic Science. The society participates in various volunteer and fundraising activities throughout the year.

The guest speaker for the meeting will be Dr. Terra Dassau, Drug Chemist from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Society is also hosting its Thanksgiving Potluck.

Phi Alpha Delta General Meeting

Phi Alpha Delta logo

Mon, Nov 12, 2012
5 p.m.
Lowman Student Center
Room 319

Alpha Phi Sigma Meeting


Wed, Nov 7, 2012
5:30 p.m.
CJava Cafe


Alumni Updates

Dr. James Benson
Dr. James Benson

Dr. James Benson (Ph.D. ’76), an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Legal Studies in the School of Business at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, is the recipient of the Outstanding Professor Award from the University of Clear Lake Alumni Association. He has previously been presented the President’s Cabinet Philanthropy Award, the President’s Distinguished Service Award and the President’s Cabinet Leadership Award.

Emilio
Emilio "Chicky" Esquivel
Emilio “Chicky” Esquivel, who received an Associate degree from Sam Houston State University, retired after 34 years of service to the Alvin Police Department.


Dr. Victor Kappeler
Dr. Victor Kappeler
Dr. Victor Kappeler was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Critical Criminology. The award was presented at the annual meeting in Chicago on Nov. 17.

Kevin Muenster
Kevin Muenster
Kevin J. Muenster (BS’03), an attorney for the law firm of Taber Estes Thorne & Carr in Dallas, was named to the list of 2012 Texas Rising Stars for young lawyers in Texas Monthly. Meunster was recognized in Civil Litigation Defense for representing businesses and individuals in a wide variety of complete disputes in state and federal courts.

Tecee Park (BA ’04) graduated in May 2012 with a juris doctor degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston.




Real Talk w/CJ: CASA's Amanda Cervantez

Real Talk with CJ

Tue Nov 6, 2012
2:00 pm - 3:00pm
CJ Center (A209)

Analyzing Statements: The Key to Detecting Deception

Illustration of a suspect under a magnifying glass.

Law enforcement officers from across Texas learned a new investigative technique at the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas to better analyze statements by victims, witnesses and suspects.

Society of Forensic Science Meeting

Society of Forensic Science logo

Tue, Nov 6, 2012
5:30 PM
Chemistry and Forensic Science Building
Room 103

The Society of Forensic Science is a special interest group at SHSU, consisting of individuals who are interested in working together to expand and share their knowledge of Forensic Science. The society participates in various volunteer and fundraising activities throughout the year.

The guest speaker for the meeting will be Dr. Michael Condron, Medical Examiner from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science. Pizza and beverages will be served.

Recent Publications

Here is a list of publications recently produced by faculty, students and alumni of Sam Houston State University, College of Criminal Justice.

Alpha Phi Sigma Meeting


Wed, Oct 31, 2012
5:30 p.m.
CJava Cafe


Phi Alpha Delta General Meeting

Phi Alpha Delta logo

Mon, Oct 29, 2012
5 p.m.
Lowman Student Center
Room 319

Dr. Oliver Critiques Historic Crimes and Hollywood

Dr. Willard Oliver
Dr. Willard Oliver

Dr. Willard Oliver is going Hollywood to promote a better understanding of criminal justice history.

Dr. Oliver, a professor in the College of Criminal Justice, has turned one of his college courses into a book to help students understand how criminal justice history is presented in major motion pictures. He and co-author Nancy E. Marion use 10 films, based on actual historic events, to show the myths and realities of true crimes.

TDCJ Hero Funds Criminal Justice Scholarship

Warden Billy Hirsch and Melanie Smith work at the Wynne Unit, where TDCJ Hero Susan L. Canfield was killed during an escape.
Warden Billy Hirsch and Melanie Smith work at the Wynne Unit, where TDCJ Hero Susan L. Canfield was killed during an escape.

After spending four years at the Holliday and Wynne Units, Correctional Officer Melanie Smith decided she would like to become a lawyer to provide a voice for victims or to defend the innocent.

SHSU Grad Builds Legal Legacy at UH-Clear Lake

SHSU Alumnus Dr. James Benson built a courtroom in a classroom at the University of Houston - Clear Lake.
SHSU Alumnus Dr. James Benson built a courtroom in a classroom at the University of Houston -- Clear Lake.

Dr. James C. Benson recently purchased the furniture from the old 400th District Courtroom in Fort Bend County and made it into a mock trial classroom for his legal studies students at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

It took $1,000 and six weeks of sawing and cutting to disassemble the courtroom fixtures and downsize it into a regular classroom. The courtroom will be used in mock trials for students in legal studies and in testing real life cases on student “focus groups” by lawyers who graduated from the program.

Teachers Dissect Criminal Justice in Prime Time

A teacher examines skeletal remains at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science facility.
A teacher examines skeletal remains at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science facility.

High school criminal justice instructors got a reality check on various aspects of crime during an annual training at the College of Criminal Justice.

Titled “Criminal Justice in Prime Time: Truths and Misconceptions in the Media,” the training was designed for teachers to dispel the myths about crime and the media, gangs, forensic DNA, women in criminal justice, capital punishment, skeletal remains, and photography. The two-day training, which included 46 teachers from across the state, also provided ready-made lessons for their classrooms.

Make a Difference with Victim Studies

Illustration of an open door.

The Victim Studies Program at the College of Criminal Justice will hold an Open House on Oct. 25 to highlight the degree program, internships, the Crime Victims’ Institute and a student organization in the field.

Society of Forensic Science Meeting

Society of Forensic Science logo

Tue, Oct 23, 2012
5:30 PM
Chemistry and Forensic Science Building
Room 103

The Society of Forensic Science is a special interest group at SHSU, consisting of individuals who are interested in working together to expand and share their knowledge of Forensic Science. The society participates in various volunteer and fundraising activities throughout the year.

The guest speaker for the meeting will be Jason Schroeder, a Gun Residue Analyst from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science. Pizza and beverages will be served.

CJ College Adds Two New Student Organizations

Two new student organizations for graduate students and fraud examiners were launched this fall with roots in the College of Criminal Justice.

Real Talk w/CJ: NCIS Agent Chad Willie

Real Talk with CJ

Fri Oct 19, 2012
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Courtroom

Alumnus Chad Willie (BS '95) is a Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS.) He investigates felonies in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, such as rapes, death investigations, murders, computer crimes, child pornography, and fraud.

Bullying Has Long-Term Health Effects

Childhood bullying can lead to long term health consequences, including general and mental health issues, behavioral problems, eating disorders, smoking, alcohol use, and homelessness, a study by the Crime Victims’ Institute at Sam Houston State University found.

Bearkats Make the Grade as School District Police

Austin ISD Police Chief Eric Mendez watches over parents and students during a back to school event.
Austin ISD Police Chief Eric Mendez watches over parents and students during a back to school event.

At the Austin Independent School District, a half dozen Bearkats have made their careers in education.

Developing a Lab Test for Bath Salt Drugs

A vial of bath salts.

Sam Houston State University received a federal grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to create a test for bath salts for toxicological samples in crime labs.

Stalking Hits Home on SHSU Campus

Illustration of young woman looking nervously through blinds.

In December 2006, a 20-year old pre-nursing major at Sam Houston State University was shot to death in her off campus apartment by a fellow student who she had known since high school and briefly dated. She was a victim of stalking.

Alpha Phi Sigma Meeting


Wed, Oct 17, 2012
5:30 p.m.
CJava Cafe


Fighting Gangs in Houston, One Hot Spot at a Time

Officer Vento gives a presentation on Houston gangs to teachers.
Officer Vento has worked with prison and street gangs in Houston.

Officer Eric Vento has dedicated his short career to fighting gangs on the street as part of the Houston Police Department, and he would like to share his knowledge with prospective law enforcement officers in the future.

Webinar Expands Learning in the Corrections Field

The webinar was hosted by Doug Dretke of CMIT and moderated by Carey Welebob of TDCJ CJAD.
The webinar was hosted by Doug Dretke of CMIT and moderated by Carey Welebob of TDCJ CJAD.

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas hosted its first live broadcast on the Internet for adult probation officers to discuss ways to implement research-based practices in the field.

High School Criminal Justice Instructors Training


A teacher examines a skeleton at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility.
A teacher examines a skeleton at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility.

Oct 11 - 12, 2012
George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center

Criminal Justice in Prime Time
Truths & Misconceptions in the Media


Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice will once again host the annual seminar for Texas high school criminal justice instructors. Don't miss this opportunity to attend 1½ days that will provide professional training directly related to CJ subject field and special needs.

Real Talk w/CJ: Graduate and Law School

Real Talk with CJ

Tue Oct 9, 2012
3:00 pm - 4:00pm
CJ Cafe (CJava)

Get tips on how to get into law school or graduate school from faculty members at Sam Houston State University at the next Real Talk w/CJ.

Dr. Kelly E. Knight, an assistant professor at the College of Criminal Justice, and Mike Yawn, pre-law advisor at SHSU, will provide an overview of what you need to know to pursue advanced degrees. There are basically three routes to choose in graduate education – law school, academic research and teaching or professional advancement.

Society of Forensic Science Meeting

Society of Forensic Science logo

Tue, Dec. 3, 2013
5:30 PM
Chemistry and Forensic Science Building
Room 103

The Society of Forensic Science is a special interest group at SHSU, consisting of individuals who are interested in working together to expand and share their knowledge of Forensic Science. The society participates in various volunteer and fundraising activities throughout the year.

The guest speaker for the meeting will be Dr. Jeff Walterscheid, Forensic Toxicologist from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science. Pizza and beverages will be served.

Phi Alpha Delta General Meeting

Phi Alpha Delta logo

Mon, Oct 8, 2012
5 p.m.
Lowman Student Center
Room 319

Alpha Phi Sigma Meeting


Wed, Oct 3, 2012
5:30 p.m.
CJava Cafe


Female Law Enforcement Executives Continue LIFE’s Lessons

Female officers stands in front of an American flag.

The Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT), through its Professional Development Program (PDP), is expanding opportunities for current and future female law enforcement executives through a series of one-day seminars, an annual conference, and a newsletter.

Discover Careers in Corrections at New Web Site

A correction officer interviews an inmate outside prison doors.

A new web site was launched earlier this year to help the public discover the wide variety of careers available in corrections.

New Anti-Fraud Student Club Forming at SHSU


Tue, Oct 2, 2012
6:00 PM
Smith-Hutson Business Building, Room 341

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is starting a SHSU chapter for majors in Accounting/Finance, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Digital Forensics, MIS and Security Studies. Guest Speaker: Ryan Hubbs, Houston Area Chapter President and Forensic Audit Manager at Halliburton.

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