Two pillars of the Criminal Justice program at Sam Houston State University will retire at the end of the Spring semester.
Dr. Rolando del Carmen, considered one of the nation’s leading experts on criminal justice law, will retire after 38 years of service to SHSU. Dr. Glen Kercher, Director of the Crime Victims’ Institute, has been a professor at SHSU since 1970 and previously served at Coordinator of the Ph.D. Program and Director of Survey Research at the College of Criminal Justice.
The College will host a retirement reception for the two longtime professors on May 2 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Main Lobby of the Criminal Justice Center.
“The retirement of Professors del Carmen and Kercher is a real loss to the College and to SHSU,” said Dr. Vincent Webb, Dean of the College of Criminal Justice. “The value of their contributions will have lasting impact on the College and University and on hundreds of CJ alumni. Their impact goes beyond the students they have taught and includes the community, the profession, and the body of criminal justice scholarship. Their efforts are deeply appreciated and they will always be a part of the College of Criminal Justice.”
Dr. del Carmen accepts his Regent Professor Award in 2007.Dr. del Carmen has a long list of awards and honors for his work in the criminal justice field. In 2007, he was among the first Regent’s Professors at Sam Houston State University, a lifetime achievement given to tenured faculty members who have been acknowledge by their peers and administrators as exceptional. He also was one of 10 professors awarded the Piper Foundation Award in 1998 from among 99 nominees from various Texas colleges and universities. In 1995, he was named a Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice at the University in 1995.
“It has been high honor and a privilege for me to have worked in the College of Criminal Justice for most of my academic life,” said Dr. del Carmen. “I have truly enjoyed working at Sam Houston. Administrators (university and college), faculty colleagues, and staff have unfailingly been kind and supportive throughout the years. Above all, I have enjoyed my classroom and research work with students. It has been a great life for me and my family. Were I to do my academic career all over again, I would still choose to do it here. What a ride!”
“The College of Criminal Justice has had a great past,” del Carmen added. “With the current faculty, staff, and students, its future is secure and will be even greater. If I have a wish, it is that I hope the day will come when we will be known, unarguably and by consensus in the discipline, as the number one Criminal Justice program in the nation, bar none. With continued support from the State of Texas and current university administrators, that day will come. Best wishes in the years ahead.”
Dr. del Carmen holds five degrees, including the equivalent of a Ph.D. in Law (J.S.D. - Doctor of the Science of Jurisprudence) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; a Master of Laws from the University of California at Berkeley; a Master of Comparative Law from Southern Methodist University; and Bachelors of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Silliman University in the Philippines.
Dr. del Carmen is the recipient of three major awards from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, including the Founder’s Award (2005), the Fellow Award (1990) and the Bruce Smith Sr. Award (1997).
Dr. Kercher (top row, center) was honored in 2010 for 40 years of service to SHSU. Dr. Kercher has served as the Director of the Crime Victims Institute since 2004. An expert on sex offenders, Dr. Kercher was the Governor’s appointee to the Texas Council on Sex Offender Treatment and served as Chair of the Interagency Advisory Board to the Council on Sex Offender Treatment. He also is a practicing clinical psychologist and consultant and previously provided psychological services to Child Protective Services in Gulf Coast Region.
“I came to Sam Houston State University in large part because my research at the time was a good fit for the Criminal Justice Center,” said Dr. Kercher. “During my tenure here I have been blessed with the many associations I have made among our faculty and the opportunities for personal advancement. I am gratified if I have made contributions that benefit this institution and its students.“
"I look forward to retiring and enjoying the leisure of making my own schedule and pursuing some of the things I have had little opportunity to enjoy before,” Kercher added.
In the 1970s, Dr. Kercher served as the Coordinator of the Ph.D. program for the College of Criminal Justice and in the 1980s, he was Director of the Survey Research Program at the Criminal Justice Center. He has served on committees at SHSU for curriculum, protection of human subjects, library and several faculty committees
Dr. Kercher got his Ph.D. in Experimental/Personality Psychology from Baylor University and did Post-doctoral training in Counseling Psychology at Texas A & M University. He received a Master of General Psychology from Baylor and a Bachelor in Psychology from Wheaton College.