Dr. Kerrigan Appointed to National Board for Forensic Standards

Dr. Sarah Kerrigan
Dr. Sarah Kerrigan

Dr. Sarah Kerrigan, Chair of the Department of Forensic Science at Sam Houston State University, was appointed to a new national organization dedicated to developing standards and guidelines for the forensic science community to improve the scientific basis of evidence used in courts.

Alumnus Leads Fire/Explosive Investigations at ATF

Special Agent Billy Magalassi working a fire scene as part of the ATF National Response Team.Special Agent Billy Magalassi is a Certified Fire and Explosives Specialist with ATF.

As an ATF Agent in Oklahoma, Alumnus Billy Magalassi assisted in the investigation a woman and two children found dead in a trailer fire. After carefully piecing the case together, the evidence showed the woman was brutally stabbed to death by a boyfriend, her eight-year-old son was fatally wounded coming to her aid, and her six-year-old daughter was locked in a closet alive before the house was set on fire.

TDCJ Employees Advance Education with Scholarship

Capt. William Wheat of the TDCJ Beto Academy.
Capt. William Wheat of the TDCJ Beto Academy.

Like Dr. George J. Beto, one of the founders of the College of Criminal Justice, Capt. William Wheat wants to be an agent of change for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

Investigating Environmental Cases

Environmental in protective suits work on chemical drums in the field.

Instructors demonstrate how to test dangerous toxic substances.

For two days, the grounds of Sam Houston State University looked like the scene of an environmental disaster.

Leaking barrels littered the landscape. Mounds of garbage piled up on the pristine lawns. Glowing green liquid flowed into culverts. Men and women in protective suits or gloves picked through the scene, carrying away samples of water, soil and “toxic” materials.

STAFS Training: Forensic Entomology/Digital Forensics

Southest Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility logo

June 16-20, 2014

Location: STAFS

Identifying Fire Victims Through Teeth

Samantha Tippen studiesteeth to identify fire victims.
Tipton examines teeth in the lab.

To help identify fire victims from arsons, plane crashes, wildfires, terrorist attacks or genocide, a Master’s graduate from the Department of Forensic Science is investigating the use of teeth to extract DNA.

Alumnus Teeler Oversees Texas Game Wardens

Gary Teeler, Assistant Commander, Texas Game Warden
Gary Teeler, Assistant Commander, Texas Game Warden

Alumnus Gary Teeler began his career as a Texas Game Warden in the woods of Van Zandt County, a one-man station in the middle of Northeast Texas. Eighteen years later, he serves as Assistant Commander of the law enforcement arm of Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) Department, providing strategic planning and oversight for the division.

Online Bullying Creates Off-Line Fear at School

Teenaged boy sits over his computer, while a shadow with fists hovers over him.

Cyberbullying creates fear among students about being victimized at school, a recent study by Sam Houston State University found.

Forensic Faculty Achieve Top Certifications in Their Fields

Two faculty members in the Department of Forensic Science recently earned distinguished certifications in their respective fields.

Genes/Adversity Linked to Crime in Incarcerated Sample

Dr. Todd Armstrong studies the links between genes and crime.Dr. Todd Armstrong studies the links between genes and crime.

Researchers at Sam Houston State University have found a genetic characteristic that interacts with childhood adversity to predict higher rates of crime in an incarcerated sample.

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