Alumni Update


Here is the latest news on alumni from the College of Criminal Justice and the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center.

Study Examines Victim Cooperation in Cases of Intimate Partner Sexual Assault

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Sexual assault incidents that involve intimate partners feature unique factors that affect a victim’s willingness to cooperate with police, including the relationship between the suspect and victim and law enforcement practices in investigating these crimes, according to a recent study.

College Awards Degrees to 300 in December

About 300 students graduated from the College of Criminal Justice in December, earning bachelor, master, and Ph.D. degrees in criminal justice, victim studies, and homeland security studies.

Dr. Tasca Earns Prestigious National Institute of Justice Award

NIJ Fellowship

Dr. Melinda Tasca received the W.E.B. Fellowship to study the use of restrictive housing in corrections.

Dr. Melinda Tasca received the prestigious W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship from the National Institute of Justice to investigate racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in the use of restrictive housing in correctional facilities.

Dr. Buzzini Pinpoints Investigative Tool for Counterfeit Bills

Counterfeit Research

Dr. Patrick Buzzini is working with the Secret Service to develop a new investigative tool to trace counterfeit bills.

Dr. Patrick Buzzini of the Department of Forensic Science received a National Institute of Justice grant to develop chemical signatures for counterfeit currency or questioned documents produced with inkjet printers that can help lead investigator back to the source. Dr. Buzzini is collaborating with the U.S. Secret Service on the project.

Weekends are Designed for Learning Leadership in CJ College

Weekend Program

Law enforcement professionals can advance their careers with a weekend master’s program.

In the Dean’s Suite at the College of Criminal Justice is a plaque bearing a motto from noted leadership author James Maxwell, “A leader who produces other leaders multiplies the effect.” It is a gift from the latest graduating class of the master of Criminal Justice Leadership and Management weekend program.

Alumna Finds Niche at Child Protective Services

Victim Services

Alumna Melissa Brod found her niche in helping abused children find safe homes.

Melissa Brod (’92) originally wanted to be a probation officer after graduating from Sam Houston State University, but she discovered a more rewarding way to practice criminal justice.

Dr. del Carmen Awarded Honorary Degree in The Philippines

International

Dr. Rolando del Carmen was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in laws from Silliman University, his alma mater in the Philippines.

Dr. Rolando del Carmen was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in laws from his alma mater in The Philippines in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the legal field.

“President” De La Garza Returns to Washington

Internships

Sophomore Jordan De La Garza is participating in inaugural activities in Washington, D.C. with the Envision program.

Sophomore Jordan De La Garza already served once as President in Washington, D.C., and in January he hopes to return for a second term.

Scholarship Dedicated in Service to Others

Scholarship

Alumnus Sgt. 1st Class Todd Gibb continues his dedication to service through a scholarship at the College.

Sgt. 1st Class Todd Gibbs continues to give back to his alma mater and country long after a roadside bomb took his life in Iraq in Dec. 7, 2004.

Study Assesses Elder Abuse Training in Texas

Research

A study by Dr. Victoria Titterington found a lack of training on elder abuse issues among Texas law enforcement officers.

Law enforcement officers are often the first to respond to and investigate suspected cases of elder abuse, but nine out of 10 officers receive no training on how to handle these cases, according to a study by the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) at Sam Houston State University.

What's Your Story? Criminal Justice Panel

Career Services

Criminal justice professionals, include FBI, US Marshal, Juvenile Probation and Texas Game Warden, discuss career options in the field on 11/16.

What’s Your Story?
Criminal Justice Panel
Wed, Nov 16

3:00 – 4:30pm
CJ Courtroom

Career Services at Sam Houston State University will present a panel of Criminal Justice professionals during “What’s Your Story?,” a week-long series designed to introduce students to careers available in the field. Other panels target jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; Business; and Education.
The Criminal Justice Panel will include:

  • Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Garmon
  • Texas Game Warden Dornell Crist
  • Jill Saumell, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer at Walker County Juvenile Services
  • Adam Hitt, Staff Operations Specialist for the FBI Houston, Multi-Agency Gang Task Force

The panelists will focus on sharing their stories about how they found their professions and the lessons they learned along the way.

For more information, contact Career Services at (936) 294-1713.



Students Earn Best of the Midwest in Research Papers

An undergraduate and a graduate student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology recently won outstanding student paper awards from the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association.

For the Love of Research in Forensic Science

New Faculty

Dr. Madeleine Swortwood worked for the Food and Drug Administration and the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office before joining SHSU.


Dr. Madeleine Swortwood grew up wanting to be a lawyer and a doctor. She found the best of both worlds in forensic science.

Bearkat Takes Crime Stoppers to the State

Crime Stoppers

Former Bearkat Steven Squier recently was named to the Texas Crime Stoppers Council.



Former Bearkat Steven Squier wears many hats in Montgomery County.

On the Frontline of Homeland Security Planning

Security Studies

The new Director of Security Studies, Dr. Nadav Morag, has been at the center of homeland security planning in the U.S. and Israel.

Throughout his career, Dr. Nadav Morag has been heavily engaged in counterterrorism and homeland security policy in the United States and Israel.

SHSU to Study Houston Police Response to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Victims

Research

SHSU to Study Houston Police Response to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Victims

Three researchers at Sam Houston State University will evaluate a new training initiative by the Houston Police Department designed to improve response to sexual assault and domestic violence victims.

100 Years of Criminal Justice Education

In 1916, then-Berkeley Police Chief August Vollmer started the first criminology program in higher education at the University of California to help develop expertise in policing. A hundred years later, criminal justice programs have become a mainstay on college campuses across the country and have helped professionalize the field.

Recent Publications -- Fall 2016

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

Stop Violence Against Women During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Victim Studies

Join us in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for the Clothesline Project Oct. 20 and 27 and for “Telling Amy’s Story” on Oct. 25.

The Clothesline Project
Oct. 20, 10am to 2pm (decorate)
Lowman Student Center Mall
Oct. 27, 9am to 2pm
Criminal Justice Center (display)

“Telling Amy’s Story”
Oct 25, 6 – 8pm
Lowman Student Center Theater

Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, Director of the National Institute of Justice

Special Presentation

Alumna Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, Director of the National Institute of Justice, will present “Following the Science: My Journey from Research to Policy and Practice” on Oct. 27.

Following the Science: My Journey from Research to Policy and Practice
Thu, Oct 27, 2016
6:30pm
Performing Arts Center, Recital Hall

Alumni Keep Roads Safe in Brazos County

Alumni Keep Roads Safe in Brazos County

2 Sam Houston alumni were at the forefront of training local officers how to detect drug use among those they encounter on the roads

When a K2 epidemic hit the Bryan-College Station area in 2014, two Sam Houston alumni were at the forefront of training local officers how to detect drug use among those they encounter on the roads.

Educating Foreign Companies in U.S. on Homeland Security


Two faculty members from the Department of Security Studies recently helped an international company with offices in Houston to understand better Homeland Security issues and emergency management practices in the United States.

Fellowships Pave Way to Research in Forensics, CJ

Fellowship

Three graduate students, Stephanie Basiliere, Cassie Mayes and Meghan Mitchell, received prestigious federal fellowships.

Three doctoral students in the College of Criminal Justice received fellowships to pursue research in their fields.

A Father/Son Reunion at the CJ Center

A Father/Son Reunion at the CJ Center

Cody Leach is literally following in his father’s footstep in the College of Criminal Justice

Cody Leach is literally following in his father’s footstep in the College of Criminal Justice, using a part-time position at the Criminal Justice Center to make valuable contacts for his career.

Training New Law Enforcement Recruits

Training New Law Enforcement Recruits

100 percent of the graduates of the Police Academy at McLennan Community College in Waco have passed the state test to become certified peace officers in Texas on their first try

Since its creation in 2004, 100 percent of the graduates of the Police Academy at McLennan Community College in Waco have passed the state test to become certified peace officers in Texas on their first try.

Real Talk w/CJ: U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command


Real Talk with CJ

Learn about a career in Crime Scene Investigation in the U.S. Army and how to start right after graduation

Tue, Oct. 18, 2016
2:00pm
CJ Courtroom

In the U.S. Army, special agents in the Criminal Investigation Command, commonly referred to as CID, serve as detectives and crime scene investigators on felony-level crimes related to the U.S. Army.

Same-Sex Couples Face Higher Abuse Rates, Fewer Services

Research

A study published by the Crime Victims’ Institute found same-sex couples face higher abuse rates and few services.


The prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) is higher among sexual minority men and women (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer) than rates reported for heterosexuals, but there are fewer resources dedicated to the unique needs of these populations, according to a review published recently by the Crime Victims’ Institute.

Be a Voice for Victims

Victim Studies Career Fair

Become a voice for victims and find a job at the Victim Studies Career Fair on Nov. 3 in the CJ Lobby.

Victim Studies Career Fair
Thu, Nov 3

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
CJ Lobby

Real Talk w/CJ: Mike Coates, STP Nuclear Operating Company

Real Talk

Learn more about protecting the nuclear industry from terrorism, natural disasters, and cyberattacks from Mike Coates of STP Nuclear Operating Co. on Sept. 22.


Thu, Sep 22, 2016
2:00pm
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Beto Chair Lecture: Dr. Ami Pedahzur

Beto Chair Lecture: Dr. Ami Pedahzur

The Next Steps in the Quest for Understanding Terrorism

Beto Chair Lecture Series
The Next Steps in the Quest for Understanding Terrorism
Fri Oct 29, 2016
11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Prison Visitation Linked to Reduction in Recidivism, Study Shows

Inmates who received prison visitation were less likely to re-offend after release when compared to offenders who did not receive visits, according to a meta-analysis study by researchers at Sam Houston State University.

Teaching Community Policing Abroad

International Policing

Dr. Phillip Lyons teaches community policing to officers in Central America to combat gang violence.

For the last seven years, Dr. Phillip Lyons has been working with law enforcement officers in Central America to teach them the basics of community policing as a strategy in their efforts to combat gang violence plaguing the region.

Dr. Menard Advances Criminal Justice Studies with Statistics

Dr. Scott Menard taught a lot of people to use statistics to address crime and victimization issues involving juvenile delinquency, mental health, socio-economic status, substance abuse, and false accusations, to name a few.

Student Awarded National Congressional Internship

Senior Alvin Casimere will be steeped in history this fall in the hallowed halls of Congress.

Impaired Driving Training Targets Remote Texas Counties


Law enforcement officers in remote areas of Texas will receive training on detecting drunk and drugged drivers through a special grant awarded to the Impaired Driving Initiatives program at Sam Houston State University.

Criminal Justice Welcome Week (Aug. 29 - Sept. 1)

Welcome Week

Join us for Welcome Week.
Faculty Meet and Greet
August 29, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
CJ Lobby

Movie Night "The Battle of Algiers" with Dr. Nadav Morag
August 30, 4:30 p.m.
CJ Courtroom

Student Organization Fair
August 31, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
CJ Lobby

Internships 101
September 1, 1 p.m.
CJ Courtroom

Welcome to the Fall 2016 semester!
CJ Welcome Week (August 29 – September 1)

CJ Advisor Finds Calling in Higher Education

Brian Howard has taken the University’s motto to heart throughout his academic career at Sam Houston State University and now he wants to pass that lesson on to current students at the College of Criminal Justice.

Immigration Status May Act as Protective Factor in Sentencing

Photo of Justin AmundsonOffenders with federal immigration detainers received significantly shorter sentences in state courts than those that did not face deportation, except in cases involving life or death sentences, researchers found.

College Graduates Nearly 250 at Summer Commencement

Nearly 250 students graduated from the College of Criminal Justice on Aug. 5, including an estimated 176 undergraduates and 67 graduate students. The Commencement Ceremony was held at The Woodlands Church Campus because of ongoing construction at the Johnson Coliseum.

Book Relives Glory Days of Texas Prison Rodeo

Book Talk

Dr. Mitchel Roth will read excerpts from Convict Cowboys: The Untold Story of the Texas Prison Rodeo at the Texas Prison Museum on Oct. 2 from 2-4 p.m.


Photo of Convict Cowboys: The Untold Story of the Texas Prison RodeoFor 55 years, Huntsville held, what was at one time the largest sporting event in the state, the Texas Prison Rodeo starring the most unlikely of sports heroes – Texas prison inmates.

Becoming a Texas Game Warden

Internship

Justin Amundson spent his summer working side-by-side with Texas Game Wardens in Harris and Waller counties.

Photo of Justin AmundsonOver the summer, Justin Amundson worked side by side with Texas Game Wardens on land and water.

STAFS Provides Hands-on Learning in Anthropology, Biology

Photo of Sierra SmithSierra Smith spent her summer at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Facility (STAFS) working with the deceased to help teach the living.

Witnessing the Practice of Law

Graciela Garcia said her textbooks and classroom lessons came to life this summer in the Walker County Courthouse.

Intern Protects Evidence at Freeport Police Department

Photo of Robert ParsleySenior Robert Parsley got an in-depth lesson in processing evidence during his internship with the Freeport Police Department.

Research Reveals Restorative Justice Reduces Recidivism

Research

A study by Dr. Jeffrey Bouffard found restorative justice programs are more effective in reducing recidivism than traditional court processing.

Photo of Dr. LyonsRestorative justice programs, such victim-offender mediation and community impact panels, are more effective in reducing recidivism rates among juvenile offenders than traditional court processing, a study by researchers at Sam Houston State University found.

Asian Policing Conference Returns to Huntsville

International Conference

The College hosted the annual Asian Association of Police Studies conference , which featured the latest research on policing issues in Asian nations.

This summer, the College of Criminal Justice hosted the 16th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Police Studies (AAPS), an international organization that advances scientific, practical, and professional knowledge concerning policing and crime control.

Study Explores Honor Crimes in the U.S.

Most so-called honor crimes in the U.S. occurred during the process of separation or because the victim had become too westernized, according to new research.

Education is Key to Success in Jails

Alumnus

Wayne Dicky, Jail Administrator in Brazos County, was named President of the American Jail Association.

Photo of Wayne DickeyAs the new President of the American Jail Association, Alumnus Wayne Dicky continues to stress the importance of ongoing education for jail professionals.

Forensic Science and Psychology Students Get Their Day in Court

Forensics and Law

Forensic science students got a lesson in providing testimony in the Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

Photo of Dr. Gaylene ArmstrongForensic science students had the opportunity to testify in moot court about their expanding expertise in the field.

Growing Up Trooper

Alumni News

Luke Scamardo ('15) achieved his dream of becoming a state trooper after graduating from DPS Academy..

Photo of Luke Anthony Scamardo Jr.When he was five, Luke Anthony Scamardo Jr.’s grandmother sewed him a uniform that looked just like his uncle Chris Clark, a Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper. He even sported a handmade utility belt with a pair of handcuffs donated by his mentor.

Twenty years later, Clark, now a Texas Ranger Lieutenant, pinned a badge on his nephew after he graduated from the DPS Academy. On July 9, Scamardo heads to his first assignment in Rio Grande along the Texas/Mexican border.
“I am looking forward to getting out on the road and putting my training to good use to help people,” said Scamardo, now a strapping young man of 6’8”, who towers over his uncle and his classmates.

SHSU Students Provide “Security” to Hospitalized Children

Security Studies

Graduates of the Security Studies program joined ASIS to provide teddy bears to children in Houston area hospitals..

Community Service

Security Studies graduates distributed teddy bears to children with cancer in Houston hospitals.

Graduates from the Department of Security Studies recently returned to assist with “Teddy Bears for Tots,” an ASIS-Houston Chapter initiative to purchase and distribute 1,000 stuffed animals to children in major hospitals throughout the Houston region.

College Welcomes Four New Faculty in Fall

Faculty

Four new faculty will join the College this fall in Forensic Science and Criminal Justice and Criminology..

Four new faculty members will join the College of Criminal Justice this fall, adding expertise in corrections, victim studies, and forensic science.

SHSU Study Tests Success of Hot Spot Deployments

Research

Dr. Larry Hoover and colleagues investigate success factors for hot spot policing.

Photo of hotspotHot spot policing is most successful in reducing street crimes in small area with the highest crime rates through long-term concentrated patrols, according to researchers at Sam Houston State University, College of Criminal Justice.

TDCJ Scholarship Winners Plan Future with State Agency

Scholarships

Two TDCJ supervisors hope to climb the ladder at the state agency with a scholarship from the College of Criminal Justice.

Misty Dowdell eventually would like to become a Warden or Director with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), while Adrienne Bailey hopes to improve her leadership skills, promote at the State Counsel for Offenders, and explore different areas of the agency.

Member of The Texas State University System