New Chairs Appointed in CJ and Crim, Security Studies

New Chairs were appointed to lead the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and the Department of Security Studies at Sam Houston State University.

Dr. William Wells will head the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, the largest program at the College of Criminal Justice which encompasses undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice and victim studies. Dr. Nadav Morag will oversee the Department of Security Studies, which offers a master’s in homeland security, graduate certificates in critical infrastructure protection and emergency management, and an undergraduate minor in homeland security.

“Dr. Morag is very well established in the field of Security Studies, and we are pleased to welcome him on board,” said Dr. Phillip Lyons, Dean of the College of Criminal Justice and Director of the Criminal Justice Center. “We are confident his leadership will help propel the department forward.”

Dr. Wells currently is the Director of Research at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) and serves as a professor in the College of Criminal Justice. Wells joined the faculty in 2007 and specializes in research on police practices to prevent and reduce crime, police use of forensic evidence, and criminal justice responses to gun crimes. His recent published research has appeared in such journals as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Injury Prevention, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency, and Justice Quarterly.

During his time at LEMT, Dr. Wells led two studies that earned widespread attention, including a project funded by the National Institute of Justice to study and respond to unanalyzed sexual assault kits at the Houston Police Department and an experiment that tested different methods of administering photo spreads and lineups to witnesses. The experiment received the Gold Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement Research from the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
During his career, Dr. Wells has participated in externally-funded research exceeding $1 million. In 2008, he served as President of the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association.

Before joining SHSU, Dr. Wells worked for eight years in the Center for the Study of Crime, Delinquency, and Corrections at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, serving as Interim Director and Graduate Program Director. While in Illinois, he evaluated programs for law enforcement emergency care for people with mentally illness and community policing. He will begin as Chair in July.

“I am confident that Bill Wells’ leadership will serve to maintain the department’s ranking not only within the field but also in the hearts and minds of our other stakeholders: our graduate and undergraduate students, criminal justice agencies, alumni, and professional development participants,” said Dr. Phillip Lyons, Dean of the College of Criminal Justice.

Dr. Morag will join the College in the fall. He is currently on the faculty at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security, Naval Postgraduate School. In that capacity he teaches senior federal, state, and local homeland security officials selected and funded by the Department of Homeland Security in the Center’s Master’s and executive leadership programs. Dr. Morag previously served as University Dean of the College of Security Studies at Colorado Technical University.

Dr. Morag also previously served as a Senior Fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute at The George Washington University, and as a consultant to the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense. He was a Senior Fellow at the Homeland Security Management Institute at Long Island University and was a member of the Los Angeles and Orange County Sheriff’s Departments’ Homeland Security Advisory Council.
Dr. Morag also worked as a Senior Director for Domestic Policy, and subsequently as Senior Director for Foreign Policy at Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) in the Prime Minister’s Office, where he served as a senior advisor on national security policy for Israel’s Prime Minister. He also was a reserve officer in the Israeli Defense Force specializing in education, training, public affairs, media relations and strategic communications.

Dr. Morag has published extensively on topics relating to terrorism, homeland security, Middle East security, and nationalism. He also authored Comparative Homeland Security: Global Lessons, a textbook on international comparative homeland security and he serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Homeland Security Education and The Homeland Defense and Civil Support Journal.

“Dr. Morag’s wealth of experience not only provides him with a depth of understanding rarely seen in the field, but also positions him well to help our student see the big picture in Security Studies,” Dr. Lyons said.

Member of The Texas State University System