College Shines with University-Based Awards

awards night


Students and faculty from the College of Criminal Justice earned prestigious awards at Sam Houston State University.

Faculty and students from the College of Criminal Justice were recognized with special awards at the close of the Spring semester.

Phillip Lyons, Dean and Director of the College of Criminal Justice and the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center, earned one of four Sammys presented to students and faculty who best personify the University’s motto – “A measure of a life is its service.” Lyons received accolades for his effort to bring theory into practice at the College by founding a community policing institute; through his work with national police in El Salvador to address the country’s gang problems; and by receiving the inaugural David Payne Community Engagement Award at Sam Houston State University.

Several CJ students also were recognized at the Sammys for their outstanding contributions to the University. Among these were:

  • Nelda Sanchez, president of the Crime Victim Services Alliance, for Excellence in Service to the College of Criminal Justice
  • Xavier Perry, president of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, for Outstanding Junior Student Leader
  • Dylan McFarland, Texas State University System Student Regent, for the Creager Memorial Award
  • Lauren Sanchez, a member of Lambda Alpha Epsilon and a Security Studies Masters Student, for Outstanding Graduate/Doctoral Student

Ashley Boillot Fansher won the Outstanding Doctoral Teaching Fellow Award during Sam Houston State University’s Graduate Student Banquet. Fansher taught undergraduate class in Criminological Theory, Research Methods, Introduction to Criminal Justice, and Social Diversity. She also spent two weeks at the Zhejiang Police College, teaching a cohort of Chinese police cadets who will attend classes at SHSU as part of their studies.

Kayla McCarns was presented the Assam Scholarship for Honor Research Award at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. McCarns’ research focused on self control, self esteem and substance use. Her mentor on the project was Ph.D. Student Ashley Fansher.

At the College of Criminal Justice Honors Day, Fei Luo was presented Outstanding Dissertation for “Perceptions and Reality: Dimensions and Correlates of Public Attitudes toward the Police.” Fuo (Ph.D. 16) is currently an assistant professor at Texas A & M International University.

Among the faculty recognized at the College of Criminal Justice Honors Convocation were Jim Dozier, professor in the Department of Security Studies for Community Engagement; Sheree Hughes-Stamm , assistant professor in the Department of Forensic Science for Excellence in Research; Magdalena Denham, assistant professor in the Department of Security Studies for Service and Daniel Butler, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology for Teaching.

The awardees were selected based on letters of recommendation from faculty and staff, and awards were presented by Bill Wells, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Dozier was recognized for his leadership efforts in “bringing the university out to the community,” or to “build a bridge between the university and community.” This include Academic Community Engagement courses and community outreach.

Hughes-Stamm was selected for research impact and productivity in the practice of forensic science through publication in high impact journals and grants from prestigious funding organizations. Her research generates beneficial and impactful reforms or improvements in justice.

Denham was recognized for her extraordinary service to the College and the Department of Security Studies. Denham exemplify impactful and meaningful service to the college and/or department that is above and beyond expected and normal duties of a faculty member.

Finally, Butler received the Teaching Award for his high scores and completion rates on IDEA and for the courses he taught, especially those in writing enhanced courses.

Member of The Texas State University System