SHSU Faculty, Alumni Earn National Awards

Dr. Matt Nobles

Dr. Matt Nobles, Assistant Professor in the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University, recently received a 2011 SAGE Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Dr. Nobles is one of 10 criminal justice faculty members nationwide to be recognized for his “significant promise as a teacher.” It is the second consecutive year that a Sam Houston State University faculty member has been awarded this honor, which was also conferred upon Dr. Kate Fox in 2010.

In addition to Dr. Nobles, two other SHSU alumni received the SAGE Junior Faculty Professional Development Award. Among them are Dr. William C. Hale of Louisiana State University at Shreveport, who received his Ph.D. in 2005, and Dr. Tina L. Freiburger of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who earned her Master of Arts degree from SHSU in 2004.

To be eligible for the Professional Development Teaching Award, faculty members must have begun teaching full-time and received their most recent graduate degree within the last five years. The faculty members can teach at the associate, bachelor or Ph.D. degree level in a criminal justice or criminology program.

Awardees participated in a two-day teaching workshop at the conference in Toronto, which featured topics such as providing online learning, teaching theory and research methods, teaching large sections, exploring service learning and using different techniques to assess student performance.

In addition to receiving the Teaching Award, Nobles participated in two research projects, including “Non-response bias in web-based surveys of college students: A comparison of results across in-class and web-based surveys” and “Student support for concealed handguns on a university campus,” which were presented at the ACJS annual meeting this year. His general areas of interest include violent and interpersonal crimes, guns and gun policy, communities and crime, and quantitative methodology.

Sam Houston State University Criminal Justice faculty, graduate students and alumni were well-represented overall at ACJS in presentations, awards and service recognition. Current faculty and students participated in 46 research projects presented at the annual meeting and several SHSU alumni were given awards and recognized by the organization, one of the two largest international associations in the criminal justice field.

Dr. Leanne Fiftal Alarid of the University of Texas, San Antonio (SHSU class of ’96) was presented the Founder’s Award for her outstanding contribution to criminal justice education and the ACJS. Dr. Barbara Sims of Penn State Harrisburg (SHSU class of ’97) was named an ACJS Outstanding Mentor and was recognized for her significant contributions to the professional development of graduate students and junior faculty members in criminal justice.

The inaugural ACJS Minorities Mentorship Grant Award was presented to SHSU Ph.D. graduate Dr. Georgen Guerrero (SHSU class of ‘07) and her mentor Dr. Mitchell B. Chamlin of the University of Cincinnati. This award recognizes a mentoring relationship between new or junior faculty and senior faculty to enhance professional development for a productive criminal justice academic career. Sam Houston State University is a Doctoral Research University as classified by the Carnegie Commission on High Education.

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