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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
Performing Arts Center, Recital Hall

Alumni Keep Roads Safe in Brazos County

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

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

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

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
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

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
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

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

Offenders 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

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.

For 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

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

STAFS Provides Hands-on Learning in Anthropology, Biology

Sierra Smith assisted with trainings and research during her internship at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility.

Smith, who hopes to pursue her Ph.D. in biology or anthropology, served as an intern at STAFS, one of only six body farms in the U.S. for the study of forensic anthropology. Over the summer, she aided law enforcement officers and teachers in crime scene investigation training; recovered and prepared human remains for use in forensic classes; and conducted research for a study on sharp force trauma, which she hopes to present at the American Academy of Forensic Science meeting in February.

“This internship is great,” said Smith. “I got hands-on experience that I could not have gotten in the classroom.”
Smith attended her first class at STAFS in her sophomore year at Sam Houston State University and soon was hooked. She has taken many more courses from STAFS Director Dr. Joan Bytheway.

“At first, it is really overwhelming,” said Smith. “There is a lot to learn. But I jumped in with both feet, and I love it.”

Smith assisted in recovering human remains, which are used in forensic classes and trainings, from the research field after skeletonization. To do so, Smith thoroughly cleared the of site of all vegetation and collected and photographed the bones. The bones can provide unique information on individuals, such as age, sex, height and ancestry, and often display pathologies or anomalies that were not previously known.

“It has been great for me and expanded my knowledge about the body donation program,” said Smith. “We have a large and diverse collection. It is great to see such diversity, and it is a great teaching tool. It is giving me hands-on experience. These are some of the things I may encounter in this field.”

STAFS is a willed-body donation facility which conducts research that can be used by professionals in the field to help solve criminal cases and to develop the skills of future crime scene investigators. The facility teaches undergraduate and graduate students how to conduct quality research, and present and publish results which may impact the medical, scientific, and judicial communities. STAFS also participates in interdisciplinary studies, collaborating with other departments at Sam Houston State University as well as other higher education institutions such as Texas A & M and the University of Houston.

Because of her internship, Smith is expected to graduate from Sam Houston State University in the Fall in just five semesters. She plans to enroll in a Ph.D. program at Texas A & M.

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

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

Research Reveals Restorative Justice Reduces Recidivism

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

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

As 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

Dr. Sparks Veasey, a Forensic Science professor in the College of Criminal Justice, a former prosecutor and current forensic pathologist, put masters’ student through the experience during an exercise in the courtroom at the Criminal Justice Center. Students studied crime lab reports in cases of a contested will with allegations of cyanide poisoning, a death in police custody, and others before taking the stand for realistic testimony.

“They have focused their education on science, but they know nothing about the court system,” said Dr. Veasey, who teaches Law and Forensic Science. “Those who go and work for the Texas Department of Public Safety or forensic science labs will probably be in court within two years. It is a daunting experience. We provide scenarios and put them on the stand under pressure.”

The course, Law and Forensic Science, provides an overview of the intersection of law and science. Students study the structure and hierarchy of the court system, legal concepts of admissibility of evidence and proof, rules of evidence, and expert testimony. At the end of the semester, students transform what they have learned in forensic science and apply it in the courtroom.

Dr. Veasey developed several cases based to some extent upon actual cases with relevant forensic and legal issue to test students on the witness stand. The cases included a contested will in which a beneficiary was charged with poisoning the deceased with cyanide, and wrongful death case involving a suspect who had drugs in his system and also was hogtied by police.

“I am not interested in getting them a grade,” said Dr. Veasey. “I want to put them under as much pressure as I can so they can be better when it is for real. I want them to learn and to have the experience. They are scientists, and they are not interested in law, but they need to know it to testify in court.”

Dr. Veasey grilled students about their educational backgrounds, payments for service, and facts presented in the reports. The students described the methods used to extract the sample, the equipment used to process the results, and the significance of the results. Dr. Veasey also cross examined the students about conflicting research or related studies on the topics at hand. Dr. Veasey stressed the need to be up-to-date on the research in the area and to know the case law to anticipate what the lawyer will ask and how the court may rule.

In addition, Dr. Veasey used mock jurors to provide feedback to students on the quality of the testimony and how well it could be understood by the general public.

Dr. Veasey provided students with important tips on how to be more effective as witnesses in court, including dressing professionally, looking at jury members, being objective, and avoiding laughter. “Laughter is the kiss of death,” said Veasey. As a former medical examiner, he also cautioned students about false positives for some of their findings as well as practical tips that may provide clues in certain cases.

Dr. Veasey participates in a similar training for Ph.D. students in the forensic psychology program. After a semester learning and practicing forensic assessment in a 21-county area with Dr. Mary Alice Conroy, students in clinical psychology learn how to testify in court about their cases. Using real case studies from the field, students face prosecutors and defense attorneys in criminal hearings, such as competency to stand trial, sanity at the time of the offense, fitness to proceed, responsibility for conduct, waiver of juveniles to adult court, violence risk, or competence for execution.

“It a great experience, and it is a rite of passage,” said Dr. Conroy.

Growing Up Trooper

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

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

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

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

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.

Ph.D. Grads Spread Influence in Thailand

The College of Criminal Justice has an international reputation in law enforcement and perhaps nowhere is it more influential than in Thailand.

Doctoral Student/Faculty Earn Awards from Graduate Studies

A Ph.D. graduate and a faculty member from the College of Criminal Justice were recognized for an outstanding dissertation and faculty mentorship, respectively, by the Office of Graduate Studies at Sam Houston State University.

Alumnus Helps Build School District Police Force

After serving as a police officer in Jacksonville and Police Chief in Brownfield and Cockrell Hill, Alumnus Bill Avera “retired” to help start a police department for the Dallas Independent School District (DISD).

Putting Out Potential Fires in Huntsville

More than 100 smoke detectors were installed to protect families in low-income neighborhoods in Huntsville thanks to a volunteer effort by Bearkats coordinated by graduate students in the Master of Homeland Security program.

Lessons Learned from Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits

Criminal justice agencies need to be prepared to follow up on sexual assault cases with a victim-centered approach to improve responses to these crimes in their communities, according to research findings from Sam Houston State University.

Organizing and Assisting Criminal Cases for Trial

As a Criminal Investigator with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Alumnus Paul B. Smithers’ job is to organize and assist prosecutors with cases set for trial. The criminal investigator is a support staff member for the assigned prosecutor.

Measuring Homeland Security Risks

Researchers have validated a new risk assessment tool that can be used by the Department of Homeland Security to help evaluate decisions and priorities in natural disasters, terrorist events, and major accidents.

Recent Publications

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

Alumni Updates

Special Agent for the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, and Judge David J. Dacyczyn of Berkshire County (MA) Probate and Family Court, were among the first to be instated into the Westfield State Criminal Justice Hall of Fame.

Rosenberg Police Detective Sun Erazo, a graduate of the Leadership Command College at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Institute of Texas, recently traveled to China as part of the International Professional Police Exchange.

Lt. Andy Harvey of the Dallas Police Department recently instructed the Hot Springs Police Department on procedural justice.

Alumnus Rand Henderson of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was named Public Servant of the Quarter by the Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce.

Alumna Martha Montalvo was named Interim Chief of the Houston Police Department.

Alumnus Kenneth Shields, a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper, teaches crash investigations at the McLennan Community College Law Enforcement Academy.

Alumnus Mike Sullivan, Police Chief in Farmerville, recently celebrated 30 years in law enforcement. .

Alumna Cpl. Lindsay Waychoff was named Officer of the Month for the Odessa Police Department in February.

Aiding Immigrants Facing Deportation

Emma Cantu is an immigration attorney who assists clients facing deportation from the United States.

Finding a Port of Call

After 25 years in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), Richard Jordan retired to take on his next challenge – helping to shape the future of one of the largest ports in the United States.

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.

ACE Students Serve as Eyes and Ears for Montgomery County Court

Students at Sam Houston State University already are serving and protecting vulnerable populations in Montgomery County.

Study Finds Lack of Uniformity on Laws Protecting Child Witnesses

Each year, more than 100,000 children take the stand to testify in criminal, civil or juvenile courts, but legal protections for these underage witnesses and victims greatly vary from state to state.

Call for Papers for International Conference at SHSU

This summer, the College of Criminal Justice will host an international conference, and students and faculty are invited to submit papers for consideration.

Ph.D. Student Wins National Research Paper Scholarship

A first year Ph.D. student was presented a national student paper award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Corrections Section, which was named in honor of a Sam Houston State University alumna who served as chair of the division.

Undergrad on the Fast Track to Research

Three criminal justice undergraduate students will spend the summer working on a new assessment tool for use with sex offendersto measure attitudes and beliefs about women.

Recognizing Our Finest at the College of Criminal Justice

The College of Criminal Justice will pay tribute to its finest – both past and present students – on Honors Day, Thursday, April 28.

Book Talk: Dr. Nathan Jones on Mexican Drug Cartels

Book Talk

Dr. Nathan Jones will discuss his new book on drug cartels and government interventions in the Mexican drug trade on April 27th.
Photo of Dr. Nathan JonesBook Talk: Dr. Nathan Jones, Department of Security Studies
Mexico’s Illicit Drug Networks and the State Reaction
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
CJ Lobby

Dr. Nathan Jones of the Department of Security Studies recently published his first book based on his dissertation research on drug cartels and government interventions in the drug trade in Mexico.

About 450 Students Graduate from College in Spring 2016

Three new Ph.D. graduates were added to the roster of doctoral alumni from the College of Criminal Justice during this year’s CJ Commencement Ceremony.

Report Recommends Ways to Break the Cycle of Domestic Violence

Victims of domestic violence are hindered from leaving their abusers by internal and external factors, including the response of the criminal justice system, fear, perceived control, and self-esteem, according to the latest report from the Crime Victims’ Institute.

Faculty Recognized by SHSU, College

Dr. Larry Hoover, a longtime faculty member at the College of Criminal Justice and Director of the Police Research Center (PRC), was named a Distinguished Professor for his outstanding contributions to Sam Houston State University and the criminal justice field.

Managing Security Around the Globe

Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, many American corporations began scrambling to find new ways to protect their employees and facilities from harm.

College Launches Homeland Security Minor

A minor in Homeland Security Studies will be available for undergraduate students beginning in the Fall.

What Would Lady Justice Do?

What Would Lady Justice Do?
Sat, Apr 23, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Lowman Student Center Theatre

The National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice will host a mini conference entitled “What Would Lady Justice Do?” to explore how justice is implemented throughout the criminal justice system.

National Defense University Provides Insider Post for Washington Politics

A lifelong resident of Texas, Krystal Cox is spending her internship in Washington, D.C., getting an insider’s view of politics as a research assistant at the National Defense University.

Real Talk w/CJ: Linsley Rivas, St. Jerome’s Home for Children

Real Talk w/CJ

Lead Case Manager Linsley Rivas of St. Jerome’s Home for Children will discuss serving unaccompanied refugee youth who come to the U.S. to escape war, poverty and neglect.

Tue, Apr 19, 2016
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Unaccompanied refugee youth from around the world come to St. Jerome’s Home for Children in the Houston region to find a nurturing environment away from war, poverty, and neglect.

Making a Positive Step to Assist Juveniles

Senior Tonya McClinton took a positive step toward her future career during her internship this spring.

Bath Salts Difficult to Detect in Biological Samples

Synthetic cathinones or “Bath salts” continue to be popular among recreational drug users and a new study funded by the National Institute of Justice at Sam Houston State University highlights the challenges associated with the detection of these drugs in biological evidence.

Youth Animal Abuse Linked to Serious Offending, Drug Abuse

Abusing animals during youth is a strong predictor for future problem behaviors, including serious offending, marijuana use, other drug use, and deviant beliefs, according to a recent study at Sam Houston State University.

Campuses Need Safety Planning to Protect Abuse Victims, Study Finds

With up to half of college students experiencing abuse by an intimate partner at least once during their college careers, safety planning should be added to prevention and education programs in higher education, according to a research brief by the Crime Victims’ Institute.

Linking Practitioners to Education and Research

Dr. Randy Garner was appointed as Director of the Division of Professional Justice Studies to link practitioners in various aspects of the criminal justice field with educational and research opportunities available at the College of Criminal Justice.

Dr. Kelling To Offer Insight on “Broken Windows” Police Practices

Logos for STAFSOne of the fathers of “broken windows” policing will present the Dr. Larry Hoover Distinguished Lecture Series for professionals in the field at the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) on Feb. 16.

Beto Chair Lecture: Dr. John Paul Wright, University of Cincinnati

Beto Lecture

Dr. John Paul Wright of the University of Cincinnati will discuss the role of ideology in crime and criminal justice on March 18.

Photo of Dr. John Paul Wright

Beto Chair Lecture: Dr. John Paul Wright, University of Cincinnati
“The Crime Delusion: Ideology in the Study of Crime and Justice”
Fri, Mar 18, 2016
9:30 a.m.
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Dr. John Paul Wright, a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, is a leading scholar in the field of biosocial criminology. His most recent book, Conservative Criminology: A Call to Restore Balance to the Social Sciences, encourages debate on the proper role of ideology in academics and public policy in the field.

Law Enforcement Fitness and Performance

Law Enforcement Fitness

Get tips on fitness and performance during a special presentation by Lt. Greg Davis of the Department of Public Safety.

Special Presentation: Law Enforcement Fitness and Performance
with Lt. Greg Davis, Fitness Wellness Coordinator, DPS
Tue, Mar 15, 2016
CJ Courtroom

The majority of law enforcement agencies require physical fitness tests as part of their job application process and some agencies, like the state of Texas, require all commissioned officers to pass ongoing fitness assessments to remain on the job.

Real Talk w/CJ: Immigration Attorney Emma Cantu

Real Talk w/CJ

Houston Attorney Emma Cantu will discuss immigration law and people facing deportation after fleeing gang violence and poverty in their homelands on April 5.

Emma CantuTue, Apr 5, 2016
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Emma Cantu is an immigration attorney who assists clients facing deportation from the United States.

Online CJ Grad Program Ranks #3 in Nation

Top Online Program

The College of Criminal Justice’s online graduate program is ranked third in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The online graduate program in Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University advanced to third best in the country in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.

Forensic Botany Uses Plant DNA to Trace Crimes

Forensic Botany

Dr. David Gangitano is taking the lead in a new field of forensic science with his research on marijuana and plant pollen.

Sam Houston State University is advancing the field of forensic botany with the publication of two recent studies that use marijuana DNA to link drug supplies and pollen DNA to aid in forensic investigations.

On the Way to Washington To Advocate for Foster Kids

National Internship

Junior Ivy-Marie Washington was awarded one of 12 Congressional internship to advocate for foster children in the nation’s capital.

Logos for STAFSIvy-Marie Washington grew up in the Texas foster care system, but she is far from a statistic. This summer, she is on her way to Washington, D.C. to tell members of Congress how they can improve the foster care system for other youth.

Real Talk w/CJ: Marty Elkins, DPS Victim and Employee Support Services

Real Talk w/CJ: Marty Elkins, Victim and Employee Support Services
Tues, Feb. 16
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

In 2009, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) implemented an innovative training program to protect children from exploitation on the road.

Dr. Vaughn Selected as the 2016 Fellow for ACJS

A Great Fellow

Dr. Michael Vaughn recently earned a top honor in the field: becoming a Fellow for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Logos for STAFSDr. Michael S. Vaughn of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, a Sam Houston State University Ph.D. Alumnus, was named a Fellow by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), a prestigious honor bestowed upon only three other faculty in the College of Criminal Justice over the 35-year history of the award.

Get Ready for the CJ Career Fair on March 2

Career Fair

Get ready for the 2016 CJ Career Fair with more than 50 agencies in law enforcement, corrections, victim services and private security.

The annual CJ Career Fair will be held on March 2 to introduce students and alumni to diverse job opportunities in the field and potential employers in federal, state and local agencies; non-profit organizations; and private industry.

Alumna Named First Beto Scholar in 20 Years

Beto Scholar

Alumnus Dr. Bitna Kim is the first Beto Chair Scholar in Residence in 20 years and will spend the spring semester teaching, lecturing and conducting research.

Logos for STAFSDr. Bitna Kim, a 2008 Ph.D. graduate, returned to Sam Houston State University this spring as the first Beto Chair Scholar in Residence in the College in about 20 years. Dr. Kim will teach graduate students, provide lectures, and update research on a collaborative program between law enforcement and community corrections.

Criminal Justice Leaders Identify Barriers for Veterans

Representatives from the Texas criminal justice system recently gathered at Sam Houston State University to brainstorm solutions for justice-involved veterans.

College Graduates 275 CJ Majors in December

About 275 criminal justice majors graduated from Sam Houston State University on Dec. 11, including one new Ph.D. and 25 masters’ students.

Project EnCriPT Offers Environmental Training in Northwest

Project EnCriPT recently took its program on the road to Missoula, Montana to train tribal, state, and local officials on environmental and wildlife enforcement.

Campus Responses to Sexual Assaults, Violence

Campus Sexual Assault

The Crime Victims’ Institute looks at official responses to sexual assaults on college campuses.

To address concerns over sexual violence on college campuses, higher education institutions are required to appoint a Title IX Coordinator to investigate incidents, but few are trained to deal with the broad range of offenses the job entails, a study by the Crime Victims’ Institute (CVI) found.

Professionals Gather to Aid Justice-Involved Veterans

Representatives from the Texas criminal justice system recently gathered at Sam Houston State University to brainstorm solutions for justice-involved veterans.

Can Prison Visitation Reduce Recidivism?

A study funded by the National Science Foundation will explore if prison visitation can help reduce recidivism rates and whether there are gender, racial, and ethnic differences in these patterns.

Optimizing DNA Testing in Missing Person Cases

Missing Persons

Sheree Hughes-Stamm is investigating a new method to extract DNA from decomposed or skeletal remains.

Sam Houston State University (SHSU) was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to develop and test the best possible sample preparation methods for skeletal and decomposing human remains using emerging next generation DNA technology to identify missing persons or victims of mass disasters.

Alumnus Is Banking on a Successful Career

Logos for STAFSAlumnus Wayne Gonzales has spent his career in the banking and financial industries, mostly recently protecting a payment processing firm from internal and external risks.

Alumna Finds Career at International Law Firm

Practicing Law

Alumna Ayomide Shittu achieved her dream by getting a job in a top Houston law firm.

Logos for STAFSAfter graduating from law school in May, Alumna Ayomide Shittu landed her dream job at Thompson & Knight LLC, an international law firm with 11 offices worldwide.

Reflecting on Enrique's Journey

Logos for STAFSFor Claudia Pasantes, this year’s Common Reader – Enrique’s Journey – hit home. Pasantes experienced her own journey from Mexico to the U.S., which led to a long separation from her father.

ACE and Aging: How Students and Elders Help One Another

Protecting Seniors

Dr. Victoria Titterington is bridging the gap between seniors and students in her criminal justice ACE course.

Logos for STAFSAs part of his class on Aging, Crime and Victimization, senior student Daniel Vazquez recently spent time teaching residents of a senior living facility how to prepare for emergencies using a bingo game.

Intern Aids Law Enforcement in Tracking Fugitives

Logos for STAFSJessica Spencer helped law enforcement officers across Texas keep track of parolees in their communities as part of her internship with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Office of Inspector General.

Working To Become a U.S. Marshal

During his internship with the U.S. Marshals Service, Kadeem Pickett observed the seizure of a cargo ship, the disassembly of approximately 300 guns and 100 cell phones devices, training with the explosive detection canine, and the process that goes into serving civil subpoenas, summons, writs of garnishment, and student loan warrants.

Ph.D. Students Earn Fellowships from NIJ

Forensic Fellows

Three students in the Department of Forensic Science earn Fellowships from the National Institute of Justice in the first year of the Ph.D. program.

In the first year of the Ph.D. program in Forensic Science at Sam Houston State University, three students received National Institute of Justice Fellowship grants to develop new techniques to preserve DNA in tissues and speed up the identification process, for DNA-based identification of marijuana, and for designer drug identification in crime labs.

Real Talk w/CJ: Capt. Kyle Matheson, DPS Criminal Investigation Division

Wed, Jan. 27, 2016
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Human trafficking is one of the most lucrative criminal enterprise nationwide, second only to drugs, and Houston is a hub of activity in sexual exploitation, with domestic and international victims that include children and adults, men and women.

Recent Publications

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

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