Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Department Leadership Team

Dr. William Wells
      Department Chair

Dr. Danielle Boisvert
      Assistant Chair and Graduate Program Director

Dr. Eric Connolly
      Undergraduate Program Director

Ms. Melissa Hicks
      Department Staff Manager

Welcome to one of the highest ranked Criminal Justice and Criminology programs in the nation! Our Department is a national leader in criminal justice and criminology research and education.

In March 2016 our faculty were recognized as the most productive researchers in the United States. We publish our research in the leading criminal justice and criminology journals that influence practice and science. We also collaborate closely with criminal justice system agencies and community organizations on projects that improve the administration of justice and improve the quality of life in communities.

The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers several undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including B.S. and B.A. in Criminal Justice, B.S. and B.A. in Victim Studies, M.S. in Criminal Justice, M.A. in Criminal Justice and Criminology, M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management, M.S. in Victim Services Management, and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice. In early 2017 U.S. News and World Report ranked our on-line degree programs #1 in the United States.

Come study and collaborate with one of the leading groups of scholars in the United States. Our faculty have teaching and research expertise in victimology, criminology, policing, corrections, and legal issues.

Prospective Students
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Department News, Summer 2018

  • In the spring 2018 semester, we welcomed a new faculty member. Dr. Wyatt Brown is a Clinical Assistant Professor and serves as the Program Coordinator for our top-ranked M.S. On-Line graduate degree program. Dr. Brown earned his Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in 2016 and specializes in the study of inequalities relative to crime and punishment, and testing criminological theories.
  • Dr. Solomon Zhao is the recipient of the SHSU 2018 Faculty Excellence Award in Scholarly and Creative Accomplishments. This is the highest research distinction awarded by SHSU.
  • Dr. Brittany Hayes and Dr. Eryn O’Neal won the 2017 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Outstanding Paper Award and were recognized at the 2018 ACJS conference. They co-authored a paper titled “The Effects of Individual- and National-Level Factors on Attitudes toward Child Maltreatment.”
  • Dr. Mitchel P. Roth’s latest book, Fire in the Big House: The Forgotten Story of the Ohio Penitentiary Fire of 1930, America's Deadliest Prison Disaster and Its Aftermath, is in press and will be published by Ohio University Press. Fire in the Big House, with the fire as its centerpiece, explores the lives of convicts, corrections officers and the warden, the rise of the Big House prison, political patronage, prison violence, as well as penal history and reform in Ohio and America. It is also about much more, the fire’s causes and its human aftermath, stories of lives put at risk because of tightfisted economic and political decisions.
  • The CJ Bio Lab, a cross-disciplinary working group with faculty and students from various departments, is currently processing over 500 biological/genetic samples to examine the genetic and environmental influences on a variety of delinquent and criminal behaviors.
  • Dr. Holly Miller’s book about sexual crimes and offending is in press. Oxford University Press is publishing this important book that presents new research-based information about several misconceptions, myths, and unsubstantiated claims surrounding sexual offenders and their crimes. Be on the lookout for Sexual Offending: Research, Policy, and Practice.
  • Our Department continues to serve a large undergraduate student population. Since Fall 2011, the number of undergraduate Criminal Justice and Victim Studies Majors increased 22%.
  • Graduate student news:
    • Doctoral student Layne Dittman received the SHSU Outstanding Teaching Assistant award in the spring 2018 semester.
    • Doctoral student Ethan Marshall was runner-up in the spring 2018 SHSU 3-Minutes Thesis competition.
    • The following Ph.D. graduates will begin faculty appointments in Fall 2018:
      • Maisha Cooper (University of North Carolina - Charlotte)
      • Jia Di (Metropolitan State University of Denver)
      • Rick Lewis (University of Arkansas Little Rock)
      • Kallee McCullough (California State University Bakersfield)
      • Meghan Mitchell (University of Central Florida)
      • Jun Wu (Angelo State University)

. . . more

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