News

Department News, Fall 2018

  • Two new faculty members joined our Department this semester:
    • Dr. Andia Azimi earned her PH.D. from Georgia State University in 2018. Professor Azimi's expertise is in sexual victimization, child maltreatment, and consequences of experiencing victimization.
    • Dr. Jason Ingram earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2010. Professor Ingram's research interests include police culture, use of force policy and practice, and police supervision.
  • 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. Eric Connolly, undergraduate students Makayla Mason and Camille Ingham, and doctoral student Xinting Wang will travel to Hangzhou, China this fall to collect survey data about Chinese police cadets ' knowledge of domestic violence.  Dr. Connolly and Dr. Brittany Hayes are leading this research effort.
  • Dr. Danielle Boisvert and Dr. Elisa Toman are part of the first cohort of faculty at SHSU to complete a national credential program on effective teaching practices. The credential program is offered through the Association of College and University Educators and SHSU is the first university in Texas to join this ACUE credentialing effort.
  • Dr. Mitch 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.
  • 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," which has been accepted for publication in Child Abuse and Neglect.
  • 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 serves approximately 3,000 Criminal Justice and Victims Studies undergraduate majors and each semester our course enrollments top 6,000.
    • Between Fall 2011 and Spring 2018, the number of undergraduate Criminal Justice and Victim Studies Majors increased 22%.
    • Compared to Fall 2017, student enrollments in our course sections in Fall 2018 grew by 5%.
  • 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)

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)

Department News, Spring 2018

  • This spring we welcome a new faculty member. Dr. Wyatt Brown is a Clinical Assistant Professor and will serve 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.
  • Two tenure-track assistant professors joined our Department in the Fall semester:
    • Dr. Eric Connolly earned his Ph.D. from Florida State University in 2014. Professor Connolly is a biosocial criminologist who studies antisocial behavior, development and life-course theories of crime, and gangs and gang-related behaviors.
    • Dr. Elisa Toman earned her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in 2017. Professor Toman’s expertise is in theories of punishment, trends in criminal sentencing, and inmates' experiences with the corrections system.
  • Dr. Brittany Hayes received the 2017 American Society of Criminology, Division of Victimology, Researcher of the Year Award.
  • Dr. Eryn O'Neal received the 2017 American Society of Criminology, Division of Women and Crime, New Scholar Award.
  • Dr. Hayes and Dr. O'Neal won the 2017 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Outstanding Paper Award and will be recognized at the 2018 ACJS conference in February. They co-authored a paper titled "The Effects of Individual- and National-Level Factors on Attitudes toward Child Maltreatment."
  • Dr. Ryan Randa received an Outstanding Mentor Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences for his work with students and colleagues. He will be recognized at the 2018 ACJS conference in February.
  • 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.
  • Dr. Lisa Muftić received a grant from the Children's Justice Act and Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas. She and her research team are measuring the prevalence of crimes committed against children that are reported directly to law enforcement that are not Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) involved.
  • Since Fall 2011, the number of undergraduate Criminal Justice and Victim Studies Majors increased 22%.
  • 737 undergraduate students earned their degrees from our Department in the 2016-2017 academic year.
  • During the 2016-2017 academic year, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology faculty supervised 65 Honors Contracts for undergraduate students in the SHSU Honor's College.
  • Ph.D. Alumnus, Dr. Patrick Brady, received this year’s New Scholar Award from the Victimology Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
  • In the 2016-2017 academic year, faculty in the Department applied for external research funding in the amount of $1.42 million. The proposed research included studies on suicide prevention in jails, stress among correctional officers, police responses to domestic violence, and an evaluation of court-based a prostitution prevention program.

Department News, Fall 2017

  • Two tenure-track assistant professors joined our Department this semester:
    • Dr. Eric Connolly earned his Ph.D. from Florida State University in 2014. Professor Connolly is a biosocial criminologist who studies antisocial behavior, development and life-course theories of crime, and gangs and gang-related behaviors.
    • Dr. Elisa Toman earned her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in 2017. Professor Toman’s expertise is in theories of punishment, trends in criminal sentencing, and inmates’ experiences with the corrections system.
  • Dr. Daniel Butler received the College of Criminal Justice Award for Excellence in Teaching for the 2016-2017 academic year.
  • Dr. Cortney Franklin was appointed Director of the Crime Victims Institute (CVI) at SHSU and Dr. Brittany Hayes was appointed to serve as Assistant Director of CVI
  • Dr. Erin Orrick was appointed Director of Research for the Correctional Management Institute of Texas at SHSU.
  • Dr. Mike Vaughn is collaborating with undergraduate students who will deliver research presentations at the Southwest Criminal Justice Association conference in Fort Worth.
  • Dr. Brandy Blasko served as a mentor to Criminal Justice student Cristal Hernandez, who is a McNair Scholar at SHSU. Ms. Hernandez will present her research at SHSU on September 21.
  • During the 2016-2017 academic year, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology faculty supervised 65 Honors Contracts for undergraduate students in the SHSU Honor's College.
  • Dr. Ling Ren and Doctoral Student Joshua Shadwick are collaborating with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office on a project to better understand prescription drug-related problems in Montgomery County.
  • Dr. Lisa Muftić and a team of graduate students are conducting a study to measure the prevalence of crimes committed against children that are reported directly to law enforcement that are not Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) involved. The project is being funded through grants from the Children’s Justice Act and Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas.
  • With funding from the National Institute of Justice, Dr. Yan Zhang presented research findings at the 2017 International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) conference. She also presented research findings at the 2016 IACA conference.
  • Ph.D. Alumnus, Dr. Kelly Damphousse, was recently appointed to the position of Chancellor of the Arkansas State University System.
  • In the 2016-2017 academic year, faculty in the Department applied for external research funding in the amount of $1.42 million. The proposed research included studies on suicide prevention in jails, stress among correctional officers, police responses to domestic violence, and an evaluation of court-based a prostitution prevention program.

Department News, Spring 2017

  • Two tenure-track assistant professors joined our Department this academic year:
    • Dr. Eryn O'Neal earned her Ph.D. from Arizona State University. Eryn's research interests include intimate partner sexual assault, arrest and charging decisions in sexual assault and intimate partner cases, and post-structural approaches in feminist theory.
    • Mr. Daniel Butler earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Daniel is engaged in cutting edge research related to administrative segregation and institutional and community corrections.
  • Drs. Brittany Hayes and Erin Orrick received 2017 ACJS and Sage Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Awards.
  • In February, Dr. Ling Ren started collaborating with the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office on a project to better understand prescription drug-related problems in Montgomery County.
  • This summer, Dr. Melinda Tasca, Dr. Daniel Butler, and a team of graduate students will begin research on correctional officer stress in TDCJ. This is part of a multi-state study led by Arizona State University and funded by the National Institute of Justice.
  • Dr. Lisa Muftić currently serves as the Survivors Acquiring Freedom & Empowerment (SAFE) Court Research Partner, a BJA funded smart prosecution diversion program for young adults arrested for misdemeanor prostitution (sellers) in Harris County.
  • Dr. Willard Oliver's most recent book, August Vollmer: The Father of American Policing, was published early this year by Carolina Academic Press.
  • Dr. Danielle Boisvert, in collaboration with faculty and students from across campus, is analyzing biological data from over 600 undergraduate students to study how biology and the environment interact to predict antisocial behaviors.
  • Dr. Ryan Randa continues his service as co-editor of the Journal of School Violence, which is published by Taylor & Francis.
  • In 2016, faculty in our Department published research findings in high-impact journals, including Crime & Delinquency, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Deviant Behavior, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Dr. Edward Maguire from Arizona State University will visit the Department in April to deliver a Beto Chair Lecture.
  • In February, Dr. Keramet Reiter from the University of California - Irvine delivered a guest lecture to faculty and students about her work on restrictive housing in Pelican Bay Prison in California.

Department News, Fall 2016

  • Two new tenure-track assistant professors joined our Department this semester:
    • Dr. Eryn O'Neal from Arizona State University. Eryn's research interests include intimate partner sexual assault, arrest and charging decisions in sexual assault and intimate partner cases, and post-structural approaches in feminist theory.
    • Mr. Daniel Butler from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Daniel is engaged in cutting edge research related to administrative segregation and institutional and community corrections.
  • Dr. Melinda Tasca learned this semester that she was awarded a W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship by the National Institute of Justice. Her study will examine the influence of race, ethnicity, and gender in restrictive housing decisions, a consequential form of punishment during incarceration.
  • Dr. Cortney Franklin is leading an effort, in collaboration with the Houston Police Department, to evaluate system-wide training designed to improve police responses to family violence and sexual assault.
  • Dr. Danielle Boisvert, in collaboration with faculty and students, is collecting various biological measures and genetic samples to study how biology and the environment interact to predict antisocial behaviors.
  • Dr. Yan Zhang presented research findings at the 2016 International Association of Crime Analysts conference.
  • Dr. Michael Vaughn was awarded the 2016 ACJS Academy Fellow Award.
  • Dr. Mitchell Roth published his 16th book, Convict Cowboys: The Untold History of the Texas Prison Rodeo.
  • NIJ Director Nancy Rodriguez (and SHSU alum) will visit the College of Criminal Justice in late October to meet with students, faculty, and administrators.
  • Meghan Mitchell, a 4th year Ph.D. student, was awarded a Bureau of Justice Statistics Graduate Research Fellowship to support her dissertation research which evaluates the implications of the convict code on prisoner misconduct, victimization, and attitudes related to reentry.
  • Alicia Jurek, a 2nd year Ph.D. student, won the 2016 outstanding graduate student paper competition at the Midwest Criminal Justice Association conference.
  • Nicole Niebuhr, a 2nd year Ph.D. student, won the 2016 ACJS Corrections Section's Dr. Kelly Cheeseman Student Paper Award.
  • Rachael Falgout, a senior Criminal Justice and Criminology major, won the outstanding undergraduate paper competition at the Midwest Criminal Justice Association conference.
  • Last year, the Department received over $1.8 million dollars of grant funding.
  • Many of our Ph.D. graduates are landing great jobs. Since 2010, six graduates of our Ph.D. program accepted jobs in Criminal Justice and/or Criminology departments that also offer a Ph.D.

Department News, Summer 2016

  • Last year, the Department received over $1.8 million dollars of grant funding.
  • Two new tenure-track assistant professors will be joining the Department in August 2016:
    • Mr. Daniel Butler from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Daniel is engaged in cutting edge research related to administrative segregation and institutional and community corrections.
    • Dr. Eryn O'Neal from Arizona State University. Eryn's research interests include intimate partner sexual assault, arrest and charging decisions in sexual assault and intimate partner cases, and post-structural approaches in feminist theory.
  • SHSU honored Dr. Larry Hoover with the title of Distinguished Professor. He is only the third faculty member from the College of Criminal Justice to receive this designation.
  • Dr. Michael Vaughn was awarded the 2016 ACJS Academy Fellow Award.
  • Dr. Lisa Muftić won the 2015 Faculty Researcher of the Year award from ASC's Division of Victimology.
  • Dr. Ryan Randa was appointed co-Editor of the Journal of School Violence.
  • Dr. Melinda Tasca was elected to the Executive Board of ASC's Division of Corrections and Sentencing.
  • Nicole Niebuhr, a 2nd year Ph.D. student, won the 2016 ACJS Corrections Section's Dr. Kelly Cheeseman Student Paper Award.
  • Alicia Jurek, a 2nd year Ph.D. student, was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Student Paper by the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association.
  • Many of our Ph.D. graduates are also landing great jobs. Since 2010, six graduates of our Ph.D. program accepted jobs in Criminal Justice and/or Criminology departments that also offer a Ph.D.

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