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Criminal Justice Expands Specialties This Fall

Sept. 4, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Beth Kuhles

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The Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice has been reorganized into three new departments—criminal justice and criminology, forensic science, and security studies.

Erin A. Orrick
Lisa Renae Muftic
John David Payne
Jasmine Drake
Magdalena Denham
New faculty members in the College of Criminal Justice include (from top) Erin Orrick, Lisa Muftic, John Payne, Jasmine Drake and Magdalena Denham.

Associate professor of criminal justice Gaylene Armstrong has been appointed chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, professor of forensic science Sarah Kerrigan has been appointed chair of the Department of Forensic Science and criminal justice professor Phillip Lyons has been named Interim Chair of the Department of Security Studies.

In addition, new faculty hires include Erin A. Orrick and Lisa Renae Muftic in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice; John David Payne and Magdalena Denham in the Department of Security Studies; and Jasmine Drake in the Department of Forensic Science.

These organizational changes, effective this fall, along with the hiring of additional faculty, will create even stronger collaborations between research and professionals in each field, according to Armstrong.

“We want to ensure the research we engage in makes a difference to the field of criminal justice and criminology,” Armstrong said. “We have one of the largest programs in the country and unique collaborations with law enforcement, corrections and victim services agencies and institutes that provide unparalleled access to the key issues and resources in the field. These opportunities provide our students with educational experiences that are among the best in the country.”

Orrick, a doctoral graduate from the University of Texas at Dallas, specializes in the field of corrections, including contemporary issues, prisoner reentry and recidivism, as well as criminal careers and criminal justice policy.

She recently published articles in several leading journals, including Crime and Delinquency, the Journal of Criminal Justice, the Journal of Criminal Justice Education, the Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, and the Journal of Drug Education. In 2012, she was awarded the William L. Simon/Anderson Publishing Outstanding Paper for her research on “Do parole technical violators pose a public safety threat? An analysis of prison misconduct.”

Muftic, an former assistant professor at Georgia State University and the University of North Texas in Denton, recently returned from a year as a visiting Fulbright Professor at the University of Sarajevo.

She has been widely published in criminal justice journals across the globe and specializes in the study of interpersonal violence, gender, international and comparative criminal Justice issues, criminological theory and program evaluation.

Payne taught at Texas State University, Brigham Young University, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Emerson College.

He is an expert in security studies, with an emphasis on terrorism and counterterrorism, and his research is focused on the role of terrorism in the international system of states.

Drake worked as a forensic chemist for the Drug Enforcement Administration and as an NRC Postdoctoral Research Chemist for the NIST Center for Neutron Research. She also taught at Cedar Valley Community College in Dallas and at Nimitz High School in Irving.

Drake has more than 15 publications and presentations in her field, including articles in the Journal of Solid State Chemistry, Chemistry of Materials, Physical Review B, Applied Physics, Materials Research Bulletin, and Physical Review Letters.

Denham, who specializes in school safety and public safety leadership, serves as a project manager at the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas, where she leads the International Police Program, the Incident Command Simulation Training Program, and Professional Development Programs.

She has published articles in the Journal of School Violence, the Law Enforcement Executive Forum, the Graduate Research Journal, and Texas Study.





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