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Criminal Justice Center to Celebrate Past, Present, Future

Texas senator Ken Armbrister and Georgia State University criminal justice professor Michael Vaughn will be recognized for their outstanding contributions and achievements in the field of criminal justice during ceremonies at the Sam Houston State University Criminal Justice Center on April 25.

Both are graduates of the university's criminal justice program.

Armbrister will receive the Defensor Pacem Medal and Vaughn will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Defensor Pacem Medal

Ken Armbrister
Ken Armbrister

The Defensor Pacem award was established in 1990, at the commemoration of the Center's 25th anniversary, to recognize those who have given unselfishly of their time, knowledge and resources in order to fulfill the Center's legislative mandate.

The medal is presented each year to an individual or organization judged to have assisted the Center in achieving its mandate, which is to educate students preparing for careers in the field of criminal justice; to provide continuing education for those already employed in the field; to provide technical assistance to criminal justice agencies; and to conduct research and demonstration projects.

Armbrister was chosen for the Defender of Peace award for his work as the chairman of the senate committee on criminal justice, his overall legislative record on criminal justice issues, and his career as a police officer.

Among the many bills that Armbrister has passed to strengthen the criminal justice system include legislation that protects the rights of crime victims, pays for the cost of medical examinations in sexual assault cases, and legislation aimed at keeping drunk drivers off the road.

Armbrister was a Victoria police captain and vice president of the Victoria School Board when first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1983. After two terms in the House, he was elected to the Texas Senate.

Gov. Rick Perry appointed Armbrister to the Task Force on Homeland Security, and Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff named him to the Joint Interim Committee on Higher Education Excellence Funding. Armbrister is also a member of the State Affairs Committee and Redistricting Committee.

During his tenure in the legislature, Armbrister has served as president pro tempore of the senate, has been acting governor, and has been honored as one of the best legislators in Texas.

The Texas Chambers of Commerce and Business have honored him for his legislative leadership and his public service to the people of Texas. He has also been honored by law enforcement organizations, teacher and education associations, and health care groups.

Armbrister is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, as well as SHSU.

Outstanding Alumnus Award

Michael Vaughn
Michael Vaughn

Recipients of the Outstanding Alumnus Award are selected by SHSU College of Criminal Justice faculty.

Vaughn received the Ph.D. in criminal justice at SHSU in 1993. Prior to entering the doctoral program, he received an education specialist degree in 1990, the master of science in criminal justice in 1988, and the bachelor of science in criminal justice in 1984, all from Central Missouri State University.

At Georgia State, Vaughn teaches courses on corrections law and legal liabilities of criminal justice personnel.

He has published widely on legal issues in criminal justice and cross-cultural crime and social control, producing 44 refereed articles, five articles in law reviews, six book chapters and encyclopedia entries, 31 non-refereed publications, seven technical reports and manuscripts, six funded research grants, and 44 conference presentations.

In the January issue of the Journal of Criminal Justice, Vaughn was ranked second nationally as one of the most productive scholars publishing in top criminology and criminal justice journals.

He is currently editor of the Criminal Justice Review and International Criminal Justice Review. He is also contributing editor to the Correctional Health Care Report.

Vaughn is a reviewer for seven criminal justice publications, including Justice Quarterly and Journal of Criminal Justice.

He also serves on various editorial boards and participates in a wide spectrum of university and community-related service activities.

In addition to honoring Armbrister and Vaughn at the Leadership Luncheon, 38 students will be recognized for outstanding student leadership. They will each be presented a certificate of appreciation for their dedication.

Sundial Ceremony

At 1:30 p.m. that day, the public is invited to gather at the sundial in front of the criminal justice building to celebrate the lives of those Criminal Justice Center alumni who serve the cause of justice throughout the world and to remember those who have perished in this service. The annual Sundial Ceremony has been a tradition since 1990.

As in previous years, members of SHSU's R.O.T.C. Flag Detail will lower and raise the American and Texas flags. After representatives from the Center place yellow roses on the sundial, the SHSU music department will conclude the event.

Honors Convocation

Later that evening at 7 p.m. in the Killinger Auditorium of the Criminal Justice Center, the College of Criminal Justice will hold its annual Honors Convocation. Forty-two honor students will receive certificates, and 35 students will receive scholarships and be presented plaques. Those receiving scholarships will be given the opportunity to personally meet their donors and have photographs taken with them.

A reception will follow the ceremony.

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SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
April 19, 2002
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