Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Department Leadership Team

Dr. William Wells
      Department Chair

Dr. Danielle Boisvert
      Assistant Department Chair and Graduate Program Director

Dr. Eric Connolly
      Undergraduate Program Director

Ms. Melissa Hicks
      Department Staff Manager

The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology is a national leader in criminal justice and criminology research and education.

Our Department offers several undergraduate and graduate degree programs and each one helps prepare students for the jobs they will begin immediately after graduation and for long-term success. Students gain valuable experiences outside of the classroom through our many student organizations, our exceptional internship opportunities, and opportunities to collaborate with faculty. Our on-line graduate degree programs are rigorous and serve a diverse audience of current and future criminal justice practitioners. In 2018, U.S. News and World Report ranked our on-line degree programs #3 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, Spring 2019

  • A new faculty member joined our Department this Spring semester:
    • Dr. Jay Coons earned his Ph.D. at Sam Houston State University in 2004. He recently retired after 36 years of service with the Harris County (Houston, TX) Sheriff’s Office. His expertise is in police leadership, management, and use of force.
  • Two new faculty members joined our Department in the Fall 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.
  • Our Department serves approximately 3,000 Criminal Justice and Victims Studies undergraduate majors and each semester our course enrollments top 6,000.
  • Graduate student news:
    • Tri Keah Henry, 4th year Ph.D. student, was the recipient of the ASC's Division on People of Color and Crime Norman White Outstanding Student Paper Award for her solo-authored work entitled "Six Degrees of Separation: The Influence of Direct and Indirect Contacts with Law Enforcement on Perceptions of Procedural Justice."
    • Alicia Jurek, 4th year Ph.D. student, was the recipient of ASC's Division on Women and Crime 2018 Graduate Student Poster Competition for her poster "Female Representation in U.S. Police Departments: 1980 – 2010."
    • Joshua Shadwick, 3rd year Ph.D. student, was selected to participate in the 2019 ACJS Doctoral Student Summit in Baltimore, MD.
    • Katherine Meeker, 1st year Ph.D. student, was the recipient of ASC's Division on Women and Crime 2018 Graduate Student Paper Award for her paper "Arrest and Filing Charges: An Examination of Police and Prosecutor Decision Making in Adolescent Sexual Assault Case Processing."
  • 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. Eryn O'Neal will receive the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Victimology Section’s New Scholar Award at the 2019 ACJS conference.
  • Chelsi Lamberton won the 2018 Outstanding Poster Award at the Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by Sam Houston State University. Her project was supervised by Dr. Daniel Butler.
  • Dr. Ling Ren serves as the research partner for a federally-funded project in collaboration with the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office. The two-year grant provides prosecutors with resources and opportunities to implement innovative, data-driven prosecution strategies that aim to curtail prescription opioid misuse and diversion in the county. Dr. Ren will conduct an independent assessment of the objectives the program intends to achieve.
  • Dr. Eric Connolly, undergraduate students Makayla Mason and Camille Ingham, and doctoral student Xinting Wang traveled to Hangzhou, China in the fall semester to collect survey data about Chinese police cadets’ knowledge of domestic violence. Dr. Connolly and Dr. Brittany Hayes led this research effort.
  • Dr. Danielle Boisvert and Dr. Elisa Toman were 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. Mitchel P. Roth's latest book, Fire in the Big House: America’s Deadliest Prison Disaster, is in press and will be published by Ohio University Press.

. . . more


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