Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Department Leadership Team

Dr. William Wells
      Department Chair

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, Summer 2019

  • A new faculty member joined our Department in the Spring 2019 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 2018 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.
  • Three faculty members in our Department received College of Criminal Justice awards at the spring 2019 Honor’s Convocation:
    • Dr. Eryn O’Neal: Excellence in Research
    • Dr. Elisa Toman: Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
    • Dr. Michael Vaughn: Excellence in Service
  • Dr. Erin Orrick was elected to serve as secretary for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
  • Dr. Randy Garner was recognized by the American Jail Association during the spring semester for his many achievements and contributions to the field of corrections and jail professionals.
  • Dr. Mary Breaux recently completed 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. Ling Ren received an Outstanding Mentor Award at the 2019 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences conference.
  • Dr. Eryn O'Neal received the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Victimology Section’s New Scholar Award at the 2019 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences conference.
  • Dr. Danielle Boisvert, Dr. Ryan Randa, and graduate students Matthias Woeckener, Nicholas Salimbene, and Ethan Marshall completed an SHSU Teaching Innovation Grant on the “Gamification of Research Methods.”
  • Dr. Mitchel P. Roth's latest book, Fire in the Big House: America’s Deadliest Prison Disaster, will be published by Ohio University Press and will be available in Fall 2019.
  • Dr. Randy Garner continues to serve as Editor of Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice.
  • Graduate student news:
    • Alondra Garza, Ph.D. student, received the Outstanding Thesis Award from the SHSU Graduate School in spring 2019.
    • Julia Gernhart, incoming MA student, received the SHSU Honor’s College Award for Most Outstanding Senior in spring 2019.
    • Tri Keah Henry, Ph.D. student, received a Larry J. Siegel Graduate Fellowship for the Study of Gender and Crime from the American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime.
    • Alicia Jurek, Ph.D. student, was the recipient of a research award from the Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice to attend a statistical workshop on R.
    • Shamika Kelley, Ph.D. student, won the Graduate School’s 3-Minute Thesis competition People’s Choice Award.
  • 2018-2019 PhD graduates and their academic positions:
    • Dr. Kate Angulski - University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
    • Dr. Ahram Cho - New Mexico State University
    • Dr. Rick Lewis - University of Arkansas, Little Rock
    • Dr. Nicole Niebuhr - University of West Florida
    • Dr. Brenda Riley - Texas A & M University, Texarkana
    • Dr. Alexander Updegrove - Texas A & M International University

. . . more

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