SLMS Staff

Gene Roberts
Attorney | Mediator | Director

Gene Roberts

B.S. (cum laude) Lamar University

M.A. University of Houston

J.D. Southern Methodist University (Articles Editor, SMU Law Review; President of the Student Bar Association; Outstanding Male Graduate)

Mediation Training: University of Texas School of Law, Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution; Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution; Dispute Resolution Center (Austin, Texas)

Gene Roberts is the Director of the Office of Student Legal & Mediation Services. He has over 15 years’ experience as counsel representing clients in litigated cases. Gene’s philosophy—as a private attorney and as the full-time Director of SLMS—is to help individuals understand their rights and responsibilities, comprehend the complexities of the legal system, and develop a proactive and productive strategy for the situation they face.

Gene was selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers—Rising Stars Edition in the area of business litigation and rates his legal background as “superb.” Gene is also a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, an honorary society of lawyers who are among the best trained attorneys in Texas. He is authorized to practice law in all Texas state courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Western, and Southern Districts of Texas.

The Association of Attorney Mediators identified Gene as a “New Master of Mediation.” Gene is a Past-Chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (2012) after serving as its Secretary for three years. During his time as chair, the DBA Board of Directors recognized Gene with the Special Section Award. Gene served the Dallas Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution as a member of its Board of Directors, President-elect and President. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Texas Association of Mediators, Co-Chair of the 2013 Annual Conference and is its President in 2014. He is also a Council Member of the State Bar of Texas’ Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (including as the course director for its annual continuing legal education course in 2016 and 2017) and is a past-Vice President for the Walker County Bar Association.

Gene served his church as an Elder, Sunday School teacher, and chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. He served on mission teams throughout Texas, Louisiana, and in the Agalta Valley of central Honduras. Gene is married with one son.

Gene actively serves the SHSU community, including serving as Chair of the Student Health Insurance Committee and Chair of the Lowman Student Center Director Search Committee. He's also served as a member of the Orange Keys Selection Committee and the Division of Student Affairs Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals Committee. In 2015, Gene received the prestigious "Bearkat Spirit Award" from the Vice President for Student Affairs at SHSU.

Samantha Snow Ward

Samantha Ward

B.S. Central Methodist University in Missouri

J.D. University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in Columbia, Missouri

Samantha Ward is serving as an attorney in the Student Legal and Mediation Services office. She also has her own private practice with Ward & Associates, PC, and has been a professor since 2000. Samantha is also involved in organizations including the Huntsville Junior Service League, the United Methodist Women, and is currently serving as the Walker County Bar Association Secretary. Other facts about Samantha include that she is fluent in Spanish, has lived in Ireland and Spain, and has one son. 

Jessica Begnaud
Administrative Assistant I


“The less you respond to negativity, the more peaceful your life becomes.” –Unknown

Jessica is from Edna, Texas. She graduated with a Mass Communication Print Journalism Degree in 2012 from Sam Houston State University.  She worked for a local law firm for four years before returning back to SHSU. She looks forward to having the opportunity to help students and reconnect with her Alma Mater.

Aysiah Garza
Student Assistant


"If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow." -Beyonce Knowles

Aysiah is from the small town of La Feria in South Texas. She is a double-major in Psychology and Criminal Justice. Her goal after college is to become a Forensic Psychologist and apply psychology to the criminal justice system by assessing an offenders' state of mind. On campus she is involved with various organizations such as the Freshman Leadership Program. 

Taylor Olivas
Student Assistant


"Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day." - Alice Morse Earle

Taylor is a transfer student from San Antonio, Texas. She is a Victim Studies major with a minor in Criminal Justice. Her goal after graduation is to work on a college campus as an advocate for those who have experienced trauma. Outside of school and work, Taylor loves to be outdoors and is adventurous. She looks forward to all that SHSU has to offer before she graduates. 

Shelby Schulz
Student Assistant


"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." -Unknown

Shelby is from Blue Bell Country; Brenham, Texas. She is majoring in Criminal Justice. Her goal after graduation is to work at a District Attorney's office and one day to go to law school. She is involved in The National Society of Leadership and Success and Alpha Phi Sigma. Aside from school and work, Shelby enjoys spending time with family and friends and playing a friendly game of cards or dominoes.