Today@Sam Article

Criminal Justice Professor Honored For Years Of Service

May 17, 2018
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti


In a recent College of Criminal Justice Sundial Ceremony, Raymond Teske was presented with a retired Texas flag in recognition of his 45 years of service to SHSU. 

By Veronica Gonzalez

After 45 years of loyal service to Sam Houston State University, Criminal Justice Professor Raymond Teske will step away from the classroom this summer, leaving behind a legacy of knowledge and dedication. Teske-Raymond

His inspiration to teach can be summed up in one word – “fun,” as he reminisced about his time at SHSU. Teske has thoroughly enjoyed watching generations of students come through his courses and go on to serve the surrounding communities and beyond.

As a member of the faculty since 1973, Teske helped develop the Institute of Contemporary Corrections and the Behavioral Sciences into what is known today as the College of Criminal Justice.

Surprisingly, Teske’s original career goal didn’t include SHSU.

“When my plans to join the Navy didn’t happen, I turned my attention to the FBI and signed a three-year contract,” he said.

He would fulfill his commitment after completing his Master’s in sociology at Baylor University and Ph.D at Texas A&M University, but a government hiring freeze prevented him from attempting to move on with the FBI.

His path to SHSU began through his connection to George J. Beto who served as a professor of criminology and corrections at SHSU from 1972 until 1991. Teske’s acquaintance with Beto started at their church in Waco when Teske was only 12 years old. Following Beto’s lead Teske decided to give SHSU a chance.

Since joining SHSU’s esteemed faculty, Teske has been a tremendous part of developing a majority of the criminal justice, criminology and victim studies programming now offered.

His areas of expertise include criminological theory, victimology, family violence and child abuse. In addition to editing and co-authoring two editions of “Crime and Justice in Texas,” Teske has published more than 40 articles and book chapters, 25 monographs/technical reports and has been awarded more than 40 research grants. He has been an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow since 1980.

After spending time in Germany in 1980 designing and implementing the first large-scale crime victim survey through the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Teske returned realizing that there was something missing in criminal justice education. 

“We did not address the crime victim. That was virgin territory,” he said.

In 1982, he established the first regularly offered victimology course in America. Two of his doctoral students went on to help write the first two textbooks. From there, he was invited to be an advisor for the Parents of Murdered Children chapter in Houston.

Teske was also instrumental in helping establish the SAAFE House in Huntsville in 1985, only seven years after the first family violence shelter opened in the USA.

“I was immersed in helping victims at a time when there were limited resources,” he said. “In 1985, I testified before the Texas Legislature in the hearing that recommended the first crime victims’ bill of rights in Texas.”

“In 1998-2000 I worked to start the victim studies degree,” he explained. “That was a novel idea and I worked day and night, weekends and holidays chairing a university-wide committee putting the courses and degree together.”

During the early part of his career at SHSU, Teske heeded the advice of his students and became a licensed peace officer.

“They told me I needed to get out and find out what the real world is like. They were right. And I am still a peace officer,” he shared.

He worked with Huntsville Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Walker County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies including Montgomery County. 

“At one point the Federal Postal Inspection Service approached me and asked if they could train me to work undercover child pornography cases,” he said. “I did that for two years working with agents across the country.” 

He also served as an expert witness and consultant in cases involving sexual abuse, police use of force, battered women, police cost analysis and other cases.

Teske’s most recent research includes the deterrent effect of executions on homicides and spatial analysis of crime rates in the former west and east German states, but the research most near and dear to his heart is his father’s cavalry squadron.

As he ends one chapter in his many years of service, he now aims to focus on documenting and archiving the treasure-trove of materials that represent the years of his father’s dedicated service.

Teske believes he could go on with lectures for at least five more years, but doesn’t want to miss the chance to record his father’s story and years of genealogical research.

“I have been researching my father’s cavalry squadron for many years. I have his memoirs, the stories he told me, photos, every single radio log transcribed during the war, minute-by-minute for both squadrons and group headquarters, after-action reports, morning reports, the maps they used, stories from veterans, and a lot of other material,” he said. “I need to organize all of this for the next generation before it is lost.”

During the college’s recent Sundial Ceremony, Teske stood with his friends and colleagues in front of the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center to be presented with a retired Texas flag in recognition of his 45 years of service to SHSU.

Although he may not feel completely ready to retire, he says he knows it is time and looks forward to opportunities for personal genealogical research and travel.


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