Today@Sam Article

Commencement Spotlight: Shamika Kelley

May 12, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

The Commencement Spotlight series highlights graduating Bearkats with a “can-do” spirit through challenges and service.


Kelleyheadshot2021Shamika Kelley            
LaPlace, Louisiana Texas
Doctorate in Criminal Justice


As a research director at The Forensic Center, a doctoral student, and a mother to three children, Shamika Kelley has had to learn the meaning of the word “balance.”

“Naturally challenges exist for mothers in school regarding balancing self-care and taking care of our children,” Kelley said.

Kelley says there has been a learning curve in every aspect of her life. But struggles did not impact her ability to be a well-rounded student. After coming from a STEM background, this degree was different from previous.

“I had a learning curve as I have a STEM background and my doctoral is in criminology,” Kelley said. “So, I was learning in a different way, and it was not easy.”

Aside from her work and school, Kelley has been active at Sam Houston State University. She is a member of Graduate Student Organization, Resource & Outreach for Academic Diversity to PhD program, SHSU Anti-Racism Task Force, and the Division on Victimology Publications Committee.

“I took part in Walk A Mile and Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” Kelley said. “I have also assisted with selecting authors for special publications and engaged in conversations to expand diversity in organizations.”

While Kelley has overcome many obstacles in her academic career, she never plans to stop achieving for success.

“My goal is to establish a research internship program to assist students with research experience at a forensic agency,” Kelley said. “I also want to publish action research that can enhance the response to sexual assault.”

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