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Turner to speak at summer commencement

Sam Houston State University will award its first doctoral degrees in educational leadership to four students during commencement ceremonies Saturday, August 14. The ceremonies are scheduled at 10 a.m. for the Colleges of Criminal Justice and Education and Applied Science, and at 2 p.m. for the Colleges of Business Administration and Arts and Sciences in Johnson Coliseum.

Those receiving the Ed.D. include Sally Craycraft of Huntsville, Greg Gathright of Huntsville, Steve Johnson of Bryan, and Claudia Iselt of Victoria.

Fifteen cohort members initially enrolled in the educational leadership program during the first summer session of 1997. The four students who will receive doctorates on Saturday will finish one semester earlier than the other members because they had advanced certification when they entered the program, according to Ken Craycraft, dean of the College of Education and Applied Science.

"Each of those students had the superintendent's certification in place which allowed them to transfer additional advanced hours into the program," he explained.

Craycraft praised the efforts of SHSU President Bobby K. Marks and U. S. Congressman Jim Turner, a Texas legislator when the establishment of the doctoral program was in the early stages, for helping to secure funding for its development.

Turner will serve as the commencement speaker at both ceremonies.

Turner was elected in 1996 to represent the Second Congressional District. He serves on the Armed Services and Government Reform Committees, and he is the ranking Democrat on the Government Management, Information, and Technology Subcommittee.

Before his election to Congress, Turner served for six years in the Texas Senate and four years in the Texas House. In the Senate, he was recognized as an outstanding legislator by a number of statewide organizations. He also served as chairman of the Texas Commission on Children and Youth and as a member of the Select Committee on Public Education.

In Congress, Turner has worked to promote economic development and forestry in East Texas. He has sponsored legislation to lower prescription drug costs for senior citizens and legislation to implement a national missile defense system for the United States.

Turner earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in business and his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He served in the United States Army, attaining the rank of captain.

Approximately 640 students have filed for graduation, including three for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Criminal Justice. They are Brian Withrow of Huntsville, Cletus Snell of Spring, and Jennifer Frisbie of Fort Worth. The three criminal justice doctorates will bring to 60 the number awarded since 1973.

A third SHSU doctoral program, in forensic clinical psychology, is expected to award its first doctorate in 2002.

Robert Dunning, SHSU registrar, advises that all degree candidates should go by the Registrar's Office or call (409) 294-1061 between 9 a.m. and noon Friday (Aug. 13), to confirm completion of degree requirements.

Candidates are advised to report to the Health/Kinesiology Center one hour before their ceremony is scheduled to begin, or in the event of inclement weather, report to the coliseum floor for seating.

Dunning also suggests that commencement ceremony guests with disabilities, who would like to sit in special sections on the coliseum floor, should arrive at least 45 minutes before the ceremony is scheduled to begin and enter the coliseum through the east tunnel.

University police will direct guests with disabilities to a special parking area just east of the coliseum. Because space on the coliseum floor is limited, each guest with a disability should be accompanied on the floor by no more than one person.

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SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
August 6, 1999
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