[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Awards Day at CJ

The College of Criminal Justice presented $109,000 in scholarships to 91 students and recognized 123 scholars at the Honors Convocation.

The College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University recognized service, leadership, and superior scholarship among its students, alumni and supporters and honored those who have fallen in the line of duty at three events on April 28.

This year, the College celebrates the 40th anniversary of its Ph.D. program, with a total of 263 men and women being awarded doctoral degrees in criminal justice. Doctoral alumni have become leaders in the criminal justice field, both in academics and as criminal justice practitioners. 

During the Leadership Luncheon, leaders of various criminal justice student organizations were recognized for their exceptional accomplishments and achievements during the 2010-2011 academic year.  The College also honored and publicly recognized the recipients of the Defensor Pacem Medal, and the 2011 Outstanding Alumnus Award.

SHSU President Emeritus James F. Gaertner was presented the Defensor Pacem Award during a celebration of students, alumni and friends at the College of Criminal Justice.

Each year, the College presents the Defensor Pacem Medal to an individual or organization that has provided invaluable assistance to the criminal justice field. This year’s recipient is SHSU President Emeritus James F. Gaertner. During Dr. Gaertner’s tenure as president, SHSU added 14 new master’s programs; achieved Carnegie Doctoral Research classification, which placed it in the top seven percent of all higher education institutions in the U.S.; presided over more than $275 million of construction projects, and successfully completed the University’s first capital campaign in history, raising more than $60 million over five years.

“The College of Criminal Justice and the CJ Center benefited greatly from Dr. Gaertner's leadership,” said Dr. Vincent Webb, Dean of the College of Criminal Justice and Director of the Criminal Justice Center. “During his presidency the University prospered not only in financial and capital resources but also in the development of new programs and the strengthening of existing programs.  CJ was a direct beneficiary of this prosperity. Dr. Gaertner has always been a strong supporter of our College.  He understands the complex mission of our College and its critical role in making SHSU a great name in Texas higher education."

Gaertner  retired from SHSU in August 2010. He was quoted as saying “serving Sam Houston State University, my alma mater, will always stand as my life’s professional legacy.” He has since  been appointed Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the Texas State University System in October 2010.

“I am just very honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Gaertner. “When I was President, the College was such a bright spot for me. This is a special honor.”

The recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Alumnus Award is Dr. Craig Hemmens, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Boise State University. He previously served as Director of the Honors College, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, and Director of the Paralegal Studies Program at Boise State University. Later this year, Hemmens will assume the position of founding Department Head and Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Missouri State University.

"Craig was a bright student who has gone on to even bigger and better glory after finishing his Ph.D. here at Sam Houston,” said Dr. Rolando del Carmen, Hemmens’ mentor.  “He is a copious publisher of articles and books and is one of the most recognizable names among the young scholars in criminal justice. He has also been deeply involved in various organizations and is next year's incoming president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. He is certainly deserving of this award; in fact, it is long overdue. It is amply deserved."

Hemmens has published 20 books and more than 100 articles on a variety of criminal justice-related topics. His primary research interests are criminal law and procedure and corrections. His publications have appeared in Justice Quarterly, Journal of Criminal Justice, Crime and Delinquency, Criminal Law Bulletin, and the Prison Journal.

 In addition to teaching and research, Hemmens has served as the editor of the Journal of Criminal Justice Education, and the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice; as a guest editor of the Prison Journal; as a Book Review Editor for the Prison Journal and on several editorial boards. He currently serves as Vice President and President-elect of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Hemmens holds a J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law and a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University.

“Professionally, Sam Houston has meant everything to me,” Dr. Hemmens said. “Getting my Ph.D. opened the doors of academia and allows me to teach and do research in criminal justice.  The people I met at Sam Houston helped me get where I am today, including the students I studied along side and the faculty, like Dr.s James Marquart and Rolando del Carmen. So many folks have come out of Sam Houston and done great things both as academics and practitioners. I am honored to be chosen.”

Following the Leadership Luncheon, the traditional Sundial Ceremony was held outside the Criminal Justice Center. The solemn ceremony commemorated criminal justice alumni and other law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

In the evening, the College of Criminal Justice recognized their most academically gifted students at the Honors Convocation in the Killinger Auditorium. A total of 91 scholarships were presented, and 123 honor students were recognized.

Dr. Jeff Walker was the guest speaker at the Honors Convocation. Dr. Walker is a professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology and Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas and his doctorate in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]