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School of Criminal Justice Forensic, Science and Security

Alumni and Current Events

Alumni Achievements and Newsmakers


The School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security congratulates 2019 criminal justice graduate, Mallory Umbehagen, on her recent acceptance to Florida State University Law School.  Mallory was a dedicated student and served as President of the Criminal Justice Student Association.  We look forward to Mallory’s future success as she completes law school and enters the practice of law. SMTTT!


Ariel Elliott, a 2018 USM graduate who majored in Criminal Justice has received a national award.  Ariel was an exceptional student and excelled in her studies at USM.  She will begin her doctoral studies at Florida State University in Fall 2018.  We wish Ariel all the best!

Dr. Ragan Downey presents Crisis Intervention Training to law enforcement officers around the Pine Belt.


Current Events

Dr. Charles Scheer has received the 2019 IACP Leadership in Law Enforcement Research Award for his innovative work with police agencies.  The award will be presented at a ceremony in Chicago this fall. Dr. Scheer has devoted significant time and effort to his research in the areas of leadership and management in policing. His work to involve community partners, such as Gulfport Police Department, continues to yield positive outcomes for our unit and the law enforcement community. Many thanks for your continued hard work, Dr. Scheer!


Dr. Gulledge Dr. Scheer

Drs. Laura Gulledge and Charles Scheer both received awards at the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences awards ceremony. Dr. Gulledge received the College of Arts and Sciences Tenure-Track Teaching Award and Dr. Scheer received the College of Arts and Sciences Advising and Mentoring Award. We are extremely proud of Drs. Gulledge and Scheer and appreciate all they do to invest in our students and strengthen The School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security.


Dr. Gulledge Award

Dr. Laura Gulledge, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, received the Lucas Endowment Award for Faculty Excellence at the USM Faculty and Staff Awards ceremony. Established in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Aubrey K. Lucas, the endowment supports annual awards to support faculty excellence in teaching and research.



Southern Miss undergraduate student Dustin Cooley presented research at the ACJS conference in Baltimore, Maryland. This presentation consisted of his findings and challenges of the 2018 Mississippi Law Enforcement Survey.


Matt Allen

Matthew Allen, practicing attorney and doctoral student in Criminal Justice, authored a recent Op-Ed in the Clarion Ledger on the important issues surrounding prison reform and rehabilitation of offenders.  We are proud of Matt for his commitment to improving the criminal justice system!


Laura Gulledge

Dr. Laura Gulledge, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, received a certificate for her completion of the first ACUE module at a reception held at The USM Center for Faculty Development on November 30, 2018.  ACUE (Association of College and University Educators) provides professional development opportunities for university faculty designed to improve teaching and instructional practices.  We are proud of Dr. Gulledge and her recent accomplishment. Dr. Alan Thompson completed the ACUE program in 2017 and has received the ACUE Distinguished Teaching Scholar designation.


 Johnson1  Johnson2

Dr. Wes Johnson, Professor of Criminal Justice and Doctoral Program Director, was recently honored for his hard work in establishing an annual banquet series at South Carolina State University, an HBCU.  The banquet was designed to provide opportunities for criminal justice majors to connect and interact with  African American practitioners in the field of criminal justice.  The banquet series is still going strong and is now in its 27th year.  Dr. Johnson was recognized for his contributions at the 27th Annual Banquet.  Dr. Johnson taught at SCSU from 1980-1988 and has been with The School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science and Security at USM since 2007.  Please join us in congratulating Dr. Johnson for this well-deserved achievement. 



Justice Dawn H. Beam, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, was presented with the Susie Blue Buchanan Award at the 2018 Mississippi Bar Association’s Annual Meeting held in Destin, Florida.  The Award is presented by the Women in the Profession Committee and is named for Susie Blue Buchanan, the first female member of the Mississippi Bar who was admitted to practice in 1918.  Justice Beam was acknowledged for her extensive professional accomplishments and her ongoing service to and promotion of women in the legal profession.  Justice Beam serves as Adjunct Instructor of Criminal Justice at USM within The School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science and Security.  Congratulations to Justice Beam on her receipt of this prestigious award.







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School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science and Security

125 Arthell Kelley Hall 
118 College Dr. #5127
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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308 Elizabeth Hall
730 East Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, MS 39560

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