Friday, October 7, 2016

Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, Director of the National Institute of Justice

Following the Science: My Journey from Research to Policy and Practice Thu, Oct 27, 2016 6:30pm Performing Arts Center, Recital Hall

Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and a Distinguished Alumna, will return to her alma mater on Oct. 27 and present “Following Science: My Journey from Research to Policy and Practice” to the University community.

The lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center, Recital Hall. All are welcome to attend the free presentation, and it also will be carried live on the web at

Dr. Rodriguez was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015 to lead the prestigious federal agency that serves as the research, development, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. Its mission is to improve knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues. Most recently, NIJ funded projects on school safety, sexual assault case processing, post-conviction DNA testing, the effects of incarceration, restrictive housing, reentry, and police and correctional officer well-being.

“The NIJ leads the world in supporting research which enhances our understanding of crime and justice, thereby facilitating improved practices,” said Dr. Phillip Lyons, Dean of the College of Criminal Justice and Director of the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center. “That our alumna, Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, leads the NIJ is a source of tremendous pride for us.”

The National Institute of Justice funded several major research projects that have been led by faculty at Sam Houston State University, including a study of untested sexual assault kits at the Houston Police Department; tests for bath salts in toxicological samples; a study of the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network; a study to create a quantitative standard for human decomposition; and an analytical tool to trace the geographical origins of marijuana. In 2016, faculty and graduate students in the College of Criminal Justice were awarded competitive NIJ Fellowships to support their research and dissertations in corrections and forensic science.

Dr. Rodriquez received her bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University in 1992 and earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington State University in 1998. Dr. Rodriguez was named the Outstanding Alumna from SHSU’s College of Criminal Justice in 2009.