News Archives July 10, 2012

News for July 10, 2012



Sul Ross State University’s Law Enforcement Academy plans another expansion of classes with a night academy beginning Aug. 6 in Fort Stockton.

At the same time, the fall day academy will begin on the Sul Ross campus. The Fort Stockton academy will be offered in collaboration with Midland College, with classes Monday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. at the Williams Regional Technical Training Center.

LEA director Lloyd Dragoo said the Fort Stockton academy will continue through May 30, 2013, with some weekend training scheduled. The night class will allow cadets working full-time at other occupations to complete their law enforcement training.

"Most of these cadets are a little older, working 40 hours a week and looking for a career change," he said. "We (LEA) service a large area (17 counties in West Texas) and from what I have seen, there are always plenty of job openings in this part of the state."

The Sul Ross academy is a 40-hour, 18-week course and ends Dec. 7.

Dragoo said the decision to offer a night academy came after discussions with law enforcement officials throughout the 17-county area.

"We had a really big push from (Police) Chief (Art) Fuentes and Lieutenant (Lisa) Tarango in Fort Stockton," Dragoo said.

Tarango, who has two degrees in Criminal Justice from Sul Ross, will serve as the site supervisor for the night academy.

"We have had a lot of interest (for both academies) so far, about 45 applicants," Dragoo said. He hoped to enroll at least 22 cadets in the Sul Ross academy and 15 at Fort Stockton.

Dragoo, who was named director of the Sul Ross LEA in November 2011, completed the fall academy, then offered a second academy that began in March and ended with graduation July 3. Both classes attained a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the state peace officer examination.

He moved to Alpine from Uvalde, where he served as coordinator of the Middle Rio Grande Law Enforcement Academy at Southwest Texas Junior College. During his three-year tenure, his cadets maintained a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the state exams, up from 58 percent when he started.

"This past class had an average score of 91 (70 is required for passing), which is the highest class average since I have been teaching," Dragoo said. "We are working to build our reputation and restore the viability of the academy as a place where people want to attend."

For more information, contact Dragoo, (432) 837-8614 or




Sul Ross State University students completed the second phase of the McNair Program "P-process" – PowerPoint project presentation – during afternoon sessions Thursday and Friday (July 5-6).

Fifteen projects, ranging from analyzing non-profit youth organizational websites to the study of water utilization by translocated pronghorn, were presented in Warnock Science Building.

"This is a trial run," said McNair Program director Mary Bennett. In October, four or five research papers will be selected for oral presentations at the annual McNair-Tafoya Symposium. All McNair students will have poster presentations at the symposium.

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program is designed to encourage first generation, low-income students and minority undergraduates to consider careers in college teaching as well as prepare for doctoral study. Students who participate in the program are provided with research opportunities and faculty mentors.

Named in honor of the astronaut who died in the 1986 space-shuttle explosion, the program was established at Sul Ross in November 2007. It is funded through the Department of Education’s TRIO programs.

McNair students receive a stipend of $2,000 and three semester credit hours (during the first summer session) for completed research projects. In addition to the on-campus McNair-Tafoya Symposium, students are encouraged to present their findings at state and national conferences.

Last week, students condensed their extensive research into 15-minute PowerPoint presentations, which drew considerable praise from Bennett.

"These students are phenomenal," she said. "They have done an incredible amount of work in a short amount of time. Each year, the presentations get better and better.

"We are very appreciative of the work of the mentors," she said. "They have been very dedicated in guiding students throughout the research process."

Students, their projects and faculty mentors are:

* Johnathan Cruz, San Antonio, "Media Bias and the Highest Glass Ceiling: Is Negative Press Coverage to Blame for Hillary Clinton’s Unsuccessful Presidential Campaign?" (Dr. Amy Moreland, Political Science)

* Phyllis Dunham, Alpine, "People’s Poets: Literature within the Texas Singer-Songwriter Tradition." (Dr. Laura Payne Butler, Creative Writing)

* Michael Gallardo, El Paso, "Managing Private Information in Families Affected by Addiction." (Dr. Joseph Velasco, Communication)

* Angela Greenroy, Alpine, "The Mystery of Invention: What Writers Revealed About the Craft of Creation." (Dr. Laura Payne Butler)

* Earnest Jones, Boerne, "Soliciting Donations and Volunteers: A Comparative Analysis of Non-Profit Youth Organizational Websites." (Dr. Esther Rumsey, Communication)

* David Lattimer, Brackettville, "Germany’s Bonded Soldiers: Prisoners of World War II in Texas." (Dr. Mark Saka, History)

* Robert LeBlanc, Fort Davis, "Death’s Role in Cultivating Human Empathy: Roots of an Empathic Management Theory." (Dr. Jay Downing, Psychology)

* Kimberly Morrow, Alpine, "Writing an Auto-ethnography." (Dr. Joseph Velasco)

* Miriam Nunez,Sanderson, "The Role of Women and Indianism in ‘Aves Sin Nido’." (Dr. Filemon Zamora, Spanish)

* Joseph Rosco, Beaumont, "Steve Tesich’s ‘The Speed of Darkness’: Agent Orange, the Vietnam War and the Birth of a Dying Nation." (Dona Roman, Theatre)

* David Price Rumbelow, Van, "Nest-Site Fidelity and Productivity of Peregrine Falcons in Big Bend National Park." (Dr. Chris Ritzi, Biology)

* Kitty Sibayan, Fort Davis, "Rockhouse Fire: Creating an Archive One Year Later." (Dr. Mark Emerson, History)

* Daniel J. Tidwell, Sachse, "Water Utilization by Translocated Pronghorn in the Trans-Pecos, Texas." (Dr. Louis Harveson, Natural Resource Management)

* Raven Thrasher, El Paso, "A Study of Composer Margaret Bonds." (Dr. Donald Callen Freed, Music)

* Laura Villasenor, El Paso, "Women and the Law in Latin America: An Analysis of Maternity Leave and Pregnancy Discrimination Laws." (Dr. Amy Moreland)

For more information, contact Bennett, (432) 837-8478 or




Dr. Quint Thurman began his new duties Monday (July 9) as Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Sul Ross State University.

Thurman, who previously served as the chair of the Criminal Justice Department at Texas State University, San Marcos, replaces Dr. Don Coers, who retired in January. Dr. Jimmy Case, Sul Ross Dean of Arts and Sciences, served as interim Provost and Vice President since that time.

Thurman, a native of Anadarko, Okla., was professor and chair of Criminal Justice at Texas State since 2001. He brings over 30 years’ experience in higher education to Sul Ross. He received a B.A. (1981) and M.A. (1983) in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. (1987) in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

His first academic appointment was at Washington State University-Pullman in 1988 as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. He was promoted to associate professor at WSU in 1994 before re-locating to the WSU-Spokane campus to direct the graduate program in Criminal Justice.

  In 1997, he moved to Wichita State University, where he was professor and program coordinator of Criminal Justice at the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs. He remained at Wichita State until 2001, where he also served as director of the Midwest Criminal Justice Institute, council chairperson of the College of Liberal Arts and Science and graduate coordinator and program director of the Criminal Justice Program.

Thurman has published seven books in criminal justice and numerous refereed journal articles and book chapters. He has been successful in attracting external funding of more than $4 million during his academic career. Thurman also has a lengthy record of university and community service. He received a Distinguished Service Award from the San Marcos Police Department in 2009 for Police Problem Solving, and has been nominated for several excellence in teaching awards.

He and his wife Caryn, who is a Presbyterian minister, have three children: Nathan, who is affiliated with Proxy Theater, San Antonio; Nicholas, who will graduate in May 2013 from Texas State University; and Sarah, who will be a freshman at Trinity University, San Antonio.

"Caryn and our two dogs will be moving to Alpine in August," Thurman said, adding that his wife hopes to continue her ministry in the area.

"I look forward to my association with Sul Ross and Rio Grande College," he said. "We thoroughly enjoyed Alpine and this part of Texas when we first visited, and I was very excited to be considered for this position."