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UT Tyler Criminal Justice Professor Receives National Teaching Award

March 6, 2014

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

Dr. Richard Helfers, an assistant professor of criminal justice at The University of Texas at Tyler, was recognized by SAGE Publishing and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Dr. Martin Slann, College of Arts and Sciences, announced.

Helfers received a SAGE Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Award and is one of 10 criminal justice professionals nationwide to be honored. Created in 2008, this award was developed to recognize new teaching professionals in the criminal justice and criminology disciplines.

Each winner also received a travel stipend to attend the ACJS Professional Development Teaching Workshop at the 2014 ACJS Annual Meeting.

“There are numerous members of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences who were considered for the award, and it is an honor to be selected,” Helfers said. “The junior faculty teaching workshop I attended at the conference not only provided me with valuable ideas to sustain a healthy learning environment for my students at UT Tyler, but it also provided me a network of faculty members across the country who are committed to enhancing the quality of teaching for criminal justice students.”

The pool of applicants for the award consisted of individuals who received a graduate degree within the last five years and are teaching criminal justice or criminology full time for less than five years. Faculty teaching in associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degree-granting institutions were encouraged to apply. 

Award funding is by an annual donation from SAGE as well as from royalties donated by participating SAGE authors.

Top educators, researchers, practitioners and students in the criminal justice field from all over the country assemble at the ACJS event, which engages educators in identifying their strengths and weaknesses and is designed to improve and develop new ways of teaching in the criminal justice sciences.

Serving UT Tyler since 2013, Helfers previously served the Richardson Police Department 1987 – 2013, where he rose in the ranks from officer to captain.

He also previously served as an adjunct instructor for Richland College’s School of Learning Enrichment and Academic Development in the Dallas County Community College District.

Helfers holds a bachelor of science in criminology from Indiana State University as well as a master of public affairs and a Ph.D. in criminology, both from UT Dallas.

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books and electronic media for academic, educational and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences as well as science, technology and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington D.C.

ACJS is an international association established in 1963 to foster professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justice. The academy also promotes criminal justice education, research and policy analysis within the discipline of criminal justice for both educators and practitioners.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 7,500 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.

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