Doctoral Students

Administration of Justice – Student Profiles

Lt. Holland D. Jones, BS, MA, JD.


Lieutenant Holland Jones is an experienced law enforcement manager and former Police Chief. He graduated from the University of Houston – Clear Lake with a Master’s Degree in Criminology. He received a certification in the Management of the Small Law Enforcement Agency from the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute. Additionally, he successfully graduated from the Executive Development Institute from Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety. He is also a former Adjunct Professor of Texas Southern University, Kaplan University, and Sam Houston State University. He is a graduate of Sam Houston State University’s Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas’s (LEMIT) New Police Chief Course and the Texas Police Chief Leadership Series.

Lt. H. Jones holds a Master Peace Certification, Instruction Certification, Field Training Instructor Certification, Crisis Intervention Certification, Emergency Management Certification and is a member of the State Bar of Texas, as a licensed Attorney. Holland is currently completing his Doctoral Studies in the Administration of Justice from Texas Southern University’s Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs.

Demeka Simmons


Demeka Simmons is a current Ph.D. student in the Administration of Criminal Justice department. Demeka has a keen interest in juvenile delinquency, more specifically, the school to prison pipeline. Demeka is a fourth year student of the Administration of Criminal Justice program, and scheduled to complete the comprehensive exam this upcoming fall, she recently completed the hours/courses that certifies her to complete the superintendent certification exam. Demeka’s aspiration is to become an advocate using her expertise and knowledge to propose personalized research approaches to adequately address harsh discipline policies used on children of color, which from research has exacerbated the schoolhouse to courthouse pipeline. Demeka is currently an assistant principal at a local school district as well as an adjunct for two universities.

Chukwuemeka Ubendu


Chukwuemeka Ubendu is a PhD candidate specializing in Theory, Race and Crime. His dissertation research explores immigration and crime. He started the Administration of Justice PhD program in Fall 2012, coming with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria and a Master Degree in Applied Criminology from Lamar University Beaumont, Texas. Chukwuemeka has been an Adjunct Instructor since 2010, teaching Introduction to Criminal Justice both online and on campus at Lamar University Beaumont Texas. In addition, he is currently a Parole Officer with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Kashley Brown


I am from Hollandale, MS and I graduated with my BA in psychology from Tougaloo College in 2007, my MS in Juvenile Forensic Psychology from Prairie View A & M University in 2009. I have been in the AJ PhD program since Spring of 2011. My interests are juvenile justice and felony disenfranchisement. My passion is advocating for those who have lost their rights and are seeking to regain them and become a productive part of society.

Whitney Threadcraft-Walker


Whitney Threadcraft-Walker is a second year doctoral student in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Houston Downtown in 2011 and similarly, her Masters of Criminal Justice in 2012 from the University of Houston Downtown. She has served as a member of the Mayor’s Council on Public Safety and a director of client and volunteer services at Target Hunger, A United Way Agency. Whitney has participated in several program evaluations, grant writing efforts and predictive instrument validations. Her most recent publications can be found in the Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology, as well as the Huffington Post. Her most current research is under review and consists of an assessment of the predictive validity of the Positive Achievement Change Tool in juvenile correctional settings; in addition to an evaluation of gender based probation outcomes. Her research interests include risk assessment, predictive validity, program evaluation, policy analysis and feminist criminology.

Melody Mitchell Threadcraft


Threadcraft currently teaches Criminal Justice courses at the University of Houston Downtown. Her teaching expertise includes courses in Criminology, Victimology, Race & Crime, Intro to Corrections, Intro to Courts, Juvenile Delinquency, Juvenile Justice, Correctional Counseling and Ethics. She also taught as a graduate assistant in both Sociology and Juvenile Justice. Threadcraft works closely with student centered programs that focus on service learning, high impact writing and reentry program service. Her research interests include victimization, policing, traffic stops, racial socialization and evaluation models of socialization. Publishing and service extend to conference papers, conference and campus presentations, encyclopedia articles and professional review of journals. Additionally, she holds certification in Crime Victim Compensation (Texas Attorney General) and as a Higher Education evaluator (AdvanceEd) among other community, extra-judicial and electronic learning certifications. Threadcraft received an undergraduate degree in Sociology & Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Houston and received a graduate degree in Sociology from Prairie View A & M University.

Festus Obi


Festus Obi is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Administration of Justice in the Barbara Jordan Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri. His Master of Arts degree is in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding (NCRP) from California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson. His research interests are in identity theft and cybercrime, homeland security, terrorism, and restorative justice. He has published two peer-reviewed articles and presented yearly at Academy of Criminal Justice Science (ACJS), and American Society of Criminology (ASC) national conferences since 2013.