I am a professor of political science at Hardin-Simmons University. I also am honored to serve as the director of the Legal Studies Department and as the director of our newly created Forensic Studies Program. I will be including information regarding both of these programs on this website under separate links.
I am a licensed attorney and I practiced law for approximately 17 years prior to joining the HSU faculty. For 10 years I served as an assistant criminal district attorney, and worked my way up from the position of misdemeanor prosecutor, to chief felony prosecutor, and then to the position of First Assistant.
My cases at the DA’s office involved a wide variety of criminal offenses, including, but not limited to the following: capital and first degree homicide, manslaughter, sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, kidnapping, theft, and controlled substance violations. Many of my cases involved children who were victims of physical and sexual assaults. I also obtained my board certification in criminal law during my time at the DA’s office.
After leaving the DA’s office, I spent a few years in private practice before taking a position as a special litigation attorney with the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (now known as the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services). In this position, I handled numerous cases across the state of Texas which involved the termination of parental rights in child abuse and neglect cases.
I obtained my Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. I then earned my Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech School of Law in 1987. I have been married to my husband Charlie since 1987. We met in law school. Charlie is an attorney and a partner in the Whitten Law Firm. Our daughter Hayden is completing her master’s degree in accounting at Texas Tech University, and our son Hunter is a student at Hardin-Simmons.