Elvira White-Lewis has over 40 years of experience in the Criminal Justice system. She received her J.D. in 1978 from the University of Maryland School of Law and completed her Ph.D. in 2007 from Prairie View A&M University. She has a diverse background of research in juvenile justice, religious freedoms, and media violence. In 2011, White-Lewis joined Texas A&M University-Commerce. Since then, she has played a vital role in the department, allowing students to put their knowledge to the test through mock trials. White-Lewis currently serves as the Department Head and Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice.
A Conversation with Dr. White-Lewis
What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
“This university may appear large in design. However, there is an intimate feeling not experienced at other universities of this size. We take the time to know you, in return, you get to know us, your professors. You are more than a number because we care about you from the moment that you arrive until long after you graduate.”
What draws you to your discipline?
“Combining my law degree and my Ph.D. is a natural connection as juvenile justice has always been at the core of my interest, from a practical to an academic perspective. I have the ability to use real-life experiences with the scholarly works that we utilize.”
What has been your favorite course to teach?
“I enjoy every course that I have the pleasure of teaching. However, Juvenile Justice which I developed at A&M-Commerce, Courts and Criminal Procedure (undergraduate and graduate) and Victimology rank at the top of my favorites.”
Tell us about a project you are currently working on or recently completed
“I am currently working on two articles for resubmission to journals: ‘The Impact of Media on Youth Aggression’ and ‘The Disproportionate Punishment of Young Black Girls’ School Discipline: School to Prison Pipeline.’ I am also working on completing my autobiography.”
- Ph.D., Juvenile Justice, Prairie View A&M University, 2007
- J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, 1978
- MA, Public Administration and American Government, University of Maryland, 1975
- BS, Political Science, North Carolina A&M State University
- Department Head, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2018 – 2021
- Associate Professor, TAMUC, 2015 – Present
- Assistant Professor, TAMUC, 2011-2014
- Chair and Associate Professor, Livingstone College, 2010-2011
Awards and Honors
- Organizational Leadership Award, Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education, 2019
- Hats Off to Women Award, Faculty Nominee, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2018
- Excellence in Teaching Award, The National Society of Leadership and Success, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2017
- Paul W. Barrus Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching, Faculty Senate, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2017
- Juvenile justice
- School to prison pipeline for pre-school and elementary black girls
- Discriminatory judicial processes
- Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
- American Society of Criminology
- Faculty Advisor, Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society
CJ 431 Law and the Courts
CJ 531 Issues in Criminal Law and Courts
CJ 480 Senior Seminar In Criminal Justice