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Roger Pennel

Roger Pennel

Roger Pennel’s 36 years of dedication to students contributed to UCM’s national reputation for outstanding criminal justice programs. During his university tenure, the Gamma Delta Chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association/Lambda Alpha Epsilon competed in national competitions and won the top award 12 consecutive years. The chapter captured the Regional Sweepstakes Award and earned the National Sweepstakes Award from 2003-2014 in competitions based on different areas of the criminal justice field.

Their success was a positive reflection of the quality tutelage they received from faculty advisors like Pennel. Pennel brought to the classroom a wealth of knowledge of theory in his field combined with real-life experiences gained from his professional work as a former sergeant in the Joplin Police Department and evidence officer with the Tri-State Major Case Squad, as well as 26 years of experience in the U.S. Army Reserve. In 1990-1991, he served in Desert Storm/Desert Shield as part of a Civil Affairs unit responsible for personal care and protection of Kurdish refugees. Following 9/11, he was assigned as a special agent handling criminal investigations for a military unit that worked out of the Pentagon to provide executive protection for the Department of Defense, chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other upper echelon Army leaders.

His major areas of interest in teaching and research include criminal investigation, crime scene investigation, homicide investigation, police management and organization, hostage negotiation and substance abuse. Pennel is certified as a CSI Homicide Investigator and Hostage Negotiator. The professor emeritus of criminal justice received his Ph.D. and master’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, with a double major in sociology and psychology, and earned an associate degree from Jasper County Junior College in Missouri.