Criminal Justice students hit mark

October 17, 2013

ANGOLA, Ind. – In what has become standard procedure, Trine University's Tau Alpha Omicron chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA) brought home 30 awards from the 2013 regional conference Oct. 11-13 in Chicago. The TAO chapter competed against eight different universities and colleges from the Midwest region in criminal justice-related events.

The students, all criminal justice majors, claimed five team awards, including two first-place finishes, and 25 individual awards at the conference. The event aims to improve criminal justice through educational activities, promote professionalism in law enforcement and awareness of criminal justice issues, encourage the expansion of criminal justice education and training, provide a voice for professionals and students of criminal justice and promote high ethical standards in conduct, training and higher education in the field.

The students and professor Craig Laker garnered top three finishes in handgun marksmanship. Trine took first and second place in the handgun Upper Division three-member team competition. Finishing first was the team of Andrew Wilhelm, a Waterloo senior; Matt Holewa, a Kalamazoo, Mich., junior; and Josh Howe, a Lagrange junior. Taking second place was the team of Andrew O'Connor, a Huntertown junior; John Kidd, a Fishers junior; and Amiee Huston, a Marion sophomore. In the Professional Division, the team of Laker, Zach Terrell, an Angola junior; and Kayla Keith, a Munster freshman, won third place. Wilhelm also took first place in the Individual Upper Division handgun marksmanship with a 407/480.

Among three-member teams in crime scene investigation in the Upper Division, the team of Wilhelm, Holewa and Howe also won first place. In Lower Division, John Daniel, a Fort Wayne sophomore; Brittney Hampton, a Hamlet junior; and Marc Edwards, a Grovertown junior, came in second. In the Professional Division, the team of Laker, Terrell and Keith took third place.

Trine students also fared well on ACJA written exams. In all divisions, the students and faculty won 10 awards, including Wilhelm winning Top Academic Award for the student with the most placements in all categories. The written exams covered the criminal justice areas of criminal law, juvenile justice, police management, corrections and knowledge of ACJA national chapter Lambda Alpha Epsilon.

"Our students competed against 100 other college students from throughout the Midwest," Laker said. "I am very proud of their accomplishments and teamwork. This was one of our best years in the regional competition. We sincerely believe that applying their education at Trine University to real-world applications is critical for their future career plans."

The National ACJA conference is set for March 9-14 in Kansas City, Kan. Six to nine Trine students will attend the national conference and compete.

Cutline: Trine University students won 30 awards during the American Criminal Justice Association regional conference Oct. 11-13. Front row from left, Marc Edwards, Brittney Hampton. Amiee Huston, Kayla Keith, Andrew O'Connor and John Daniel. Back row, from left, professor Craig Laker, Zach Terrell, Josh Howe, Matt Holewa, John Kidd and Andrew Wilhelm.

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