News Release

Evangel criminal justice students bring home first-place trophies

November 13, 2013 | Paul K. Logsdon

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A team of twelve Evangel University criminal justice students brought home four trophies — including three for first place — from a recent nine-state competition held in Garden City, Kan.

Theta Alpha Delta, Evangel’s chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association, participated in the organization’s Region 3 conference, held Oct. 17-20. The conference was hosted by Garden City Community College.

The team participated in four competitions: criminal investigation, academic testing, firearms and a physical agility obstacle course.

The following criminal justice majors earned trophies:

First Place in the criminal investigation competition, upper division

  • Jannie Balista, senior healthcare/nursing major from Fresno, Calif.
  • Rachel Benitez, senior criminal justice major from San Jose, Calif.
  • Danielle Christy, senior criminal justice major from Kansas City, Mo.

First Place in the female physical agility obstacle course, age 18-25

  • Jannie Balista

First Place in the female physical agility obstacle course, age 26-35

  • Jennifer Falchook, senior psychology major from Piscataway, N.J.

Second Place in the academic testing competition for Juvenile Justice, upper division

  • Rachel Benitez

Additionally, faculty adviser Robert Cirtin, director of Evangel’s criminal justice program, brought home two trophies for his participation in the professional division. Cirtin was awarded the following:

Second Place in the male physical agility obstacle course, age 36 and up (Cirtin is 59)

Third Place in the firearms competition, professional division

The following students also attended the event: 

  • Hunter Altic, senior from Willard, Mo.
  • Ryan Arnold, sophomore from Aurora, Mo.
  • Matthew Bashioum, senior from Independence, Mo.
  • Celeste Binkerd, senior from Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Matthew Jimenez, sophomore from Levittown, N.Y.
  • Matthew Johnson, sophomore from Horicon, Wis.
  • Byron Mitchell, senior from Irving, Texas
  • Matthew Scott, senior from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

“As a university, we are active in ACJA because it is important for our students to be involved with an organization that promotes high standards of ethical conduct, professional training and higher education within the criminal justice field,” Cirtin said.

The purpose of ACJA is to improve criminal justice through educational activities and to foster professionalism in law enforcement personnel and agencies.

For additional information, contact Robert Cirtin at (417) 865-2815, ext. 8613.

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