Corrected: Trine wins 22 awards at ACJA competition

AUBURN (11/01/2017) Trine University's Tau Alpha Omicron (TAO) chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA-Lambda Alpha Epsilon) won 22 of 89 possible awards at the organization's regional conference in October.

The Trine chapter hosted the conference Oct. 13-14 in Auburn. Students, alumni and faculty competed against five other chapters/colleges from throughout the Midwest in four categories: written examinations, handgun competition, crime scene investigation and physical agility.

"We had an outstanding effort by our current and former students. This year, we were able to have some of our newer members join us to compete. We were very pleased to see a wide variety of awards among the students and alumni," said Cisco Ortiz, from the Department of Criminal Justice, Psychology and Social Sciences."

"Hosting the conference this year was not only an accomplishment by a team effort from our students and alumni, we were also very grateful for the help provided by other university staff and administration," he said. "It was an honor to be able to host the conference and an even more of an honor to see our students successfully plan and coordinate such an event."

Ortiz, a 1999 graduate and one of the chapter's faculty advisors, along with Andrew O'Connor, a 2015 graduate and current sergeant with the Parkview Police Department, and Dustin Eggert, a 2011 graduate and current Indiana State Police trooper, competed in the professional division, while the students participated in the lower and upper divisions based on their year of in school.

The team members won eight academic awards for testing in the knowledge areas of criminal law, corrections, juvenile justice, police management and the history of ACJA- Lambda Alpha Epsilon, and 14 awards in the three other competitions. Trine awards were as follows:

Written Examinations

  • Criminal Law - Elizabeth Gillette, a junior criminal justice major from Scottville, Michigan, won first place in the lower division and Joe Mangaeniello, a senior from Fort Wayne, Indiana, won third place in the upper division.
  • Corrections - Elizabeth Gillette won first place in the lower division and Ashley Weber, a senior from Bluffton, Indiana, won third place in the upper division.
  • Juvenile Justice - Elizabeth Gillette won first place in the lower division and Caycia Ransbottom, a senior criminal justice major from Sturgis, Michigan, won third place in the upper division.
  • Police Management - Elizabeth Gillette won first place in the lower division and Caycia Ransbottom won third place in the upper division.

Crime Scene Investigation (three-member teams)

Joe Mangaeniello, Caycia Ransbottom and Lewi Janiga, a senior criminal justice major from Gladwin, Michigan, placed first in the upper division.

Physical agility

Joe Mangaeniello placed first and Ben Davage, a junior design engineering technology student from Hamilton, Michigan, placed third in the male 18-25 years of age division. Cisco Ortiz placed second in the male 35 years and older division. Alexa Marlow, a sophomore forensic science student from Delphos, Ohio, placed third in the female 18-25 years of age division. Ashley Weber placed third in the female 26-34 years of age division.

Handgun individual

Seth Gifford, a sophomore biomedical engineering major from Bloomington, Illinois, placed third in the lower division. Ben Davage placed first and Lewi Janiga placed third in the upper division. Dustin Eggert placed first and Andrew O'Connor placed third in the professional division.

Handgun team (three-person team)

Seth Gifford, Ben Davage and Lewi Janiga won first place in the upper division. Dustin Eggert, Andrew O'Connor and Cisco Ortiz placed first in the professional division.

Members of Trine's ACJA chapter will compete at the 81st National Conference of the ACJA-Lambda Alpha Epsilon, which will be held March 18-23, 2018, in Cleveland.

Join the conversation, #TrineU.

Trine University, an internationally recognized, private, co-educational, residential institution, offers associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in the Allen School of Engineering & Technology, Ketner School of Business, College of Graduate and Professional Studies, Franks School of Education, Jannen School of Arts & Sciences and Rinker-Ross School of Health Sciences. Trine is a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and offers 23 varsity sports. Its golf program includes the university-owned 18-hole championship Zollner Golf Course. Founded in 1884 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (, Trine operates a 450-acre main campus in Angola, Indiana, and education resource centers throughout Indiana and Michigan.