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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

CJ students throw down at regional conference

November 27, 2013

The Criminal Justice TeamVisalia campus Criminal Justice students got to mix it up with about 250 other Region 1 CJ students from California, Hawaii, Idaho, Washington, Nevada and Oregon this Oct. at their annual Criminal Justice Fraternity conference held this year in Rancho Cordova.

The 3-day conference was broken down into registration and mixer, fierce competition courses and, on the third day, guest speakers and an awards banquet.

The Lambda Alpha Epsilon is a Criminal Justice Fraternity was started to improve the criminal justice system through educational activities that might foster professionalism and promote higher education and professional training. The annual regional conference is organized by the National American Criminal Justice Association/LAE.

Visalia’s six CJ students were ready to rumble when it came to the academic and physical challenges of the competition, which included a physical agility course, shooting skills (rifle and handgun), CSI competition, and four written exams. Attending students and instructor were:

  • Michael Acosta
  • Brenda Ramos
  • Eloisa Lopez
  • Guadalupe Romero
  • Adrian Perez
  • Victoria Whitendale
  • Laura Lathrop (CJ instructor)


SJVC Visalia cadet Michael Acosta scored a First Place trophy in the Juvenile Law exam and CJ instructor and Club Advisor, Laura Lathrop, got into the action, as well, with a Second Place medal for the Age 43-50 Physical Agility course.

“The experience was fantastic,” says CJ student Michael Acosta. “We made memories that will last forever. We made friends from all over who also shared the interest and passion in the criminal justice system.”

Over 500 schools are members of the American Criminal Justice Association and CJ students and graduates everywhere are already gearing up for the national conference to be held in Kansas City, Missouri next March.

“These conferences are great networking opportunities for our students who can meet other students, as well as graduates who are now in the CJ field,” says Laura Lathrop. “They can look at them and say, ‘I could do that’, or ‘I never thought about this as a job,’” she says.

Conferences are a great way for students to hone their knowledge and skills and come back with a little better idea of where they might want to direct their talents.

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