Source: Ronnie Hernandez, ronh@k-state.edu
Hometown connection: Derby and Manhattan, Kan.; Independence, Mo.; and El Paso, Texas.
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-1544, bbohn@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012

On the docket: New student group promotes interest in criminal justice fields

MANHATTAN -- The newest student group at Kansas State University has the law on its side -- literally.

The Kappa Sigma Upsilon chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association was founded and initiated at the university in December 2011. The new group has about 15 members and is expected to grow this semester, said Ronnie Hernandez, chapter president and senior in pre-law, El Paso, Texas.

The association is a nationally recognized fraternity for students throughout the United States who have an interest in pursuing a career in the criminal justice field, including criminology; criminal justice; probation; courts; legal -- prosecution and defense; forensic science, etc., Hernandez said. This includes Kansas State University students from various criminal justice concentrations such as pre-law, criminology and the law enforcement option of the park management and conservation major.

"We got together to establish a group that will enable us to make professional connections through the conferences the association's grand chapter promotes and, at the same time, promote education about brother/sisterhood through group activities and events," Hernandez said. "What we would like to accomplish is to raise enough funds by next fall to attend the national conference that grand chapter promotes every year, along with attending a regional conference within our area in fall 2012."

Hernandez said the group would work alongside with the university's career and employment services office to arrange a field trip for members this semester.

"Career and employment services has been an excellent source for students at K-State to make employment connections and we look forward to working with Karl Kandt, its assistant director and liaison to the College of Arts and Sciences," Hernandez said.

Speakers have already been lined up from a variety of criminal justice system fields to talk to students in the spring semester, including from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kansas Court of Appeals and more. Hernandez said these speaker events will be open to the public.

Faculty adviser to the group is Bill Smriga, director of the K-State Student Union. More information about the fraternity and its conferences is available at http://www.acjalae.org.

Along with Hernandez, chapter officers include:

Daniel Flores, senior in criminology, Derby, director for recruitment.

From Manhattan: Clint Jones, senior in criminology, director of promotions; Christopher McKinney, junior in criminology and human resources management, secretary and chief of staff; Jordan Oatsvall, freshman in criminology, director for student relations; and Crystian Torres, sophomore in criminology, vice president.

From out of state: Anne Tomlin, freshman in criminology, Independence, Mo., treasurer.