Student Profile
Jennifer Bonetti '11

Jennifer is a chemistry major with a forensic science concentration and a love for the performing arts.

Watch Jen's story »

Why Choose
Cedar Crest?
  • Personalized attention
  • Average class size <20
  • Women's leadership opportunities
  • Flexibility to add dual major, minor

Chemical and Physical Sciences Faculty

At some colleges and universities, students are crammed into huge auditoriums for classes, where they’re taught largely by teaching assistants. Not at Cedar Crest College. Here, you will learn in a small-classroom setting from knowledgeable and experienced professors who will quickly get to know your name, and help you find success.

Marianne Staretz

Chairperson of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Associate Professor
Oberkotter Center 7
Ext. 3608
mestaret@cedarcrest.edu

[more]

Education

Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry, State University of New York at Binghamton
B.S. in Biochemistry, University of Scranton

Courses Taught

Biochemistry I and II
Biochemistry Laboratory I and II
Toxicology
Survey of Organic Chemistry
Heterocyclic Chemistry

Career Highlights

Marianne Staretz, Ph.D., did her doctoral research on the mechanism of the colchicine-tubulin interaction in relation to cancer. A multi-disciplinary approach combining the techniques of organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and biochemistry was used. She went on to do postdoctoral research at the American Health Foundation, a non-profit research institution dedicated to disease prevention. Her research focused on the effects of isothiocyanates, dietary inhibitors of carcinogenesis, on the metabolism of and formation of DNA adducts by carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines and benzo(a)pyrene. Staretz has continued some of the cancer prevention research at Cedar Crest College by examining the cancer prevention mechanism of organoselenium agents. She has also expanded some of the toxicology experience gained at the American Health Foundation into the area of forensic toxicology and has several ongoing research projects in this area.

Memberships and Awards

Member-American Chemical Society (ACS), Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists (NEAFS), and American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS)

Professional Advice

"I don't think students realize as they are progressing through their years of college how valuable the experience actually is. The goal is not just to get that degree. You will actually use what you are learning here—so work hard to learn as much as you can. The greater the effort you put into it, the greater the rewards will be."

Why Cedar Crest?

"I have always wanted to teach at a small liberal arts college where teaching is the focus of the college. Cedar Crest College certainly fits in that category. On my first visit to Cedar Crest, I became aware of a faculty dedicated to teaching and knew that I wanted to be a part of that faculty. I am surrounded by some very talented teachers and scholars and it is a privilege to be a part of that community. Being part of the family of women scientists, it is also a pleasure to be involved in the education of future women scientists and contribute to the growth of this family."

Pamela D. Kistler

Professor of Chemistry
Pool Science Center 130
Ext. 3508
pdkistle@cedarcrest.edu

[more]

Education

Ph.D. in Solid State Science, Penn State University
M.S. in Solid State Science, Penn State University
B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics, Muhlenberg College

Courses Taught

Introductory Chemistry
Physical Chemistry (with lab)
Instrumental Analysis
Inorganic Chemistry
Environmental Chemistry
College Life Chemistry for Nurses

Career Highlights

Pamela D. Kistler, Ph.D., joined the faculty in the department the chemical and physical sciences at Cedar Crest College in 1989, and she serves as councilor for the Lehigh Valley chapter of the American Chemical Society, where she helps shape organizational policy. Prior to that, she served as an instruments specialist at Lafayette College, and as a graduate research fellow in the materials research laboratory at The Pennsylvania State University. She taught at Penn State from 1978-87, and had worked in industry in the Minerals, Pigments and Metals Division at Pfizer Inc. from 1975-77.

Memberships and Awards

Councilor-American Chemical Society
Member-League of Women Voters

Professional Advice

Find your passion. Find the discipline that intrigues and excites you. You might not find your passion right away, but don't stop searching. When you do find it, study and your job become interesting adventures.

Why Cedar Crest?

Fewer than 20% of the professional chemists in the U.S. are women. I feel it is my calling to teach chemistry to women. As a women's college, Cedar Crest provides an excellent atmosphere of encouragement and support to women in science.

Jeanne Berk

Assistant Professor
Pool Science Center 127
Ext. 3507
jrberk@cedarcrest.edu

[more]

Education

B.S. in Chemistry, Miami University
M.S. in Physical Organic Chemistry, Seton Hall University
Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry, Seton Hall University

Career Highlights

Jeanne Berk, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of chemistry at Cedar Crest. Her research as a graduate student was based on a new class of polymers called Dendrimers, which she synthesized and then studied their physical properties in solution. She moved to the Lehigh Valley after graduate school and worked as an adjunct instructor at local colleges and universities until finally settling into a position at Lehigh University. There, Berk acted as their first undergraduate laboratory manager, teaching and helping them redevelop their general chemistry laboratories into an inquiry based format. She left Lehigh and joined the Cedar Crest community in order to get back to teaching organic chemistry.

Memberships and Awards

Berk is a member of the American Chemical Society, Alpha Chi Sigma (Professional Chemistry) and Sigma Xi.

Why Cedar Crest?

“The environment. I first found Cedar Crest College as an adjunct teaching over the summer, but I found myself wanting to teach here more and more. So when the organic chemistry position finally opened I had to apply. Some of my closest friends graduated from Cedar Crest College, so I am honored to be here continuing their legacy and they are thrilled I could be part of their experience. The faculty and staff are inspiring and the students truly want to learn and be involved. What more could you ask for?”

Professional Advice

“College is your chance to explore, so make the most of it. If you read a class description and it sounds fascinating, try taking it. Also check out the travel abroad opportunities. It can truly open your eyes. They will all be things you'll treasure from your college experience.”

Becoming a teacher

“After getting my undergraduate degree I had planned on going out into the industrial market, but the job market was bad I decided to go on and get my Masters degree. I left Ohio and ended up in New Jersey, a whole new world. As a graduate student I worked as a teaching assistant (T. A.) in the organic labs and teaching recitations. Students kept telling me that I explained things clearly and their "Aha" moments were pure chemistry for me. I found that the idea of working in a lab became less and less appealing and that teaching was what I wanted. I never looked back, and continued on for my Ph. D. so I could teach.”

Thomas A. Brettell

Associate Professor
Oberkotter Center 6
Ext. 3495
tabrette@cedarcrest.edu

[more]

Education

B.S. in Chemistry, Drew University
M.S. in Chemistry, Lehigh University
Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, Villanova University

Select Publications

J.L. Bonetti, M.E. Crowley, K.J. Johnson, M.R. Khalil, K.R. Sween, and T.A. Brettell, Forensic Science Administration and Ideals for Laboratory Management, Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal, Vol. 3, 2012. DOI: 10.1080/19409044.2012.716141

M.L. Dawes and T.A. Brettell, Analysis of goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis, L., and related alkaloids in urine using HPLC with UV detection, Journal of Chromatography B, Vol. 880, 2012. DOI:10.1016/j.jchromb.2011.11.026.

T.A. Brettell, J.M. Butler, and J.R. Almirall, Application Reviews - Forensic Science, Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 83, Number 12 2011. DOI: 10.1021/ac201075e.

M. R. Wood, T. A. Brettell, H. W. Thompson, and R.A. Lalancette, The Hydrated and the Anhydrous Gold(III) Tetrachloride Salts of l-Ecgonine: Important Forensic Toxicology Markers for Cocaine, Acta Crystallographica, Section C66, 2010.

L. A. Quarino and T.A.Brettell, Current Issues in Forensic Science Higher Education, Journal of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Vol, 394, Number 8, 2009. DOI 10.1007/s00216-009-2598-y.

Courses Taught

Concepts in Chemistry Laboratory
Chemical Principles Laboratory
Crime Scene Reconstruction and Pattern Analysis Laboratory
Technical Information (WRII)
Instrumental Analysis (lecture & lab)
Forensic Science Research (undergraduate and graduate)
Thesis Prospectus (graduate)
Separations Chemistry (graduate)
Advanced Analytical Spectroscopy (graduate)
Forensic Chemistry (graduate)
The Application of Science and Technology to the Investigation of Crime, and more

Career Highlights

Thomas A. Brettell, Ph.D., joined Cedar Crest College in the fall of 2006, where he has been teaching forensic chemistry and analytical chemistry courses in the department of chemical and physical sciences. He previously served as director of the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, where he oversaw the operation of the State's regional forensic laboratory system. He had been employed by the New Jersey State Police Forensic Science Bureau since 1976. In addition to Cedar Crest, he had previously taught forensic science in the criminology and justice departments at The College of New Jersey and Rider University.

Brettell has served on the Governor's Advisory Council Against Sexual Violence and presently serves on the National Safety Council's Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs. He has testified more than 80 times in municipal and superior courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania including testimony for the New Jersey State Supreme Court.

Memberships and Awards

Certified Diplomate-American Board of Criminalistics
Fellow-American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Member-American Chemical Society (ACS), American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Committee E-30
(Forensic Sciences) American Academy of Forensic Scientists (AAFS), and Council of Forensic Science Educators (COFSE)
President-Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS)
Governing Board Member-Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley (CFDV)
Past President-Middle Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists (MAAFS), National Safety Council's Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs, New Jersey Association of Forensic Scientists (NJAFS), and Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists (NEAFS)

Professional Advice

I try to stress to the students that they are responsible for their own education and self worth; that they must invest in themselves and assume responsibility for their personal growth. I emphasize to them that they are not going to learn everything they need to know for their future career in school. The students are here to get the solid educational foundation they can use as a spring board for a successful career. I approach this with the Cedar Crest mission in mind, to help them become leaders in whatever endeavor they choose in life.

Why Cedar Crest?

I realized a long time ago there was a real need to educate students in the sciences who aspired to enter the forensic science field. I taught as an adjunct for several years while still working at the forensic laboratory. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and realized the impact that I could have on students by sharing my experience, and stressing the importance of a strong scientific education needed for personnel working in the field. Cedar Crest is the perfect setting for forensic science education because encouraging women to pursue science careers is an important part of a skilled, diverse workforce.

Thomas H. Pritchett

Instructor/Technical Assistant
Miller Building 30
Ext. 3519
thpritch@cedarcrest.edu

[more]

Education

B.S. in Chemistry and Computer Science, Murray State University
M.S. in Chemistry, Murray State University

Courses Taught

Nursing Chemistry
Environmental Chemistry
Instrumental Analysis Laboratory

Career Highlights

Before joining Cedar Crest in 2003, Thomas Pritchett worked both as an analytical chemist and as an environmental chemist for 21 years. His work included running the GC/MS support laboratory at Murray State University, working in the Superfund program for the U.S. EPA, and working as an environmental consultant. During that time, he taught numerous short courses on subjects ranging from the use of field analytical instrumentation in soil gas investigations, to the use of optical remote sensing equipment for the determination of emission rates, to fence line monitoring at hazardous waste excavations. As of summer 2011, Thomas Pritchett has presented 25 papers at national or regional meetings of professional societies and has been a co-author on 51 additional papers at such conferences. Current research interests involve the application of emerging analytical techniques to the field of forensic science and determination of the uniqueness of partial fingerprints, and the probability of errors in a match of a partial print to a known full print.

Memberships and Awards

Member - Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists
Professional Member - Delta Delta Epsilon international forensic science honor society
Member - American Association for the Advancement of Science

Professional Advice

"You should never stop learning. A college education is less about learning new facts and more about building a foundation of knowledge and skills upon which one can continue their learning after graduation. After graduation life will periodically present you new challenges that will require you to teach yourself new knowledge and skills. Those who can meet those challenges will advance in their careers while those who cannot will stagnate. In the sciences, this is ultimately what will determine whether you will become a true scientist or just a mere technician."

Lawrence Quarino

Director, Forensic Science/Associate Professor
Miller Building 8
Ext. 3567
laquarin@cedarcrest.edu

[more]

Education

B.S., Saint Peter's College
M.S., John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Ph.D., Criminal Justice, Forensic Science Track, City University of New York

Prior Professional Experience

New Jersey State Police (1986-1990)
New York City Medical Examiner's Office (1990-2001)

Selected Publications

M. Schmidt, and L. Quarino, A novel method for the detection of cocaine in hair using a freeze/thaw method and GC/MS analysis, Romanian Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2012.

C. Corby, C. Hauke, B. Gestring, L. Quarino, Analyzing the halo effect: factors involved in sequencing the deposition of overlapping bloodstains caused by blood smears and airborne droplet, Investigative Sciences Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2012.

J. Kishbaugh, L. Quarino, The utility of Y-STR profiling in 4, 6, and 8 day post-coital vaginal swabs, Medicine, Science, and the Law, Vol.52, No. 2, 2012.

C. Mulligan, S. Kaufman, L. Quarino, The Utility of Polyester and Cotton as Swabbing Substrates for the Removal of Cellular Material from Surfaces, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 56, No.2 , 2011.

N. Deitz, L. Quarino, Differentiation of Blue Gel Inks Using Adobe Photoshop, Journal of Forensic Identification, Vol. 60, No. 3, 2010.

M. Zellner, L. Quarino, Differentiation of Twenty-One Glitter Lip Glosses by Pryolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 54, No. 5, 2009.

Courses Taught

Trace Evidence and Microscopy (undergraduate)
Professional Issues in Forensic Science (undergraduate)
Advanced Microscopy (graduate)
Legal and Ethical Issues in Forensic Science (graduate)
Recent Advances in Forensic Science (graduate)

Career Highlights

Lawrence Quarino, Ph.D., is an associate professor of forensic science and director of the forensic science program at Cedar Crest College since 2002. His professional experience includes 4 years as a forensic scientist with the New Jersey State Police and 11 years as a supervising forensic scientist with the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York City. In New York City, he supervised forensic scientists who analyzed physical evidence in over 1,000 sexual assault or homicide cases. He worked on the World Trade Center Identification Project as a molecular biology consultant and has provided expert courtroom testimony in more than 100 cases. He has authored or coauthored more than 15 publications in peer and editorial reviewed journals and given nearly 50 presentations at professional conferences.

Memberships and Awards

  • 2012-2013 - Criminalistics Section Program Chair, American Academy of Forensic Sciences
  • 2011-Present - Secretary, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists
  • 2010 - Mary E. Cowan Outstanding Service Award, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Criminalistics Section
  • 2006-2012 - Commissioner, Forensic Science Educational Programs Accreditation Commission Chair, (2011-2012)
  • 2003-2008 - Board of Directors, American Board of Criminalistics
  • Diplomate, American Board of Criminalistics

Professional Advice

"Your role as a forensic scientist is to provide conclusions based on only your analysis of physical evidence taken from crime scenes: You do not allow passions or subjective beliefs effect your scientific ability. The importance of the forensic scientist in society cannot be overstated. Your scientific integrity can never be questioned."

Why Cedar Crest?

"I teach at Cedar Crest College because of the terrific science facilities and instrumentation and the close interaction I have with my students. The small class sizes allow me to know my students personally, which helps with advising and teaching. The strong mentoring aspect of the College provides me the opportunity to develop the scientific skills of my students far beyond what the classroom or laboratory would allow."

David Raker

Assistant Professor
Pool Science Center 124
Ext. 3684
draker@cedarcrest.edu

Links
www.cedarcrest.edu/raker
Mr. Chemist's Neighborhood

[more]

Education

M.A. in chemistry, University of Scranton
B.S. in chemistry, King's College

Courses Taught

General Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Instrumental Analysis
Astronomy
Seminar

Memberships and Awards

Member-American Chemical Society, Planetary Society and Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society

Hyacinth Vedage

Assistant Professor
Miller Building 1
Ext. 3712
hlvedage@cedarcrest.edu

[more]

Education

Ph.D., Chemistry, Lehigh University

M.S., Chemistry, Lehigh University

Courses Taught

Nursing Chemistry

Analytical Chemistry

Career Highlights

Hyacinth Vedage, Ph.D., is an analytical chemist whose research interests are in the electrochemistry area with special interests in inhibitor development and organic coatings to prevent corrosion. After graduating from Lehigh University she worked as a Research Scientist for ten years working on electrochemical methods to study failure mechanisms of metals due to corrosion and developing inorganic/organic coatings to reduce metal loss. Before joining the Cedar Crest faculty she taught as an adjunct professor at Lafayette College and Northampton Community College for several years. Presently she teaches the introductory chemistry course for nursing majors and Analytical Chemistry for chemistry majors.

Lindsey Welch

Assistant Professor
Miller Building 2
Ext. 3615

[more]

Education

B.S., Lycoming College
Ph.D., Lehigh University

Courses Taught

Inorganic Chemistry (with lab)
Physical Chemistry

Memberships and Awards

American Chemical Society, Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York, American Vacuum Society, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society

Career Highlights

Lindsey Welch completed her doctoral research in physical-inorganic chemistry in the area of surface science. By using ultra-high vacuum conditions (‹10-9 Torr), she studied the interactions of gas phase molecules on platinum and tin-platinum alloy surfaces. This fundamental surface chemistry determined the activation barriers for the desorption and reaction of nitrogen-containing cyclic molecules.