Press Release

Chelsea Roberts
Media Strategist
Marketing and Communications
610-606-4666 ext. 3620

For Immediate Release
Contact: David Jwanier, media relations associate, 610-740-3790

Cedar Crest Hosts Inaugural Forensic Science Leadership Lecture Oct. 20

Allentown, Pa. (Oct. 4, 2011)—The forensic science program at Cedar Crest College will host the College’s first annual Forensic Science Leadership Lecture (FSLL) on Thursday, Oct. 20, featuring Marie Samples from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City. The lecture titled, “The Accidental Leader,” is free to the public and slated for 4 p.m. in Samuel’s Theatre.

Samples serves as an assistant director of the department of forensic biology in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner—the forensic DNA testing laboratory for the City of New York—with responsibility for analysis of homicides, sexual assaults, assaults, burglaries, and selected other cases.

During the lecture, Samples will discuss her rise through the ranks of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York City since she began working there in 1990, as well as her and her organization’s role in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the crash of American Airlines Flight 587.

Samples has served the forensic field in a wide variety of regional and national roles. In her laboratory, she has been the laboratory program manager for the NYPD Rape Kit Backlog Project (over 16,000 rape kits tested), the NYPD Cold Case Homicide Initiative (over 125 cases tested), and the NYPD BioTracks Program (a DNA testing program targeting burglaries).

She spent several years as the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists’ representative on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Criminalistics, and has served as program chair for the American Association of Forensic Sciences’ Criminalistics Section.

Samples earned her B.S. in biochemistry from California Polytechnic University, her M.S. in chemistry from University of California at Santa Cruz; and her M.S. in biochemistry from City University of New York.

The first annual Forensic Science Leadership Lecture at Cedar Crest College is brought to the community through a generous donation from Richard Saferstein, Ph.D., former chief forensic scientist for the New Jersey State Police and a highly respected figure in the field. For information send e-mail to


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Last Updated: 10/5/11