Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate - Media, 610-740-3790


Allentown, PA (March 2, 2005) - The Cedar Crest College Chemistry Department will hold its 3rd Annual Forensic Science Symposium Saturday, March 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Lecture Hall 1 of the College's new Oberkotter Center for Health and Wellness. Forensic scientists from throughout the region will gather at the College to share knowledge on the advances in the forensic science field with other scientists, college students and those interested in the field of forensics.

High profile crimes in the headlines and popular culture fascination with the process of crime scene investigation are leading to new job opportunities and record student interest in forensic science. This year's featured speaker is Dr. Jay Siegel, professor and director of forensic and investigative science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Dr. Siegel will speak about new directions for undergraduate research in the field of forensic science.

"There was a time when undergraduate research in this field didn't exist," says Dr. Lawrence Quarino, director of the forensic program at Cedar Crest College. "This has become an important topic for the forensic science community and for prospective students. We are pleased to have some of the foremost scientists in the field presenting here at the College."

In January 2005, the forensic science program at Cedar Crest was awarded full accreditation by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). Of the 60 forensic science undergraduate programs in the U.S., only eight (including Cedar Crest) have received this accreditation. The forensic science program at Cedar Crest College is designed to give the necessary foundation along with areas that are unique to scientific investigation. Students are introduced to the use of scientific method at a crime scene and in the examination of physical evidence. The program also introduces students to techniques typically used in scientific investigation such as photography, microscopy and DNA typing methods. Students also examine professional issues such as ethics, expert testimony and rules governing the admissibility of scientific evidence in the courtroom.

A list of presentations follows. Admission to the symposium is $10 for students and $15 for all other participants. For more information or to register, please call the Special Events Hotline at 610-740-3791.

For media inquiries, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.


Jay A Siegel, Ph.D.
Director-Forensic Science and Investigative Sciences Program
IUPUI School of Science
Indianapolis, IN
What is Forensic Chemistry, Anyway?

In a recent piece in the "Academy News", published by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, John DeHaan decried the loss of flexibility, creativity and imagination among forensic chemists; if it isn't part of my written protocol, I cannot use this test (even if it involves venerable, validated scientific techniques like microscopy). Why is this and what is forensic chemistry, anyway? This talk will explore the breadth and depth of forensic chemistry using examples of recent research projects in the laboratories of Michigan State University. The question of what it takes to become a forensic chemist and what one does will also be explored.

Thomas A Andrew, MD
Chief Medical Examiner
New Hampshire
Investigating the Heroin Overdose

Successful investigation of the heroin overdose requires attention to detail during every step of the investigative process from death scene investigation to interpretation of laboratory data. This presentation highlights important observations to be made at the scene of death and proper certification of cause and manner of death among other topics.

Erik T Bieschke
Office of Chief Medical Examiner
Department of Forensic Biology
New York City
Relevance of mtDNA Sequence Data for the Victim Identification After the WTC Terrorist Attack

Mitochrondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing was part of the identification effort from the onset of the project. Aspects of testing and specific case examples pertaining to benefits and disadvantages will be discussed.

Vincent J Desiderio
New Jersey State Police Central Laboratory
The Forensic Analysis of Arson Related Evidence

Arson, the deliberate setting of a fire by human hands, is a costly crime in our society. The goal of this presentation will be to provide the audience with a general overview of investigative and analytical techniques employed at the scene as well as in the laboratory. A brief discussion of the pitfalls encountered during the course of these analyses will also be provided.

Stewart M Hung
Office of Forensic Sciences
New Jersey State Police Technology Complex
Forensic Analysis of Glass Trace Evidence using Laser Ablation Inductively-coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS)

Methods developed for the comparison of physical properties of glass including refractive index and density measurements depend on the variations in the manufacturing process. New instrumental methods can provide additional information to support these traditional methods of glass analysis; namely, elemental composition. Future developments in the laser ablation ICP-MS protocol are also presented.

Ray Kuter
Detective, CFCE
Montgomery County District Attorney's Office
Norristown, PA
Computer Forensics: Computers as Evidence

As our world becomes more and more dependent on technology and computers, those that would victimize others have found a new tool. We have come to rely on computers and the Internet for communication, finances, commerce and many other areas of our life. To respond to these new crimes and new versions of traditional crimes, law enforcement now has to develop new skills. The new cyber investigator needs new methods and new tools.

Kristen McDonald, BA, BS
Criminalist II, Trace Evidence Analysis Unit
New York City Police Department Laboratory
Analysis of Laboratory Unknowns

This talk is directed at students preparing to enter the field of forensic science. It is designed to inform students about the discipline variously known as Chemical Unknowns or General Unknown Analysis. Often found as a catch-all category in trace evidence sections, it tends to involve the analysis of materials that do not fall neatly into other categories such as drugs or explosives.

David San Pietro
Westchester County Forensic Lab
Valhalla, New York
" Don't Put My Blood Upon No Shelf...": A Shooting Reconstruction

Often in shooting incidents the positioning of the individuals involved will have a direct effect in determining the possible sequence of events as well as the weight of charge levied against the shooter. The holistic utilization of bullet trajectory analysis as well as gunshot residue, range of fire determination, DNA, and bloodstain pattern analyses will be discussed, providing a possible scenario as to the positioning of these individuals at the time of the shooting.

William E Wingert, Ph.D.
Chief Toxicologist
Office of the Medical Examiner
City of Philadelphia
An Overview of Toxicology Testing from a Large City Medical Examiner's Office

The Office of the Medical Examiner (OME) is an integral part of the Department of Public Health of the City of Philadelphia and services the entire Philadelphia County. An overview of the field of Forensic Toxicology will be presented including: instrumentation used, specimens required for testing, testing methodologies and the duties of the staff Toxicologist. A number of cases from Philadelphia MEO will be discussed that illustrate a variety of challenges encountered by the Toxicology Laboratory.




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