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Cedar Crest College Hosts Symposium on Women in Forensic Science

For many years, many science and math occupations have carried stereotypes of being “male” fields, but forensic science continues to be an area in which women not only hold their own, but in terms of sheer numbers, are far surpassing men.

Schools such as Cedar Crest College—a women’s college with one of the top forensic science programs in the nation—are a major reason why this trend has developed, and why there’s no reason to suspect it will subside anytime soon.

The College is hosting its 10th Annual Forensic Science Symposium this year titled, “Women in Forensic Science,” on March 24, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., as a celebration of the abilities and accomplishments of women in this dynamic field. The program is open to the public and will be held in Oberkotter Center, Room 1.

“Women are making great strides in forensic science” said Lawrence Quarino, Ph.D., director of the forensic science program at Cedar Crest College. “In fact, the Paul Kirk Award—the highest award offered by the Criminalistics section of the American Academy of the Sciences as recognition for outstanding scientific achievement in forensic science—was recently given to Dr. JoAnn Buscalgia from the FBI’s research lab, who has spoken at the symposium in the past. This is a trend of excellence among women forensic scientists that will surely continue.”

Speakers for this program and their topics include:

  • Eileen Allen, MSN, former president, International Association of Forensic Nurses, “Forensic Nursing: Professional Nursing in Multidisciplinary Settings”
  • Elizabeth Benzinger, Ph.D., director of research, development and training, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, “Reflections of a Fossil: 21.83 Years of Forensic DNA”
  • Dana Kollmann, Ph.D., Towson University, department of sociology, anthropology and criminal justice, “Take Them to the Forest: An Undergraduate Experience in Forensic Anthropology”
  • Christina Mulligan, M.S., Cedar Crest alumna and member of U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Lab, “Life as a Deployed Forensic Examiner”
  • Lisa Potteiger, B.S., chief deputy coroner, Dauphin County (Pa.) Coroner’s Office, “Medicolegal Death Investigation”
  • Kristy Sekedat, M.S., criminalistics department, NYPD Crime Lab, “Hair Today, Guilty Tomorrow”
  • Laura Tramontin, M.S., 2010 Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists president and criminalistics supervisor, New Jersey State Police, “NEAFS: Past, Present, Future”

At the conclusion of the presentations, Cedar Crest College forensic science students will lead a panel discussion. Admission to the symposium is $5 for students, $10 for alumnae and $15 for the general public. Advance registration will be accepted through March 19, though participants are also welcome to pay at the door.

For information or to register contact Janine Kishbaugh, FSSO advisor, at 610-606-4661 ext. 3643, or jmkish@cedarcrest.edu.